Blend: 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet franc.
In 1988, Michel and Isabelle Dietrich bought Chateau Haut-Rian, after living for 6 years in Clare Valley, Australia. Michel was the manager and head winemaker at Chateau Remy. Both of them come from winemaking families: Michel grew up in Kaysersberg, Alsace, and his wife Isabelle in the Montagne de Reims area in Champagne. Michel earned his viticulture and oenology degrees at the Collège de Beaune and the University of Bordeaux. Their daughter Pauline Lapierre joined them in 2017.
Their property is located 18 miles southeast of the city of Bordeaux, in the tiny village of Rions. The vineyards spread over eighty hectares encompassing parts of Premières Côtes de Bordeaux and Entre-Deux-Mers, bordering the village of Cadillac and near the Garonne River, ”where the vines can see the water but won’t get their feet wet." The climate there is warmer than the maritime Médoc, but also drier. All of the vineyards are on gentle slopes facing south and southeast, and the topsoil consists of loose pebbles over limestone.
In most of France, wines are named by their place of origin and not by the type of grape (with the exception of Alsace). Just like a red Burgundy is by law, always made of Pinot noir, a red Bordeaux is a blended wine composed mainly of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Depending on the laws of the village from which the grapes come, the conditions of the vintage and decisions of the winemaker, the blend can be further supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot and in rare cases, Carmenere. So popular and repeated has this mix of grape varieties become worldwide, that the term, Bordeaux Blend, refers to a wine blended in this style, regardless of origin.