Chateau Grand Corbin-Despagne 2006
When young, the wines of Grand Corbin-Despagne are a perfect match with red meat and game. As they age, they are marvellous served with white meats and poultry.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Range: 91-92 Points
The oldest known family document is that of the baptism in 1665 of the son of Pierre Despagne, a ploughman, and Lison Raynaud. Their descendant, Louis Despagne, born in 1789, would be instrumental in creating the family’s renown.
In 1812, not far from Cheval Blanc, where Louis’s family were tenant farmers, he settled at a place called Corbin and acquired the first plots to be owned by the family. His son expanded "Crû Grand-Corbin – proprietaire Despagne", as the growth was known at the time. It was towards the end of the 19th century that the name Chateau Grand Corbin-Despagne came into existence. In the 20th century, Paul Despagne, who was an extraordinary winemaker, developed the good reputation of the growth, making wines of consistently high quality. Different generations have brought their savoir-faire and when the first official classification of the growths of Saint-Emilion took place, the estate was awarded the rank of Grand Cru Classé.
François Despagne represents today the seventh generation of the same family at this growth. As its manager, he seeks to preserve respectfully those values he has inherited from his ancestors.
Marked by its historic fortified village—perhaps the prettiest in all of Bordeaux, the St-Émilion appellation, along with its neighboring village of Pomerol, are leaders in quality on the Right Bank of Bordeaux. These Merlot-dominant red wines (complemented by various amounts of Cabernet Franc and/or Cabernet Sauvignon) remain some of the most admired and collected wines of the world.
St-Émilion has the longest history in wine production in Bordeaux—longer than the Left Bank—dating back to an 8th century monk named Saint Émilion who became a hermit in one of the many limestone caves scattered throughout the area.
Today St-Émilion is made up of hundreds of independent farmers dedicated to the same thing: growing Merlot and Cabernet Franc (and tiny amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon). While always roughly the same blend, the wines of St-Émilion vary considerably depending on the soil upon which they are grown—and the soils do vary considerably throughout the region.
The chateaux with the highest classification (Premier Grand Cru Classés) are on gravel-rich soils or steep, clay-limestone hillsides. There are only four given the highest rank, called Premier Grand Cru Classés A (Chateau Cheval Blanc, Ausone, Angélus, Pavie) and 14 are Premier Grand Cru Classés B. Much of the rest of the vineyards in the appellation are on flatter land where the soils are a mix of gravel, sand and alluvial matter.
Great wines from St-Émilion will be deep in color, and might have characteristics of blackberry liqueur, black raspberry, licorice, chocolate, grilled meat, earth or truffles. They will be bold, layered and lush.
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. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.