Chateau Charmail Haut-Medoc 2004
Bordeaux Red Blends from Medoc, Bordeaux, France
This excellent Haut-Medoc, a blend of 55% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 15% Cabernet Franc, enjoys an unusually long, cold maceration, which results in a blue/black-colored wine with intense aromatics. The 2004 possesses copious fruit characteristics, medium to full body, and attractive sweetness as well as richness. Drink this sleeper of the vintage over the next decade. This consistent over-achiever usually competes with some classified growths.
The Wine Advocate - "This excellent Haut-Medoc, a blend of 55% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 15% Cabernet Franc, enjoys an unusually long, cold maceration, which results in a blue/black-colored wine with intense aromatics. The 2004 possesses copious fruit characteristics, medium to full body, and attractive sweetness as well as richness. Drink this sleeper of the vintage over the next decade. This consistent over-achiever usually competes with some classified growths. "
Chateau Charmail Winery
Built in the middle of the 19th century, Château Charmail commands a charming estate overlooking the Gironde. Surrounding the château, the vineyard is all of a piece, situated on gravel crests and at present covers some twenty hectares. It is planted to Cabernet franc and Cabernet-Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot.
Winemaking is performed by the owner, Olivier Sèze, a trained agronomist, well-versed in the latest enological methods. Indeed, in tandem with the Pauillac-based enologist, Michel Couasnon, Sèze has be-come a veritable pioneer ("maverick" might be the more accurate term) in the Médoc. Since 1991, his successful development of the technique called, "pre-fermentation, cold maceration" has roused interest through-out the Médoc, in Saint-Emilion, and even at the Institute of Enology in Bordeaux. The technique is similar to that widely employed by the Burgundian enologist, Guy Accad, although much less sulfur dioxide is used at Charmail. It results in deeply colored, "fatter" wines with softer tannins than might otherwise be the case using traditional fermentation techniques. View all Chateau Charmail Wines
About MedocView a map of Medoc wineries (MEH-dok)
Médoc is the region that encompasses the smaller appellations of Pauillac, Margaux, St.-Estèphe & St.-Julien. As a larger appellation, it contains many chateaux that are the same style of the smaller appellations, but at a smaller price. There are two regions of the Médoc – the Bas Médoc (or lower-Médoc) and the Haut Médoc (or upper-Médoc) – so given the names as the Bas Médoc is lower elevation (yet northern) and the Haut Médoc is higher elevation (but south of Bas Médoc). Most quality wines come from the Haut Médoc, although many wines carry just the appellation Médoc.
Notable FactsSituated in the Haut-Médoc, west of the river are the communes Listrac & Moulis. Between these two appellations and the river lie many Médoc chateaux producing delicious, Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines, often at a good value. Wines of the Médoc and Haut-Médoc appellation are less expensive, yet delicious, ways to experience the left bank of Bordeaux. Most are not as complex or age-worthy as those wines from the smaller communes along the riverbank, but many are great everyday wines, particularly suited for enjoying with food.
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.
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