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Chateau d'Issan 2009

Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaux, Bordeaux, France
  • RP93
  • WS91
  • WE91
0% ABV
  • JS97
  • WE96
  • RP95
  • WE95
  • JS95
  • RP95
  • WE95
  • JS94
  • D94
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A strong effort from proprietor Emmanuel Cruse, d’Issan’s 2009 was fashioned from minuscule yields of 18 hectoliters per hectare, and its 13.7% natural alcohol set a record at this estate. Composed of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon and 38% Merlot, it exhibits a classic Margaux fragrance of acacia flowers/violets, blueberries, cassis, licorice and camphor. Opulent and full-bodied with silky tannins as well as a rich, dense style, it will be interesting to compare the 2009 with the brilliant 2000 and 2005 over the next two to three decades. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2035+.
WS 91
Wine Spectator
A taut but fresh style, with plum skin, mesquite and mineral notes running along. There's a solid core of steeped blackberry fruit in reserve, and the perfumy finish has latent grip. Best from 2013 through 2023.
WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
The wine has a rustic edge, over very juicy fruit, very blackcurrant, and with a high acid content. It feels light.–R.V.
Barrel Sample: 89-91 Points
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Chateau d'Issan

Chateau d'Issan

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Chateau d'Issan, , France - Bordeaux
Chateau d'Issan
The present-day chateau (surrounded by a moat) was constructed in the 17th Century; like so many Bordeaux estates, it was essentially in ruins after the First World War. Acquired by the Cruse winemaking family in the 1950's, the vineyards were extensively replanted and the estate restored to its former glory. It was declared a Third Growth Grand Cru in the 1855 Bordeaux classification.

Cote Rotie

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The cultivation of vines here began with Greek settlers who arrived in 600 BC. Its proximity to Vienne was important then and also when that city became a Roman settlement but its situation, far from the negociants of Tain, led to its decline in more modern history. However the 1990s brought with it a revival fueled by one producer, Marcel Guigal, who believed in the zone’s potential. He, along with the critic, Robert Parker, are said to be responsible for the zone’s later 20th century renaissance.

Where the Rhone River turns, there is a build up of schist rock and a remarkable angle that produces slopes to maximize the rays of the sun. Cote Rotie remains one of the steepest in viticultural France. Its varied slopes have two designations. Some are dedicated as Côte Blonde and others as Côte Brune. Syrahs coming from Côte Blonde are lighter, more floral, and ready for earlier consumption—they can also include up to 20% of the highly scented Viognier. Those from Côte Brune are more sturdy, age-worthy and are typically nearly 100% Syrah. Either way, a Cote Rotie is going to have a particularly haunting and savory perfume, expressing a more feminine side of the northern Rhone.

Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by unmistakable aromatics, a savory palate, and an elegant texture, Syrah is capable of producing fascinatingly complex and long-lived wines with a stunning purple hue. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah’s best examples are found in Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie. It is also an important component of the GSM blends of the Southern Rhône and beyond, alongside Grenache and Mourvèdre. Both varietal Syrah and GSM blends are common in Australia and California and are gaining popularity in Washington State. In Australia, Syrah is known by the synonym Shiraz, which tends to indicate a bolder, fruit-driven style of wine, and is occasionally blended with Cabernet Sauvignon for added depth and structure.

In the Glass

At its best, Syrah shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper, smoke, and even bacon fat. Many examples from California aim to recreate this savory style, while others focus more on concentrated fruit flavors. In Australia, under the name Shiraz, it shines as that country’s unofficial signature red grape, producing deep, dark, intense, and often jammy reds.

Perfect Pairings

Cool-climate Syrah, with its peppery spices, is a natural match with flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb dishes, where the spice is more about flavor than heat. With Australian Shiraz, grown in warmer regions, heavy meat dishes with abundant protein and fat are a necessity to match the intensity of the wine.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” this synonym for Syrah has been adopted by winemakers throughout the world. If the label says “Shiraz,” you can typically expect a plush, fruity, and potent wine made in the Australian style. New World "Syrah" will generally more closely resemble the French style.

VCNCAPM_1063_09_2009 Item# 111800

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