Abrams’ latest tome, D’une rive à l’autre, proposes an answer to the age-old question: left or right bank? With Château Rauzan-Ségla on the left and Château Canon on the right, it can be difficult to choose between Chanel’s two emblematic vineyards, but as you flip through the thick glossy pages, a collaboration between five photographers and three writers, you can experience both in all of their Old World splendor. In fact, the volume was designed for readers to turn the pages in either direction, offering free range to the imagination and inviting readers to wander between both wine châteaux freely.
The two historic wine estates, which are separated and connected by an estuary, are in constant dialogue with each other in this overwhelming art book that both highlights and celebrates not only the delectable wine but also the people and their stories. Though Chanel’s estates face each other in the wine region of Bordeaux, France—between the picturesque communes of Margaux and Saint-Émilion—they boast wildly different identities, as evidenced by the words of historian Patrick Wald Lasowski, impressionist author Alice Biscarrat, and wine essayist Aymeric Mantoux. The emotion-inducing photos, by Thomas Dhellemmes, Brice Braastad, Patrick Messina, Jérôme Bryon, and Luc Manago invite readers to explore the grounds, cellars, and libraries in an unmistakably intimate way.
Plus, D’une rive à l’autre, “from one bank to another” in English, is basically three books in one: Rauzan-Ségla, the Estuary, and Canon, all of which are chronicled by such compelling images as Rauzan-Ségla’s library where intricate patterns and deep color are at play, the mysterious estuary on a misty morning, a vineyard at dusk, and the rich magenta-stained wine tanks. As in any worthy book, the stunning images and mesmerizing words work in tandem to offer a unique inside look to the previously unexplored souls of these historic Bordeaux vineyards.
In each estate, there is an abundance of subtle yet signature Chanel-style detailing everywhere, from the winding architecture to the ornate moldings. Architect Peter Marino decided to take an unexpected route and skip the 18th-century antiques when decorating each estate. He instead opted for a more Scandinavian approach, heading to Sweden for the furniture that would fill the multibedroom castles. That said, each château boasts its own personality: While Rauzan-Ségla is moody with rich tones of violet and burgundy, Chesterfield sofas, and scarce sources of light, Château Canon is bright courtesy of the white-painted paneled walls mostly filled with rehabbed vintage furniture in playful shades of purple, pink, and red. He even placed a giant bamboo table in Canon’s entryway to greet guests with good luck on their way inside.
D’une rive à l’autre is a majestically poetic journey between two iconic French estates that were shaped by space, time, and history. The only thing this emotive edition can’t offer is a taste of the choice wines that even Thomas Jefferson couldn’t resist. After the American president visited the estate in 1787, he ordered 10 cases. Both châteaux tend to have that effect.