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Chateau Charmail 2004

Bordeaux Red Blends from Haut Medoc, Bordeaux, France
  • RP89
0% ABV
  • RP92
  • JS92
  • JS91
  • JS91
  • RP90
  • WE90
  • JS90
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0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

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.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 89
Robert Parker's 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.
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Chateau Charmail

Chateau Charmail

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Chateau Charmail, Haut Medoc, Bordeaux, France
2004
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.

Haut Medoc

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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/or 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 can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can 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, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

VCJBWP_1057_04_2004 Item# 101629

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