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Unique in its conception and built to near perfection, Château Talbot’s new cellar, designed by Bordeaux architects Nairac and Vacheyrout, is certainly one of the most original.

Finished in 2012, the cellar will surely earn itself a place among the greatest examples of wine architecture in Bordeaux, through its scale and design

It covers 1,500 square meters and stylistically, the interior can be interpreted in two ways. It is, at once, a gigantic forest of tens of concrete trees that link the floor to the seven-meter high ceiling. Each tree is made up of four pillars that form one mass at the base but open out as they rise, like a hand reaching to the sky and opening its fingers to support the caisson or spider web ceiling. On another level, the design resembles a vine plant pruned in the old gobelet style. The walls, for example, are lined with a thin layer of aluminum – a soft, shiny glaze that bathes the cellar in light and gives it depth. Striking to look at, it also hides the machinery that (silently) operates the energy and temperature control systems.

No fewer than 1,800 barrels are lined up in the cool, dimly lit cellar, maintained at 17°C, where the wine matures for 18 months. The choice of cooper, the length of aging in wood and the pace of racking vary, depending on the style and evolution of the various lots. Regular tasting of the wines determines these choices.