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Chateau Labegorce (Futures Pre-Sale) 2009

Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaux, Bordeaux, France
  • WS90
  • ST90
  • RP90
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

WS 90
Wine Spectator

This has dark fruit, but comes off as sleek, with cassis, plum eau de vie, blackberry paste and fig sauce notes all seamlessly held together by light toasty structure. Drink now through 2019. 14,000 cases made.

ST 90
International Wine Cellar

Dark ruby-red. Aromatic nose shows very ripe raspberry and red cherry scents complicated by mint and bay leaf. Fresh and clean, with juicy red fruit flavors of moderate intensity. Though initially suave and light on its feet, offering attractive sweetness and good overall balance, this finishes with slightly astringent tannins. Not the last word in complexity or aging potential, but a successful wine that should offer considerable early drinking appeal. Incidentally, Chateau Labegorce-Zede, under the same ownership as Labegorce, has now been fused with the latter property. There is now a new second wine called Zede de Labegorce.
Barrel Sample: 88-90 Points

RP 90
The Wine Advocate

Showing vastly superior from bottle than it did from cask, Labegorce’s 2009 comes from a property that now includes the former estate Labegorce-Zede, which has been absorbed completely into this attractive vineyard just to the north of Chateau Margaux. They have excelled in this vintage. Dense ruby/purple, with notes of creosote, spring flowers, blueberry and blackberry fruit, this is a rich, medium to full-bodied wine with loads of character and depth. It is usually one of the better values of Bordeaux and it certainly stands out as a major sleeper of the vintage. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2025.

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Chateau Labegorce

Chateau Labegorce

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Chateau Labegorce, , France - Bordeaux
Chateau Labegorce
The origins of Labégorce lie in a large estate in the northern parts of the commune of Margaux which belonged to the Gorce (or Gorsse) family, perhaps as long ago as the 14th Century. The family were originally merchants, gradually climbing the social ladder in Bordeaux, assuming a more aristocratic standing in the community as they did so. They were still the proprietors here in the 18th Century, and documents from that time indicate that there was viticulture on the estate, the vineyards dotted between fields of wheat and pasture where cattle grazed. This was the situation at the time of the French Revolution, when like so many other estates in Bordeaux, Labégorce was divided and sold off, giving rise to three estates that still estate today. The first, that which concerns us here, is Chateau Labégorce and the second is Labégorce-Zédé, named for Pierre Zédé who acquired the estate in 1840. The third is the curiously named L'Abbé Gorsse de Gorsse, an estate long defunct as far as viticulture is concerned, but which is still clearly visible on the currently available maps of the commune. Following the break-up of the original estate the modern-day Labégorce first passed to a gentleman named Capelle, and subsequently changed hands a number of times, most recently coming into the ownership of Hubert Perrodo in 1989.

The Labégorce vineyards include three main plots, totalling 70 hectares in all, although only approximately 40 hectares are fully planted up. All three plots lie in the northernmost part of the commune. The largest plot, accounting for about two-thirds, lies just northeast of the fine chateau, which was constructed by the renowned architect Courcelles. There is a second plot around the chateau itself, accounting for about a quarter of all the Labégorce vines, while the smallest plot lies a little further north around the church in Soussans. The vines average 30 years of age, with the oldest vines, of which there are just four hectares, dating from between 1902 and 1950. More date from 1951 to 1985, whereas a quarter date from 1989 when extensive replanting took place. Vineyard practices involve careful use of chemicals, with no herbicide used at all, and yields are typically 50 hl/ha. Harvesting is by hand, and fermentation begins with a short, cold maceration followed by a temperature controlled process. Each parcel of vines, of which there are many, is vinified separately. The blend is 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Malolactic fermentation takes place in oak, 30% of which is new, where the wine spends up to fifteen months. It is fined using egg whites before bottling. The grand vin is Chateau Labégorce, and the second wine is Chateau Tour de Laroze. There is also a third wine, produced from a 4 hectare plot entitled to the Haut-Médoc appellation, called La Mouline de Labégorce

By far the largest and best-known winemaking province in Argentina...

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By far the largest and best-known winemaking province in Argentina, Mendoza is responsible for over 70% of the country’s enological output. Set in the eastern foothills of the Andes Mountains, the climate is dry and continental, presenting relatively few challenges for viticulturists during the growing season. Mendoza is divided into several distinctive sub-regions, including Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley—two sources of some of the country’s finest wines.

For many wine lovers, Mendoza is practically synonymous with Malbec, originally a Bordelaise variety brought to Argentina by the French in the mid-1800s. Here it found success and renown it never could have achieved in its homeland due to its struggle to ripen fully in finicky climates. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, and Pinot Noir are all widely planted here as well (and often blended with one another. The best white wines are made from Chardonnay, and there are excellent examples to be found as well from Torrontés, Sauvignon Blanc, and Sémillon.

Known for its big, bold flavors and supple texture...

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Known for its big, bold flavors and supple texture, Malbec is most famous for its runaway success in Argentina. However, the variety actually originates in Bordeaux, where it historically contributed color and tannin to blends but was susceptible to viticultural problems. After being nearly wiped out by a devastating frost in 1956, it was never significantly replanted, although it did flourish under the name Côt in nearby Cahors. Malbec was brought to Argentina in 1868 by a French agronomist who saw great potential for the variety in Mendoza’s hot, high-altitude landscape, but did not gain its current reputation as the national grape of Argentina until a surge in popularity in the late 20th century thanks to its easy-going drinkability.

In the Glass

Malbec typically expresses deep flavors of freshly turned earth, black fruits from berries to plums, and licorice, appropriately backed by dense, chewy tannins. In warmer, New World regions, such as Mendoza, it can be quite intense and often needs time to mellow before becoming drinkable. In the Old World, its rusticity shines, with aged examples showing dusty notes of leather and tobacco. The best examples in all regions often possess a beguiling bouquet of violets.

Perfect Parings

Malbec’s rustic character begs for flavorful dishes, like spicy grilled sausages or the classic cassoulet of France’s Southwest. South American iterations are best enjoyed as they would be in Argentina: with a thick, juicy steak.

Sommelier Secret

If you’re trying to please a crowd, Malbec is generally a safe bet. With its combination of bold flavors and soft tannins, it will appeal to basically anyone who enjoys red wine. Malbec also wins bonus points for affordability, as even the most inexpensive examples are often quite good.

VCXCAPM_1067_09_2009 Item# 104235

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