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Chateau d'Aiguilhe 2016

  • JS92
  • WS92
  • RP92
  • JD92
  • D91
750ML / 0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Blend: 85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
JS 92
James Suckling
This is very precise with dark-berry, sandalwood and light chocolate character. Just a hint of sweet fruit and wet earth. Medium body, firm tannins and a pretty finish. Drinkable, but better in 2021.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
Juicy loganberry and black currant fruit forms an inviting core, while light bay, tobacco and violet notes fill in around the fruit. Offers a fleshy edge but keeps an emphasis on cut and drive through the finish.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2016 Chateau d'Aiguilhe is a blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc picked from 30 September until 18 October, matured in 30% new oak. It has a warm and sensual bouquet: small macerated black cherries, blueberry and sloes, a light floral tincture emerging with time. This has a little more strictness compared to the 2015 last year. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin and good body. Sappy black fruit, a touch of spice towards the finish, and you have yourself a very fine Côtes de Castillon.
Barrel Sample: 90-92 Points
JD 92
Jeb Dunnuck
The 2016 Château d'Aiguilhe checks in as 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc brought up in 30% new barrels before being bottled with no fining. As with the white, it has brilliant limestone character as well as vibrant strawberry and black raspberry fruits, hints of violets and flowers, background oak, and medium to full-bodied richness. It’s a balanced, high-quality 2016 well worth seeking out. Drink it over the coming 15 years or so.
D 91
Decanter
This takes its time to open in the glass, slowly revealing its flavours one at a time, starting with tight, dark-fleshed brambly fruits and chocolate. Polished, glossy and vibrant.
Barrel Sample
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Chateau d'Aiguilhe

Chateau d'Aiguilhe

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Chateau d'Aiguilhe, France
Stephan von Neipperg's Saint-Emilion estates have received praise from around the world for their excellent quality. von Neipperg has also decided to leave his mark on Chateau d'Aiguilhe, one of the finest vineyards in the Côtes de Castillon. Chateau d'Aiguilhe has 65 hectares, of which 42 are devoted to producing wine. The vineyards are planted on the upper part of the slopes and thus have excellent natural drainage and sun exposure.

The estate is expertly managed by Jean-Patrick Meyrignac. It benefits from the tried and tested winegrowing methods used by Stephan von Neipperg at his Saint-Emilion estates: letting the terroir express itself fully, low yields and a very flexible approach to winemaking.

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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.

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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 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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