Chateau Balestard La Tonnelle (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2005
Bordeaux Red Blends from St-Emilion, Bordeaux, France
The wine is fermented the traditional way and aged in oak barrels, half of which are new each year. Balestard la Tonnelle is a full-bodied and exquisitely elegant wine, one of the finest grands crus in Saint-Émilion.
Connoisseurs' Guide - "Big, ripe and rich in a way the reflects both the vintage and the new Bordeaux model, this bottling begins with a classic St. Emilion nose of ripe cherries, tobacco and roasted herbs and follows with like-minded flavors that show plenty of ripeness and extract. Supple in front and fairly tannic in back, it extends very well at finish, and, even if too tough to drink anytime soon, it has the stuffing to develop for six to ten years."
Chateau Balestard La Tonnelle Winery
This magnificent estate of 10.6 hectares, ideally located on the edge of the village of Saint-Emilion, derives its name from a clergyman, Canon Balestard. The "Tonnelle" that stands in the heart of the vineyard was formerly an observation tower during the 15th century and has since become the symbol of this property.
François Villon mentions the wine of Balestard in his famous poem, written too in the 15th century, and as a testimonial of this historical acclaim the verse still appears on our labels.
Generous, exquisitely delicate, Balestard la Tonnelle is one of Saint-Emilion's finest Great Classified Growths. View all Chateau Balestard La Tonnelle Wines
About St-EmilionView a map of St-Emilion wineries (saint eh-meel-YOHN)
A region named after the charming, quaint historical town in Bordeaux, St-Émilion is situated on the right bank of Bordeaux. It's grapes of choice are Merlot and Cabernet Franc (called Bouchet on the right bank). The region has its own classification system, updated and revised every few years. Two of the hottest chateaux of the area (and the only Premier Grand Cru Classé A) are Chateau Ausone and Chateau Cheval Blanc.
St.-Émilion produces the most wine on the right bank of Bordeaux. As most of its wine is based primarily on Merlot, St-Emilion wines are described as having finesse and elegance. The best wine of the region can last upward of 10-20 years, like a good left-banker, but many find that the wines here matuer earlier than those based on Cabernet Sauvignon. The soils in the area differ greatly, from gravel to limestone to clay and sand. As a result, the wines of this region are diverse. Quality wines display silky tannins and ripe, soft fruit – the higher quality wine showing full-bodied texture and layers of complexity.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.