This Single Vineyard wine is made from a single hectare on 'Astéries' (rock limestone) soil between Château Fonroque and Clos Fourtet. The vines survived the frost of 1956 and are up to eighty years old. ‘Panachéed' in the old style (merlot interspersed with cabernet franc to ensure easy blending in the days before pumps) they are cropped down to four bunches per vine to reflect the 'terroir' of the parcel.
Unlike most of the wines of the Château, Les Astéries exhibits a strain of minerality that emphasises the 'rock' like sub-soil.
The wine is pure vineyard rather than a 'winemaker's' wine. Huge colour, high extraction of black fruits, totally hedonistic palate but almost Saint-Estèphe grip on the finish, fresh and very, very long.
"Part of the garagiste efforts from Jonathan Malthus, Les Asteries is a blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc. The dense ruby/purple-tinged 2005 reveals spicy, oaky aromas intermixed with scents of chocolate, blackberries, espresso roast, and graphite. This thick, juicy, modern-styled St.-Emilion offers impressive concentration, purity, and depth in its flamboyant personality. Very impressive! Anticipated maturity: 2013-2025"
The Wine Advocate
"Bright ruby. Complex nose melds black raspberry, tobacco, minerals, smoke, espresso, cinnamon, licorice and nutty oak. The palate offers an almost syrupy intensity of sweet fruits, with complicating notes of minerals and game and excellent definition. Dense, broad and sexy wine, finishing with excellent length. On this tasting, this was my favorite 2005 from the Jonathan Maltus portfolio, which also includes Teyssier, Grand Destieux, Laforge, Le Carre and Le Dome."
International Wine Cellar
"Dark purple in color, with aromas of tar, licorice and ripe fruit. Full-bodied, with velvety tannins and a mineral, blackberry and light toasty oak finish. Extracted, but should come around with bottle age. Best after 2014. 300 cases made."