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Chateau de France (Futures Pre-Sale) 2016

Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
  • WE95
  • WS94
0% ABV
  • WE95
  • JS92
  • WS90
  • WE96
  • JS91
  • WW90
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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WE 95
Wine Enthusiast
This is a big, bold wine, ripe with sweet tannins that balance the generous black currant fruitiness. The dense texture offers pleasant concentration, and the wine shows good aging potential.
Barrel Sample: 93–95 Points
WS 94
Wine Spectator
Alluring, with a ganache note weaving amid the warm tar and steeped blackberry and black currant paste flavors. Has weight in addition to juicy energy. Well done.
Barrel Sample: 91-94 Points
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Chateau de France

Chateau de France

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Chateau de France, Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
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The Chateau de France was built on the foundations of an ancient manor house underneath which still remains its original arched cellars. The cellars and the house date to the end of the 17th century and were constructed by Philippe Decoud.

Chateau de France boasts all three of the territorial conditions needed to create a "Grand Vin": the soil, the sub-soil and the slopes. Its 40 hectares of vineyards, 36 of which are planted with red grapes, spread out over the most elevated plateau of Léognan.

The Chateau de France currently grows 4 hectares of white grapes. Bernard Thomassin redevelopped this forgotten vineyard in 1985, planting it with Sauvignon and Sémillon grapes, thereby reclaiming the tradition of the land for producing both red and white wines

Pessac-Leognan

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Recognized for its superior reds as well as whites, Pessac-Léognan on the Left Bank claims classified growths for both—making it quite unique in comparison to its neighboring Médoc properties.

Pessac’s Chateau Haut-Brion, the only first growth located outside of the Médoc, is said to have been the first to conceptualize fine red wine in Bordeaux back in the late 1600s. The estate, along with its high-esteemed neighbors, La Mission Haut-Brion, Les Carmes Haut-Brion, Pique-Caillou and Chateau Pape-Clément are today all but enveloped by the city of Bordeaux. The rest of the vineyards of Pessac-Léognan are in clearings of heavily forested area or abutting dense suburbs.

Arid sand and gravel on top of clay and limestone make the area unique and conducive to growing Sémillon and Sauvignon blanc as well as the grapes in the usual Left Bank red recipe: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and miniscule percentages of Petit Verdot and Malbec.

The best reds will show great force and finesse with inky blue and black fruit, mushroom, forest, tobacco, iodine and a smooth and intriguing texture.

Its best whites show complexity, longevity and no lack of exotic twists on citrus, tropical and stone fruit with pronounced floral and spice characteristics.

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.

LGCF202311_2016 Item# 202311