Chateau Chasse-Spleen 2010

  • gold medal at Concours General Agricole Paris Wine Competition
  • Medium to full-bodied and supple
  • 40% Merlot, 55% Cabernet Sauvignon & 5% Petit Verdot
  • 1 or more bottles
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  • James Suckling
    93 points

Editors notes

Château Chasse-Spleen is a winery in the Moulis-en-Médoc appellation to the west of Margaux. It has long been viewed as the leading estate in that appellation – alongside Château Poujeaux – and is widely regarded, if not of being at cru classé standard, then certainly as holding a place among the top wines just beneath the classification.

It was selected as one of six Crus Exceptionnels in the Cru Bourgeois classification in 1932 and maintained that status until the annulment of the classification in 2007. The wines are prized for their well-balanced fruitiness across a range of vintages.


Tasting Profile

  • Light (Light)
    Full (Full)
  • Low Tannin (Low Tannin)
    Tannic (Tannic)
  • Sweet (Sweet)
    Dry (Dry)
  • Low Acidity (Low Acidity)
    High Acidity (High Acidity)
  • Aroma
    • Blueberry
    • Boysenberry
    • Herbal
  • Palate
    • Blue Fruits
    • Cassis
    • Graphite

Food Pairings

  • Pork
  • Red Meat

Critic Scores & reviews

  • James Suckling

    "A wine with wonderfully fresh and perfumed aromas with crushed flowers and berries. Full body, with super integrated tannins and a silky textured finish. This is refined and very pretty. Better than 2009. Drink or hold."

Other vintages

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Wine is being produced throughout France and has been done for over 2,500 years with certain Châteaux dating their history back to Roman times, around 6th Century BC. Ranking second in the world in per-capita consumption and first in total production quantity. More so than the overall quantity of wine is the quantity of truly great wines coming out of France makes the nation the envy of wine-making nations worldwide.

Two concepts pivotal to the higher end French wines, in particular, are the idea of 'terroir' and the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) system. Terroir refers to the way the geography, geology and climate find their way into the glass, telling a story of the origin of the wine. The AOC was set up in 1935 and has the primary goal of protecting the authenticity of the wines and the livelihoods of the producers. Appellation rules strictly define which varieties of grapes and winemaking practices are approved for classification in each of France's several hundred geographically defined appellations, which can cover entire regions, individual villages or in some cases, like in Burgundy even specific vineyards.

Classic wine regions in France include Champagne (home of Champagne), Burgundy (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay), Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot), Alsace (Aromatic varietals), Loire Valley (Chenin Blanc, Crémant) and the Rhône Valley (Syrah, Grenache Mourvedre)

The Bordeaux classification of 1855 is still in use, as is the Sauternes and Barsac Classification of the same year. Wines from certain regions can be bought En Primeur, which is when the wine is sold prior to it being bottled.


Bordeaux produces some of the most highly sought after and revered wines in the world. Located close to the coast, in the south-west of France the town and is divided by the Gironde River. Wines to the west of the river are referred to as left bank, and are Cabernet dominant. To the East of the river, on the right bank Merlot is the dominant grape variety. Throughout the 57 appellations, over 10,000 wine-making châteaux grow the red grapes; Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec. These are commonly blended and collectively referred to as clarets. Smaller amounts of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc is also grown in Bordeaux.

In 1855, due to the high export demands of Bordeaux wines, Emporer Napoleon III requested an official Bordeaux classification system, based on market costs of the wines at the time. The Chateaux were classified in to five ‘growths’ from first growth to fifth growth and cru Bourgois. Also in 1855 The Sauternes and Barsac classification covered the sweeter wines, with Chateau d’Yquem the only Superior First Growth, followed by Premiers Crus and Deux Deuxièmes Crus.

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About the brand Chasse Spleen

Long Viewed As The Leading Cru Of Moulis, The Estate's Viticultural History Is Documented Back To 1560, And Possibly Before.Initially An Estate Named Grand-poujeaux, It Was Owned By The Seigneurs Grenier, Which May Have Evolved Into Gressier. The Estate Was Divided In 1822 Due To Inheritance Complications, Half The Property Becoming Château Gressier-grand-poujeaux, And The Remainder Passed To The Castaing Family. Further Divisions In The 1860s Resulted In What Would Become Chasse-spleen, And The Châteaux Maucaillou And Poujeaux-theil.

One Account Explaining The Estate's Name Is Due To A Visit By Lord Byron In 1821, When He Became So Enamoured By The Vines That He Said, "Quel Remede Pour Chasser Le Spleen", Or Alternately Attributed To The Poem Spleen Whose Author Charles Baudelaire Once Visited The Property.

After The Death Of The Last Castaing, From 1909 To 1914 Chasse-spleen Was Owned By The Segnitz Family, North-german Wine Merchants Who Contributed To The Quality And Reputation Of The Estate, But After The Outbreak Of World War I The Estate Was Confiscated As "Enemy Property", And Eventually Bought By Auction In 1922 By The Lahary Family. After Maintaining The Reputation Of The Wine For Several Decades, Chasse-spleen Was Sold In 1976 To A Consortium Controlled By The Merlaut Family, Eventual Owners Of Châteaux Including Gruaud-larose, Ferrière, Citran And Haut-bages-libéral.

After Changing Career From Teacher To Winemaker, Jacques Merlaut's Daughter Bernadette Villars And Her Husband Took Control Of The Estate And With The Collaboration Of Professor Émile Peynaud, Great Improvements To The Facilities And Quality Of Wine Followed. She Became A Figure Of Renown Before She And Her Husband Died In A Mountaineering Accident In The Pyrenees In 1992. To Date The Estate Is Run By Her Daughter Claire Villars.

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