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Chateau La Clotte (Futures Pre-Sale) 2018

  • JD96
  • WE95
  • RP95
  • JS94
  • D94
750ML / 0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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JD 96
Jeb Dunnuck
From an estate purchased by Ausone in 2014, the 2018 Château La Clotte looks to be a sensational wine in the making, and I think it’s probably going to surpass both the 2015 and 2016. A blend of 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Cabernet Franc, this deeply colored Saint-Émilion offers a smoky, blackcurrant, black cherry, and graphite-driven bouquet. This carries to a medium to full-bodied red that has a stacked mid-palate, tons of ripe, sexy fruit, building tannins, and a great finish. It’s a brilliant Saint-Émilion that’s going to need short-term cellaring but will cruise in cool cellars for two decades or more.
Barrel Sample: 94-96+
WE 95
Wine Enthusiast
A small percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in this blend makes a potent difference to a wine that already has great spice and structure. It is a powerful wine from an estate that continues to develop under Ausone's Vauthier family portfolio.
Barrel Sample: 93-95
RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2018 La Clotte is made up of 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc. Deep purple-black in color, it leaps from the glass with gregarious scents of crushed blueberries, Morello cherries and black raspberries with touches of oolong tea, violets, mocha and cigar box plus a waft of cedar. Full-bodied with a solid frame of fine-grained tannins and oodles of freshness, it is packed with vibrant black and blue fruits layers, finishing long with great purity.
Barrel Sample: 93-95+
JS 94
James Suckling
A tight and firm red with dark berries and wet earth. Medium-bodied, racy and bright. Shows tension and structure for the vintage.
Barrel Sample: 93-94
D 94

As the Vauthier influence continues to be felt, this is definitely a wine to watch this year. It's a powerful wine with this juicy, seductive texture to the fruit that you see in so many of the best wines in 2018. It's fleshy and brambly, with finely tuned tannins and gorgeous lift through the finish. Drinking Window 2026 - 2040. Barrel Sample: 94

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Chateau La Clotte

Chateau La Clotte

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Chateau La Clotte, France
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The land of this family-owned vineyard has been farmed for at least six generations. Over the course of the twentieth century, the great-grandparents and then the grandparents of current owner Régis Chaigne tended the land and the vines. Régis's father modernized the winemaking equipment and the wine was bottled on the estate for the first time in 1975.

Since 1992, Régis has continued to develop the vineyard. He has bought additional plots of land, he has developed sales, he has further modernized the winery and he has built a team up around him. He aims to develop the reputation of his estate via the internet and social media and also through the numerous competitions he enters, which have seen him and his wines win a great many medals and other prizes.

The estate covers 20 ha of the Entredeux-Mers, straddling the villages of St. Laurent du Bois, St. Martial and St. Pierre de Bat. The soil is made of chalk and clay.

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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.

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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.

MCYF520486_2018 Item# 520486

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