The estate was formerly a military base, a history reflected in its original name, Camfourtet, meaning "camp fort". The chateau began with the efforts of Léon Rulleau in the mid-18th century, who passed on the estate to his nephew Elie Rulleau who had the present château built. The estate's name was altered to Clos Fourtet by the Rulleau family in 1868.
At the turn of the century, Philippe Cuvelier acquired Clos Fourtet promising to follow in the path of those quality-conscious owners before him. Beside the expert oenologist, Stéphane Derenoncourt, the wines have especially been powerful and lavish during this past decade, raising standards year after year.