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Chateau Kirwan 2006

Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaux, Bordeaux, France
  • WE91
  • ST91
  • WS90
  • RP88
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

WE 91
Wine Enthusiast

The new wood flavors on this wine are becoming well integrated with the velvet fruit textures. The tannins are now an adjunct to the fruit, which shows fresh spice and sweetness. It is becoming a fine, balanced wine, delicate and perfumed.

ST 91
International Wine Cellar

Good ruby-red. Liqueur-like blackberry, bitter chocolate and mocha aromas are complemented by sexy oak. Supple, sweet and tactile, but with fruit currently overshadowed by notes of truffle and earth. A chewy wine with good stuffing, but the broad, toothdusting tannins call for several years of bottle aging. Range: 89-91

WS 90
Wine Spectator

There's lovely fruit in this wine, with berry, chocolate and plum aromas and flavors. Medium- to full-bodied, with silky tannins and a long finish. A very balanced Kirwan. Best from 2011 through 2016. 7,080 cases made.

RP 88
The Wine Advocate

This wine seemed more impressive from cask than it is from bottle, as the oak seems to overwhelm much of its personality, and the wine’s austere, astringent tannins are cause for concern. It is concentrated and dark ruby purple, but the oak and tannin excesses seem to suggest an uncertain future. In any event, patience is most definitely required. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2028.

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Chateau Kirwan

Chateau Kirwan

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Chateau Kirwan, , France - Bordeaux
Chateau Kirwan
Chateau Kirwan is located on the plateau of Cantenac with some of the finest gravelly soil in the Médoc. Kirwan is exquisitely elegant, well-structured and typical of the very finest in the Margaux appellation.

The vines are thinned out in order to encourage maximum concentration and ripeness in the grapes. These are hand-picked and carefully sorted before being crushed. The wine is fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats and then aged in oak barrels (35% of which are renewed every year) for 18 months.

Chateau Kirwan takes its name from the Irishman, Mark Kirwan, who owned the estate in the mid 18th century. The Schyler family has owned Kirwan since 1925.

A long and narrow valley producing flavorful red, white, and pink wines...

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A long and narrow valley producing flavorful red, white, and pink wines, the Rhône is bisected by the river of the same name and split into two distinct sub-regions—north and south. While a handful of grape varieties span the entire length of the valley, there are significant differences between the two zones in climate and geography as well as the style and quantity of wines produced. The Northern Rhône, with its continental climate and steep hillside vineyards, is responsible for a mere 5% or less of the greater region’s total output. The Southern Rhône has a much more Mediterranean climate, the aggressive, chilly Mistral wind, and plentiful fragrant wild herbs known collectively as ‘garrigue.’

In the Northern Rhône, the only permitted red variety is Syrah. In the appellations of St.-Joseph, Hermitage, Cornas, and Côte-Rôtie (where up to 20% Viognier may be co-fermented), it produces savory, peppery wines with telltale notes of olive, bacon fat, and smoke. Oily, perfumed whites are made from Viognier in Condrieu and Château-Grillet, while elsewhere only Marsanne and Roussanne are used, with the former providing body and texture and the latter lending nervy acidity. The wines of the Southern Rhône are typically blends, with the reds often based on Grenache and balanced by Syrah, Mourvèdre, and an assortment of other varieties. All three northern white varieties are used here, as well as Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Bourbelenc, and more. The best known sub-regions of the Southern Rhône are the reliable, wallet-friendly Côtes du Rhône and the esteemed Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Others include Gigondas, Vacqueyras, and rosé-only appellation Tavel.

Rhône Blends

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of spice...

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of spice, Rhône red blends originated in France’s Southern Rhône valley and have become popular in Priorat, Washington, South Australia, and California’s Central Coast. In the Rhône itself, 19 grape varieties are permitted for use, but many of these blends, are based on Grenache and supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre, earning the nickname “GSM blends.” Côtes du Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape are perhaps the best-known outposts for these wines. Other varieties that may be found in Rhône blends include Carignan, Cinsault, and Counoise.

In the Glass

The taste profile of a Rhône blend will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache, which often forms the base of these blends, is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit, a plush texture, and often high levels of alcohol. Syrah supplies darker fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy, and meaty notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume as well as body, tannin, and a healthy dose of color. New World examples will lie further along the fruit-forward end of the spectrum, while those from the Old World taste and smell much earthier, often with a “barnyard” character that is attractive to many fans of these wines.

Perfect Pairings

Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. Depending on the weight and alcohol level, these can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes—they play equally well with beef, pork, duck, lamb, or game. With their high acidity, these wines are best-matched with salty or fatty foods, and can handle the acidity of tomato sauce in pizza or pasta. Braised beef cheeks, grilled lamb sausages, or roasted squab are all fine pairings.

Sommelier Secret

Some regions like to put their own local spin on the Rhône red blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin, and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or even Tempranillo make an appearance.

WBW30066789_2006 Item# 103336

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