The history of the Third Growth, Saint-Julien Lagrange estate goes back to the Middle Ages, with records showing its existence in 1631. During the 18th Century it belonged to the formidable Baron de Brane of Brane-Cantenac fame. In 1796, it was acquired by Count Jean Valère Cabarrus, Napoleon's Finance Minister in Spain. He expanded the estate by purchasing numerous vineyard plots and remained the owner until 1825.
In a slowly descending arc, Lagrange was forced to downsize progressively over the centuries as it passed through numerous hands, to pay off debt and cope with a compounding degree of neglect.
Once sitting at 280 hectares, it is, these days, a more modest 120. In 1983, the Japanese wine and spirits giant, Suntory, rode in to the rescue, investing hugely in an across-the-board renovation programme that encompassed everything from the vineyards to the cellars. With the much-needed cash injection in play, Lagrange has upped the quality of its output considerably.