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Chateau La Vieille Cure 2016

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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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JS 93
A tight and linear red with such beautiful class and depth. Full body, polished tannins and a long, long finish. We will see which is better: 2015 or 2016.
Barrel Sample: 92-93 Points
V 93
The 2016 La Vieille Cure is fabulous. Racy and voluptuous in the glass, the 2016 is seriously beautiful. Raspberry jam, white chocolate, spice, leather and rose petal notes infuse this super-expressive, plush Fronsac. La Vieille Cure is a wine of real character and pedigree. I loved it.
D 93
Last year this was one of the wines of the vintage for me. It is a little more finely grained in 2016, slightly more structured and with a touch higher acidity, but still has those succulent black cherry and damson purée fruits. It also retains the twist of glamorous charred oak notes that give it punch and purpose. An excellent wine.
Barrel Sample
JD 93
From one of the top terroirs in Fronsac and made with the help of talented Jean-Luc Thunevin, the 2016 Château La Vieille Cure is 80% Merlot and 10% each of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, all aged in 50% new oak (a small part is also brought up in tank). This deep purple-colored effort got a big “Wow” in my notes and boasts a head-turning bouquet of cassis and black raspberry fruits intermixed with notes of dried flowers, vanilla bean, and leafy herbs. With remarkable purity, medium to full body, silky tannins, and a great finish, it’s a thrilling Fronsac that I suspect might be one of the best to date. Drink it over the coming 10-15 years.
RP 92
The 2016 La Vieille Cure has a deep garnet-purple color and quite a savory nose of chargrilled meats, tapenade, beef dripping and dried herbs over a core of plum preserves and Black Forest cake. Full-bodied, rich and packed with black plums and savory layers, it has a firm, velvety frame and fantastic length.
WS 91
This has a warm fruitcake note out front, backed by flavors of frankly ripe plum and boysenberry preserves and a lush, toasty finish. Has enough acidity to keep it honest, but this is on the flattering side of the ledger for sure. Drink now through 2028.
WE 90
Rich but stylish, this wine is going to be delicious. With great fruit and ripe tannins, it has power but it shows that lightly, allowing plenty of room for the acidity. Drink this wine from 2022.
Editors' Choice
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Chateau La Vieille Cure

Chateau La Vieille Cure

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Chateau La Vieille Cure, France
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With its twenty hectares in one single plot, Chateau La Vieille Cure already appears on a famous map of the Guyenne region, known as the Belleyme map, dated 1780. The vines grow on plateaux and slopes that are lucky enough to be turned to the south west. The estate runs along the River Isle at a height of 65 metres and not only drinks up the sun, but also enjoys good drainage. This situation makes the grapes that grow here generously ripe and in perfect condition.

The property has been greatly renovated since it was bought by American friends at the end of 1986, who are great Bordeaux lovers and who recognized the exceptional potential of the estate.

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Fronsac

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Home of the very first remarkable Right Bank wines, dating back to the 1730s, Fronsac and Canon-Fronsac actually retained more fame than Pomerol well into the 19th century. Today these wines represent some of Bordeaux’s best hidden gems.

Fronsac is a very small region at an unusually high elevation compared to other Bordeaux appellations. Its vineyards unroll along the oak-dotted hills bordering the river’s edge, making it perhaps Bordeaux’s prettiest and most majestic countryside.

Merlot covers 60% of the vineyard acreage; the rest of the vines are Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. The Fronsac and Canon-Fronsac appellations are limited to the higher land where soils are predominantly limestone and sandstone. Lower vineyards along the Dordogne River mainly qualify for Bordeaux AOC status

The best Fronsac are deeply concentrated in ripe red and black berry; they have a solid mineral backbone and are rich and plush on the finish.

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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.

JOF202387_2016 Item# 202387