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Chateau Giscours 2011

Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaux, Bordeaux, France
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
Power and ripeness walk hand-in-hand with this major player. The wine is opulent and extracted with flavors of rich blackberry fruits, but shows a firmness in tannins and dense texture. Drink from 2018 and it's sure to be a great success. Cellar Selection
D 94
Decanter
Well defined, intense black fruits on the nose are a little reserved, but I like the depth to the fruit on the palate. There's definitely a lot to like here, with the generous liquorice and chocolate you often find in Giscours along with firm, brambly black fruit flavours and the elegant freshness of the vintage. It's nearly ready to drink, generous in feel if not hugely full-throttle compared to the 2009 and 2010. I would suggest leaving those two vintages for another few years and instead look at this, with a good carafing first. 3% Petit Verdot makes up the blend.
JS 92
James Suckling
This is so beautiful now. It's full-bodied with tight and compressed tannins and fruit. Long and intentional. Savory and juicy finish. Drink or hold.
WS 91
Wine Spectator
Offers a solid core of violet, plum, red licorice, currant paste and sanguine notes that fill out steadily through the fleshy finish. A mesquite hint lurks in the background and should emerge more with cellaring, as there's ample stuffing in reserve here. Best from 2016 through 2027.
RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Tasted at the Château Giscours vertical, the 2011 Château Giscours is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot, picked between September 8 and October 1. It offers more fruit intensity than the 2012 and I find more Margaux florality here. It would benefit from more delineation, but there is decent delineation here. The palate is medium-bodied with supple ripe tannin on the entry, red cherry and raspberry fruit intermingling with cedar and tobacco notes. It feels a little conservative on the finish and needs more finesse, but it is a commendable contribution to the vintage. Tasted June 2015.
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Chateau Giscours

Chateau Giscours

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Chateau Giscours, Margaux, Bordeaux, France
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Located on a beautiful 300 hectare estate, the 83 hectare Giscours vineyard is located in the famous Margaux appellation. Though the estate was first mentioned in a document dating back to 1330, it was not until 1847 that Count de Pescatore laid the cornerstone of the remarkable château that now overlooks the vines. Giscours' quality was confirmed by its inclusion as a Third Growth in the 1855 classification.

The estate was purchased by Nicolas Tari after World War II. He made major investments in modernizing Giscours. In 1995, Eric Albada Jelgersma acquired the right to grow vines and make wine on the estate. He continues to lavish the care and attention that are necessary to maintain Giscours' standing as a world-famous great growth.

Silky, seductive and polished are the words that characterize the best wines from Margaux, the most inland appellation of the Médoc on the Left Bank of Bordeaux.

Margaux’s gravel soils are the thinnest of the Médoc, making them most penetrable by vine roots—some reaching down over 23 feet for water. The best sites are said to be on gentle outcrops, or croupes, where more gravel facilitates good drainage.

The Left Bank of Bordeaux subscribes to an arguably outdated method of classification but it is nonetheless important in regards to history of the area. In 1855 the finest chateaux were deemed on the basis of reputation and trading price—at that time. In 1855, Chateau Margaux achieved first growth status, yet it has been Chateau Palmer (officially third growth from the 1855 classification) that has consistently outperformed others throughout the 20th century.

Chateau Margaux in top vintages is capable of producing red Cabernet Sauvignon based wines described as pure, intense, spell-binding, refined and profound with flavors and aromas of black currant, violets, roses, orange peel, black tea and incense.

Other top producers worthy of noting include Chateau Rauzan-Ségla, Lascombes, Brane-Cantenac, and d’Issan, among others.

The best wines of Margaux combine a deep ruby color with a polished structure, concentration and an unrivaled elegance.

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.

CVY4035B1_2011 Item# 217604