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Chateau Haut-Marbuzet 2004

Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Estephe, Bordeaux, France
  • WS89
0% ABV
  • W&S93
  • WS91
  • RP92
  • WS91
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Winemaker Notes

Aged in oak barrels renewed each vintage, château Haut-Marbuzet draws from these casks a perfumed unctuousness which attenuates the traditional virility of the wines of Saint-Estèphe. They are therefore charming as soon as they have been bottled, but given time to age, achieve the subtlety bestowed by the essence of the terroir.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 89
Wine Spectator
Very attractive aromas of crushed berries and cinnamon follow through to a medium body, with fine tannins and a caressing finish. Refined and pretty. Hard not to drink now. Best after 2010. 30,000 cases made.
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Chateau Haut-Marbuzet

Chateau Haut-Marbuzet

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Chateau Haut-Marbuzet, St. Estephe, Bordeaux, France
Magnificently exposed facing the Gironde, château Haut-Marbuzet, as its name implies, is situated in Marbuzet, a hillside of long-standing renown for the quality of the wine it produces. Its vineyard is planted on a marvelous crest of Günz gravel over a clayey-limestone subsoil amply run through with veins of iron found in its reduced form. Aged in oak barrels renewed each vintage, château Haut-Marbuzet draws from these casks a perfumed unctuousness which attenuates the traditional virility of the wines of Saint-Estèphe. They are therefore charming as soon as they have been bottled, but given time to age, achieve the subtlety bestowed by the essence of the terroir.

St. Estephe

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Deeply colored, concentrated, and distinctive, St. Estephe is the go-to for great, age-worthy and reliable Bordeaux reds. Separated from Pauillac merely by a stream, St. Estephe is the farthest northwest of the highest classed villages of the Haut Medoc and is therefore subject to the most intense maritime influence of the Atlantic.

St. Estephe soils are rich in gravel like all of the best sites of the Haut Medoc but here the formation of gravel over clay creates a cooler atmosphere for its vines compared to those in the villages farther downstream. This results in delayed ripening and wines with higher acidity compared to the other villages.

While they can seem a bit austere when young, St. Estephe reds prove to live very long in the cellar. While dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, many producers now add a significant proportion of Merlot to the blend, which will soften any sharp edges of the more tannic, Cabernet.

The St. Estephe village contains two second growths, Chateau Montrose and Cos d’Estournel.

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/or 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 can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can 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, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

VCJBWP_1066_04_2004 Item# 101829