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Chateau Alcee (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017

Bordeaux Red Blends from Cotes de Castillon, Bordeaux, France
  • WS92
  • JS92
  • RP92
0% ABV
  • JS93
  • WS91
  • RP91
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Pre-sale: Ships after 11/02/2020
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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WS 92
Wine Spectator
Fresh and pure, with a beam of blackberry and black cherry fruit inlaid with a light savory thread. A good chalky spine and bright acidity hold the finish.
Barrel Sample: 89-92
JS 92
James Suckling
This is very intensely salty with white pepper and dark fruits. Firm and linear. Lovely fruit.
Barrel Sample: 91-92
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Nicolas Thienpont’s Alcee comes from a two-part vineyard, but the section that is by La Prade didn't get frosted, and these vines were exclusively used to make this 2017 Alcee. Medium to deep garnet-purple in color, it opens with intense cassis, chocolate-covered cherries and blackberry preserves notes with touches of baking spices and lilacs. The palate is medium to full-bodied and packed with black fruits and spice layers, framed by ripe, plush tannins and finishing with impressive length.
Barrel Sample: 90-92+
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Chateau Alcee

Chateau Alcee

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Chateau Alcee, Cotes de Castillon, Bordeaux, France
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Nicolas Theinpont, a man know for reviving wineries, began working with Chateau Alcee in 2011. Starting with the 2011 vintage, he started replacing some of the vines in an effort to increase vine density. Along with their massale, selection replanting program, only sustainable, organic farming techniques are being used.

Although it is a small 6.5 hectare vineyard, it is planted to a vine density of 6,500 vines per hectare (86% Merlot and 14% Cabernet Franc). The vines have an average age of 40 years and are planted on red clay and limestone soils.

Chateau Alcee's production is small, close to 700 cases per vintage.

Cotes de Castillon

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Though the region is larger than many of its Right Bank neighbors, it is one that consistently produces high quality, well-valued red wines. In fact, Cotes de Castillon can almost be considered a geographical eastern extension of St. Emilion, producing similarly-fashioned reds based on Merlot.

Vineyards in the region’s clay, limestone and sandstone soils produce sturdy red wines. On alluvial terraces, in vineyards closer to the Dordogne River, wines tend to be more supple and fruity. In either case, a great Cotes de Castillon red will be bursting with raspberry, plum and blueberry, have an enticing bouquet of dried flowers and a finish that is plush and opulent.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

JOBF422621_2017 Item# 422621