Former Mouton winemaker Patrick Léon dies

Patrick Léon former winemaker at Mouton Rothschild and consulting oenologist at Château d’Esclans has died aged 75.

A hugely respected winemaker with decades of experience in some of France’s top estates as well as California, Chile and the Languedoc, Patrick also helped push Provençal rosé into the spotlight through his work at Château d’Esclans.

Born in Bordeaux in 1943, Patrick received his oenology diploma in 1964 and in 1972 he went to work for Alexis Lichine as general manager of purchasing and oenologist and winemaker at properties such as Château Lascombes and Château Castéra.

From 1985 to 2004 he was head winemaker at Château Mouton Rothschild as well as its affiliate properties, d’Armhailac and Clerc Milon.

In this capacity he also spent a lot of time at the Baron Philippe de Rothschild properties outside of Bordeaux too, notably Opus One in California, Almaviva and Escudo Rojo in Chile and Baron d’Arques in the Languedoc.

Afterwards, he went to work for Alexis’s son Sacha in Provence as consulting oenologist at Château d’Esclans, helping pioneer the market for luxury Provence rosé and bringing fine winemaking practices to rosé, most notably barrel fermentation and a capacity to age.

His son Bertrand joined d’Esclans in 2011 as technical director and the two of them also ran their family property in Bordeaux, Château Les Trois Croix in Fronsac.

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