Domaine de Courteillac – AOC Bordeaux Superiéur. 70% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. A nose full of raspberries and blueberries, fantastic colour, mellow in the mouth, soft and fruity. Owned by Dominique Meneret whose family owned the Saint Emilion Grand Cru Classé Chateau Larmande. Meneret has a long wine making history – his godparents were none other than Jean Capdemourlin, who reinstigated the Jurade de Saint Emilion and Dubois Heyliett Challon, the then owner of Chateau Ausone.
Chateau Penin – AOC Bordeaux Superiéur. 100% Merlot. A very good example – classic,full of fruit (black cherry, blackberries with mineral/earthy notes).
Chateau Clos Chaumont – AOC Cadillac/Côtes de Bordeaux. 53% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Cabernet Franc. Very well structured – it will be a great wine with food. Owned by Pieter Verbeek and Hubert de Bouard owner of Chateau Angelus is the Managing Director.
Chateau Côte Montpezat – AOC Castillon/Côtes de Bordeaux. Both the red and the white wines from this chateau are worthy of consideration. The red was soft, jammy and nicely balanced, 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet France, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. The white was very fragrant with a good long length. 40% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Semillon and interestingly, 30% Sauvignon Gris. The Semillon grape showed very well in the whites I tasted today.
Chateau Dalem – AOC Fronsac. 90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc. Gorgeous dark crimson colour with loads of fruit in the mouth and on the nose. Everything you would expect of a very good red from the Right Bank.
Chateau Haut Carles – AOC Fronsac. 90% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Malbec. A very interesting glass of wine – Jean Luc Thunevin is the consulting oenologist here.
Chateau du Gaby – AOC Canon Fronsac. I thought this was lovely. Rich ripe fruit both on the nose and in the mouth. It just shouts Drink Me! A very good example from an underestimated appellation.
Domaine de L’Eglise – AOC Pomerol. 95% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc. This showed way above some of the better known wines from this appellation. It is owned by Emile Castéja, who owns Château Batailley and Château Trotte Vieille.
Chateau Vieux Maillet – AOC Pomerol. 90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc. This offered great structure, good balance with loads of fruit and is owned by Hervé Laviale owner of Chateaux de Lussac and Franc Mayne.
Chateau Sansonnet – AOC Saint Emilion. Considering this is the second vintage for Marie-Bénédicte Lefévère, who took over the management of the estate in 2009, she has done very well indeed. Her first vintage suffered from very low yields after the hail storm last year. This is a very good wine – good in the mouth, good on the nose – fresh . . . just like its new label.
Chateau Barde Haut (AOC Saint Emilion) has produced a very nice example from a blend of 86% Merlot and 14% Cabernet Franc. Well balanced with good tannins, I think they should be most pleased with their efforts. Owned by Sylviane Garcin-Cathiard also owns Clos l’Eglise in Pomerol, Chateau Haut Bergey and Chateau Branon at Léognan.
Chateau La Commanderie. Grand Cru Saint Emilion. 80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc. Alcohol level 14%. pH 3.6. Last year if my memory is correct this was released around about 10 euros and this year it is a very good example of a wine that you could purchase on En Primeur release, lay down in your cellar for a few years and end up with a wine you can drink relatively early. It came over well on the nose, elegant and well balanced.
Chateau La Tour de By. 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot. Alcohol level 13.5%. Great colour, jammy on the nose and on the finish the jam was very evident. I think it will be a well balanced and very elegant wine. If my memory serves me correct it was released at around 11 euros a bottle last year and this will be a very good value wine.
Chateau Le Carré. Saint Emilion Grand Cru. 85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc. Very deep purple in colour. Good expression on the nose with blackberries, cocoa and hints of mint. Good fruit in the mouth. Well balanced. Owned by John Maltus who also owns Chateau Le Dôme and Chateau Teyssier.
Les Astéries. Saint Emilion Grand Cru. 83% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Franc. Alcohol level 14.65%. pH 3.46. Super colour yet again. Lots of ripe fruits on the nose with hints of chocolate and more ripe black fruits in the mouth. Very well balanced. No evidence of the alcohol. Owned by John Maltus who also owns Chateau Le Dôme and Chateau Teyssier.
Chateau d’Agassac, Cru Bourgeois, Haut Medoc. An ancient chateau dating back to feudal times in the 14th century, which rests on an even earlier site. According to local tradition, a Latin inscription indicates that d’Agassac’s underground tunnels date back to the 11th century.
Chateau Beaumont, Cru Bourgeois, Haut Medoc. Owned by the Société Grands Millésimes de France (Groupe GMF and the Japanese group Suntory) who also own Château Beychevelle.
Chateau La Cardonne, Cru Bourgeois, Medoc. Once owned by Chateau Lafite Rothschild.
Chateau Lestage, Cru Bourgeois, Listrac. The vineyards here date back to Gallo-Roman times and the imposing château was built during the 19th century.