L’Hospitalet de Gazin is the second wine of Pétrus’ neighbour, Château Gazin. Gazin is a large estate, at twenty-four hectares, housing varied parcels and different terroirs – not all on the plateau. L’Hospitalet de Gazin is selected from cuvées which provide an accessible, approachable and elegant style. The soils at Château Gazin are clay and gravel, well-drained due to a slight incline. The vineyard is planted with 90% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Cabernet Franc at a density of 5,500 vines per hectare and with an average of thirty-five years. Gazin has been owned by successive generations of the de Baillencourt dit Courcol family and now, under the stewardship of Nicolas and Christophe de Baillencourt, it has really re-found its feet, after some difficult years. Their approach in both vineyard and cellar combines traditional practice with modern techniques which equally benefits L’Hospitalet.
Pruning to restrict yields, strict sorting and temperature regulation are now the norm. Clearly sorting is key to L’Hospitalet’s style. The approach is very much to produce a second wine which stands on its own feet, whilst helping to protect the integrity of the grand vin. Freshness, purity and accessibility are clear aspirations, as is providing a Pomerol at an interesting price. L’Hospitalet is therefore unadorned with new oak, which would dominate the wine’s personality.
The name Hospitalet has its origins in Gazin’s history. Gazin was a domain of the Knights Hospitaliers of St Jean, Rhodes and Malta. The present site is built where there was once a hospital, provided by the Knights for pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela.