Chateau Kirwan  2016 Front Label
Chateau Kirwan  2016 Front LabelChateau Kirwan  2016 Front Bottle Shot

Chateau Kirwan 2016

  • WE95
  • D93
  • JS92
  • WW91
  • WS90
  • RP90
  • JD90
750ML / 14% ABV
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750ML / 14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Blend: 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WE 95
Wine Enthusiast
This big, rich wine offers dense tannins as well as sumptuous black fruits. Fruit and acidity come together to create a wine with both richness and juicy blackplum flavors. Drink this powerful wine from 2025.
Editors' Choice
D 93
Decanter
This is not generous but is hugely concentrated and opens with a Margaux floral flourish. Damson and cassis are joined by a shot of freshness on the well constructed palate. The tannins are a little overly tight on the finish - you can feel the juice slightly strangled by them - but it's clearly a wine that's built to last. 4% Petit Verdot rounds out the blend.
JS 92
James Suckling
There’s fragrant charm here with purple flowers and a swathe of ripe, juicy dark berries. This has a firmish overall feel with sturdy tannins, driving ripe and fresh, red and dark berries long. The oak is very nicely played.
WW 91
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
COMMENTARY: While I have enjoyed Kirwan through the years, the 2016 vintage seems to have taken another step up in its performance. TASTING NOTES: This wine is bright and lively. Its aromas and flavors of red currants and chalk should pair it well with an eye of the round roast wrapped with crisp bacon. (Tasted: January 25, 2019, San Francisco, CA)
WS 90
Wine Spectator
Bright damson plum, bitter cherry and rose petal notes lead the way in this fresh and focused version, with light rooibos tea and mineral accents underlining the silky, elegant finish. Sneaky long too. Best from 2021 through 2031.
RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Kirwan is scented of red plums, cassis, redcurrants, earth and cigar box. The palate is medium-bodied, lean, chewy and lively with an earthy finish.
JD 90
Jeb Dunnuck
One of the more finesse-driven examples of this cuvée that I can remember, the 2016 Château Kirwan offers up a medium ruby color to go with notes of smoke tobacco, gravelly minerality, graphite, and sweet cassis fruit. Medium-bodied, elegant and supple, if not a touch lean, it’s not a blockbuster but has outstanding purity and notable elegance. Drink it over the coming 15 years or so.
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Chateau Kirwan

Chateau Kirwan

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Chateau Kirwan, France
Chateau Kirwan Winery Image
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.

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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.

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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.

Tasting Notes for Bordeaux Blends

Bordeaux Blends are dry, red wines and generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, black cherry plum, graphite, cedar and violet. 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.

Perfect Food Pairings for Bordeaux Blends

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 Secrets for Bordeaux Blends

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.

JOAF153288_2016 Item# 153288

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