Chateau Berliquet (Futures Pre-Sale) 2018
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
A rough blend of 78% Merlot and 22% Franc made by the team at Canon (Thomas Duclos also consults here), the 2018 Château Berliquet sports a deeper purple color as well as a complex, layered style in its black raspberry, white flowers, dried earth, spice, and forest floor aromas and flavors. It's medium to full-bodied, has a rounded, expansive texture, beautiful tannins, and brilliant freshness and purity as well as a serious kick of minerality on the finish. Coming from a smaller 10-hectare terroir located on the clay and limestone soils on the upper plateau, it will spend 16 months in 45% new French oak. Tasted twice. Barrel Sample: 93-96.
A fine and fruity red with blueberries and blackberries and hints of walnuts. Medium to full body and ultra fine tannins that melt into the body of the wine. It’s muscular in some ways. Lots of potential. Punchy.
Barrel Sample: 94-95
Barrel Sample: 93-95+
A focused, restrained style, with cherry, plum and red currant notes that are carried by persistent chalky minerality. Shows a light tobacco shading throughout.
Barrel Sample: 91-94
2018 is the second vintage under Canon ownership, but the first one where they were involved throughout the growing season. This wine has an austerity that's apparent from the start, but as ever with the Canon team they don't try to smother it and instead focus on the elegant but powerful blue fruits that pull you along. The power and density reflects the higher levels of clay in the soils here compared Canon, and they have produced a really stunning wine with so much potential ahead of it. It's quite different in personality from Canon, and I hope they keep them as separate properties beyond the 2022 classification, when I guess they will have the chance to put them together. Drinking Window 2026 - 2040. Barrel Sample: 93
The name of Berliquet is one of the oldest Saint-Emilion vineyards, it is already on the cards Belleyme in 1768.
In 1829, Paguierre Berliquet been included among the 5 great wines of appellation.
The classification of 1986 allowed Berliquet to regain the place it held among the great wines of St. Emilion.
Planted on 10 hectares, Merlot and Cabernet Franc overhang the western hillside of Saint-Emilion and dive there to gently bend towards the Dordogne. The structural imprint of the limestone plateau is evident here and its potential to produce wines that are both racy, tense and elegant is undeniable. The estate adjoins the vineyard of Chateau Canon, 1st Grand Cru Classé, with which it now shares the same owner.
Since 2017, Chateau Berliquet belongs to CHANEL, already involved in Bordeaux vineyards for over twenty years in Chateau Canon, but also Chateau Rauzan-Ségla, 2nd Grand Cru Classé in Margaux.
A new stage begins for Chateau Berliquet, and a new adventure for the team of Chateau Canon who is now taking care of the property.
The ambition, again and again, is to produce just wines, reflections of their terroir, whose fabric and finesse will challenge the years.
Marked by its historic fortified village—perhaps the prettiest in all of Bordeaux, the St-Émilion appellation, along with its neighboring village of Pomerol, are leaders in quality on the Right Bank of Bordeaux. These Merlot-dominant red wines (complemented by various amounts of Cabernet Franc and/or Cabernet Sauvignon) remain some of the most admired and collected wines of the world.
St-Émilion has the longest history in wine production in Bordeaux—longer than the Left Bank—dating back to an 8th century monk named Saint Émilion who became a hermit in one of the many limestone caves scattered throughout the area.
Today St-Émilion is made up of hundreds of independent farmers dedicated to the same thing: growing Merlot and Cabernet Franc (and tiny amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon). While always roughly the same blend, the wines of St-Émilion vary considerably depending on the soil upon which they are grown—and the soils do vary considerably throughout the region.
The chateaux with the highest classification (Premier Grand Cru Classés) are on gravel-rich soils or steep, clay-limestone hillsides. There are only four given the highest rank, called Premier Grand Cru Classés A (Chateau Cheval Blanc, Ausone, Angélus, Pavie) and 14 are Premier Grand Cru Classés B. Much of the rest of the vineyards in the appellation are on flatter land where the soils are a mix of gravel, sand and alluvial matter.
Great wines from St-Émilion will be deep in color, and might have characteristics of blackberry liqueur, black raspberry, licorice, chocolate, grilled meat, earth or truffles. They will be bold, layered and lush.
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.
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.
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.