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Chateau Cantemerle (Futures Pre-Sale) 2016

Bordeaux Red Blends from Haut Medoc, Bordeaux, France
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Winemaker Notes

This unique soil and microclimate are reflected in the wine's personality. Cantemerle has a brilliant color, a powerful bouquet, and a soft, lively flavor. It is rare to find such refined fruitiness. This great wine can be enjoyed young, when it is charming, fruity, and marked by a vanilla taste which comes from well-integrated oak. This makes Cantemerle an ideal choice for the modern wine drinker who likes fresh tannins. However, it can also age extremely well. Fine, old vintages have impeccable class, with incomparable flavors of sheer elegance. Cantemerle therefore belongs to that rare category of the world's wines which can not only age, but also improve over several decades.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 96
Wine Enthusiast
This is another successful vintage from this estate. It is so finely structured that you notice the blackberry fruit more than the tannins, with a seam of crisp acidity throughout.
Barrel Sample: 94-96 Points
JS 95
James Suckling
Dense and chewy already with plenty of ripe tannins and bright fruit. Vivid acidity. Full body, a firm and silky texture and a flavorful finish. Lots going on. Excellent follow-up to the great 2015!
Barrel Sample: 94-95 Points
D 93
Decanter
For me this is easily one of their best ever wines, totally living up to its fifth growth billing. Lovely and juicy with excellent tension, really walking that line. Menthol, cassis and cedar are framed by well-wrought tannins that bring the whole thing together and lead onto a juicy finish. The blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot is aged in 40% new oak for 12 months, followed by a further four months in vats before bottling.
Barrel Sample
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2016 Cantemerle has a tightly wound bouquet and it never quite delivers the detail and mineralité that some of its peers have produced in this vintage. There are attractive undergrowth scents and a touch of tobacco, but it does not leap from the glass with joy. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, good depth of fruit, blackberry laced with cedar and graphite. One sample was missed a little precision, however, a second and third demonstrated much more precision and tension. My score reflects this.
Barrel Sample: 90-92 Points
WS 91
Wine Spectator
Lively cherry and bitter plum fruit streaks through, laced with fine chalky tannins. Picks up iron and savory hints on the finish.
Barrel Sample: 88-91 Points
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Chateau Cantemerle

Chateau Cantemerle

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Chateau Cantemerle, Haut Medoc, Bordeaux, France
Image of winery
Located in the southern part of Bordeaux Medoc peninsula near the villages of Macau and Ludon, Chateau Cantemerle, designated a great growth in the famous 1855 Classification, has deep gravel soil. Thanks to its unique terroir, Cantemerle produces complex, well-balanced, and refined wines.

After belonging to the Villeneuve (1579-1892) and Dubos (1892-1980) families, the chateau was acquired in 1981 by Groupe SMA, a large mutual insurance company in the construction and civil engineering sector. The estate's long history is reflected in the chateau's distinctive architecture and the magnificent grounds that surround it. Cantemerle exudes romantic charm and its wine has a magical feel to it!

Haut Medoc

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While it claims the same basic landscape as the Medoc—only every so slightly elevated above river level—the Haut Medoc is home to all of the magnificent chateaux of the Left Bank of Bordeaux, creating no lack of beautiful sites to see.

These chateaux, residing over the classed-growth cru in the villages of Margaux, Moulis, Listrac, St-Julien, Pauillac and St. Estephe are within the Haut Medoc appellation. Though within the confines of these villages, any classed-growth chateaux will most certainly claim village or cru status on their wine labels.

Interestingly, some classed-growth cru of the Haut Medoc fall outside of these more famous villages and can certainly be a source of some of the best values in Bordeaux. Deep in color, and concentrated in ripe fruit and tannins, these wines (typically Cabernet Sauvignon-based) often prove the same aging potential of the village classed-growths. Among these, the highest ranked chateaux are Chateau La Lagune and Chateau Cantemerle.

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.

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