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Chateau Kirwan 2009

Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaux, Bordeaux, France
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13.5% ABV
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13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The nose delivers intense notes of ripe fruit, supplemented by fine notes of spices. In the mouth, it is impressive, mellow and smooth, with signs of great maturity. It has a sturdy tannic structure, which will soften with age. The freshness and the tannic structure give more length to the fleshy frame. This wine is certainly young and has considerable aging potential.

56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 13.5% Cabernet Franc, 13.5% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

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JS 94
James Suckling
This is a wine that seduces you, with its crushed blackberries and hints of dark chocolate that follow through to a full body and ultra-fine tannins with a tangy, fresh finish. Solid as a rock. Best ever from here. Try in 2019.
WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
While it has weight and richness, this is also seriously structured, a wine packed with dry tannins. The potential is all there—the sweet fruit of the vintage along with a solid texture and final acidity.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A big, powerful Margaux that should age for 20+ years, this inky purple-colored wine exhibits notes of spring flowers intermixed with blackberries, raspberries and cassis. Some lead pencil shavings and toasty oak are also present in this powerful yet at the same time very pure, textured, full-throttle Kirwan. It needs about 5-7 years of cellaring and will be among the longest-lived wines of the vintage.
Rating: 92+
WS 92
Wine Spectator
Ripe and mouthfilling, but with fresh acidity harnessing the core nicely, keeping the dark plum, blackberry and sage notes wound up, while lilac, sandalwood and black tea fill in on the finish. Shows lovely mouthfeel. Drink now through 2024. 7,000 cases made.
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Chateau Kirwan

Chateau Kirwan

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Chateau Kirwan, Margaux, Bordeaux, France
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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.

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.

WBO30082522_2009 Item# 116601