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Chateau d'Aiguilhe Cotes de Castillon 2001

Bordeaux Red Blends from Bordeaux, France
  • WS90
0% ABV
  • RP91
  • RP92
  • WS91
  • WS92
  • RP92
  • RP89
  • WS91
  • RP90
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Winemaker Notes

"A blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, the 2001 exhibits a deep ruby/purple color to the rim as well as a sumptuous bouquet of spice box, licorice, black currants, and loamy, earthy characteristics. Made in a suave, savory style, with medium body, sweet tannin, ripe fruit, and loads of balance as well as elegance, this beauty will drink well for 10+ years. It is a sleeper of the vintage. This large estate is owned by Stephan von Neipperg, who hired guru winemaking consultant Stephane Derenoncourt to make the wine."
-Wine Advocate

Stephan von Neipperg has now decided to leave his mark on Château d'Aiguilhe, one of the finest vineyards in the Côtes de Castillon. Château d'Aiguilhe is located off the beaten track, quite a distance from the usual wine trail. The château ruins bear witness to the Castillon region's long history.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 90
Wine Spectator
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Chateau d'Aiguilhe

Château d'Aiguilhe

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Château d'Aiguilhe, Bordeaux, 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 Château d'Aiguilhe, one of the finest vineyards in the Côtes de Castillon. Château 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.

Bordeaux

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One of the most important wine regions of the world, Bordeaux is a powerhouse producer of wines of all colors, sweetness levels, and price points. Separated from the Atlantic Ocean by a coastal pine forest, this relatively flat region has a mild maritime climate, marked by cool wet winters and warm summers. Annual weather differences create significant vintage variations, making Bordeaux an exciting region to follow.

The Gironde estuary, a defining feature of Bordeaux, separates most of the region into the Left Bank and the Right Bank. Farther inland, where the Gironde splits into the Garonne and Dordogne Rivers, the bucolic, rolling hills of the area in between, called Entre-Deux-Mers, is a source of great quality, approachable reds and whites.

The Left Bank, dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, contains the Médoc, Graves, and Sauternes, as well as the region’s most famous chateaux. Merlot is important here as the perfect blending grape for Cabernet Sauvignon adding plush fruit and softening Cabernet's sometimes hefty tannins. Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec may also be used in the Left Bank blends.

Merlot is the principal variety of the Right Bank; Cabernet Franc adds structure and complexity to Merlot, creating wines that are concentrated, supple, and more imminently ready for drinking, compared with their Left Bank counterparts. Key appellations of the Right Bank include St. Emilion and Pomerol.

Dry and sweet white wines are produced throughout the region from Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, and sometimes Muscadelle or Sauvignon Gris. Some of the finest dry whites can be found in the the Graves sub-appellation of Pessac-Léognan, while Sauternes is undisputedly the gold standard for sweet wines. Small amounts of rosé and sparkling wine are made in Bordeaux as well.

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.

WWH351DA012_2001 Item# 76643