A lovely Merlot driven Bordeaux produced by Jean-Michel Baudet (Chateau Monconseil Gazin) based in the village of Plassac.
The vineyards are situated on the hillside above the village, just to the south of Blaye. Here the clay/limestone soils provide good drainage and encourage a deep root system for the vines. The vineyards have a south/south west aspect giving excellent conditions for ripening the grapes.
Fermentation is in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats followed by 12 months in mainly old oak.
A blend of 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine is very dark in the glass with lots of red berry aromas. The palate is full, with juicy fruit and firm tannins. Very well made and excellent value claret.
To the south of Bordeaux city, near Cadillac, Château Ricaud boasts an exceptionally diverse array of soils. Impressed by its quality potential and the architectural splendour of the château, Alain Thiénot (of Champagne fame) bought the property in 1980 and has subsequently put in place a remodelling plan to transform the estate into a benchmark Loupiac and to create a Côtes de Bordeaux worthy of the finest wines.
Château de Ricaud Cadillac is a blend of 85% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon & 3% Petit Verdot from vines with an average age of 25 years. The wine was vinified in temperature-controlled stainless steel, followed by ageing in oak barriques, 20% of which were new, for 12 months.
With its appealing dark ruby appearance, the wine is complex on the nose offering initial notes of strawberry and blackberry. Beautifully structured on the palate, full and generous with rounded, fleshy tannins. Perfectly integrated oak character accompanies the long, delicately spiced finish.
A very reliable Cru Bourgeois property, Château Caronne Ste. Gemme is located in the Haut-Médoc adjacent to St.Julien. The property dates back to 1648 and has been in the Nony family since the 19th century. The estate consists of 45 hectares of vineyards and produces over 20,000 cases a year.
A blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot. The wine is matured in oak barriques (20% of which are new, the rest being 2nd or 3rd fill) for 12 months. The château produces lovely elegant, Cabernet driven wine that ages beautifully as this 1998 vintage illustrates.
Despite its age the wine has masses of red fruit aromas with cedar and tobacco notes. The palate is full and elegant with soft fruit and gentle tannins. A delicious and rare example of affordable, mature claret.
The bottles have been refreshed and re-corked at the Château.
Situated in Cadaujac, a few miles south east of Bordeaux city, Château Lamothe-Bouscaut is an historic wine estate with its origins dating back to the 12th century. Today the property is owned by Sophie Lurton and Laurent Cogombles.
The vineyards cover 12 hectares with 9 hectares being in current production. The soil is composed of deep gravel and the vines have an average age of 35 years.
The 2016 Lamothe-Bouscaut rouge is 55% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc & Malbec.
After a manual harvest the grapes are fermented in thermo-regulated stainless steel tanks followed by ageing in oak barrels for 12-15 months.
Deep red colour in appearance, the nose is very attractive and expressive with lots of black fruit, liquorice and spicy aromas. The palate is full and rounded with layers of ripe fruit, hints of cedar and soft, supple tannins.
A 21 hectare property at St-Sulpice-de-Faleyrens on the hillside to the south west of the town of St.Émilion. In recent years new owners (the Escure family) and significant investment has allowed the property to improve and it is now producing very sound wines at sensible prices.
Predominantly Merlot (80%) with 10% each of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine is dark purple/red in the glass with a nose full of ripe plum and prune notes with hints of cedar wood and spice. The palate is round and fleshy with flavours of bramble and plum supported by gentle tannins.
This fine right bank property has been in the Guichard family since 1832 and at 46 hectares (110 acres), situated next to the Pomerol plateau, it is the largest estate in Lalande. The imposing château is surrounded by parkland and vineyards. The soils are a mixture of gravel and clay.
80% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc & 5% Malbec.
After a traditional fermentation the wine is aged for 12 months in French oak, 15% of which is new.
Dark in appearance the nose is richly perfumed and very enticing. The palate is full and generous with plenty of ripe fruit – cherry and blackcurrant- and gentle tannic strucure – very attractive and approachable claret.
Run today by Claire Villars Lurton, daughter of the late Bernadette Villars, this has become one of Margaux’s best Cru Bourgeois.
The vineyards are situated just to the west of Château Margaux and cover 10 hectares. They are dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon (60%) with a lesser quantity of Merlot (35%) and a splash (5%) of Petit Verdot. The vines have an average age of 35 years.
The harvest is manual with careful grape selection both in the vineyards and at the winery. Fermentation, in stainless steel vats takes about three weeks followed by ageing for 12 months in oak barriques, 25% of which are new.
Châtea La Gurgue combines elegance with concentration giving wines with excellent fruit – blackcurrants and blackberries – supported by polished oak and gentle tannins.
This small property (3.8ha) produces textbook Pomerol.
100% Merlot from 40 year old vines planted in iron rich, sandy soils.
The grapes are picked by hand making several passes through the vineyards only picking the bunches at peak ripeness. A further sorting of the fruit takes place at the winery followed by fermentation in small, temperature-controlled, stainless steel vats. The wine is then transferred to oak barrels for the malo-lactic fermentation followed by 14 months ageing.
Deep purple/red in appearance, the nose is full and rich with red and black fruit aromas. The palate is lush and rounded with layered black fuit flavours, a full, textured mouthfeel and gentle supporting tannins.
A very reliable Cru Bourgeois property, Château Caronne Ste. Gemme is located in the Haut-Médoc adjacent to St.Julien. Owned by Jean and Francois Nony, the property consists of 45 hectares of vineyards and produces over 20,000 cases a year.
Caronne Ste. Gemme 2012 is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot. The wine is fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel before being transferred for maturation in oak barriques (20% of which are new, the rest being 2nd or 3rd fill) for 12 months.
A rich nose of red fruit, cedar and spices leads on to a palate that is full and rounded with soft tannins and flavours of red fruits, vanilla, a hint of smoke and subtle oak. A lovely claret from a splendid Bordeaux vintage.
**An Impériale – 6 litres, or the equivalent of 8 bottles – in an individual, branded wooden box.**
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