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Chateau de Carles 2009

Bordeaux Red Blends from Fronsac, Bordeaux, France
  • WS90
0% ABV
  • JS92
  • RP91
  • WS91
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0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Constance and Stéphane Droulers, driven by the desire to create a prestige wine capable of rivalling with the finest of Bordeaux wines, launched Haut-Carles in 1994. It is the quintessential wine of the Domaine de Carles. Elaborated and matured to haute couture standards, in mostly all-new oak barrels, it enjoys a tightly-woven structure and entices with its opulence and suavity.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 90
Wine Spectator
This has a nice mix of dark pepper, tobacco and singed iron notes embedded in a core of crushed, more flattering plum and blackberry fruit. Chalky grip hangs on the finish. Best from 2013 through 2021.
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Chateau de Carles

Chateau de Carles

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Chateau de Carles, Fronsac, Bordeaux, France
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Stephane Droulers, married to Constance Chastenet de Castaing, has been at the helm of the property, alongside her, since 1983. Concurrently, he is a senior managing director to the famed international investment bank, Lazard Freres. A man of passion for everything he undertakes, Stephane Droulers has put all of his professional talent behind the undying quest for the absolute quality, on which he has embarked with Carles.

They have brought back to life the property's majesty and lustre of yesteryear and now produce there one of the finest Bordeaux wines, looking ahead to the day when they will be able to pass it on, in turn, to their daughters Eleonore and Oriane.

Since 2007, he has benefited from the expertise of Jean-Luc Thunevin and Doctor Alain Reynaud, legendary figures in the Libourne region, and took on board Jean-Philippe Fort, rising oenology star at Michel Rolland’s Wine Consultancy.

Home of the very first remarkable Right Bank wines, dating back to the 1730s, Fronsac and Canon-Fronsac actually retained more fame than Pomerol well into the 19th century. Today these wines represent some of Bordeaux’s best hidden gems.

Fronsac is a very small region at an unusually high elevation compared to other Bordeaux appellations. Its vineyards unroll along the oak-dotted hills bordering the river’s edge, making it perhaps Bordeaux’s prettiest and most majestic countryside.

Merlot covers 60% of the vineyard acreage; the rest of the vines are Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. The Fronsac and Canon-Fronsac appellations are limited to the higher land where soils are predominantly limestone and sandstone. Lower vineyards along the Dordogne River mainly qualify for Bordeaux AOC status

The best Fronsac are deeply concentrated in ripe red and black berry; they have a solid mineral backbone and are rich and plush on the finish.

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.

BNDCDCAR_2009 Item# 128129