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Chateau Marsau (Futures Pre-Sale) 2016

Bordeaux Red Blends from Cotes de Francs, Bordeaux, France
  • JS94
  • WS93
  • WE90
0% ABV
  • JS93
  • D91
  • WS90
  • RP90
  • WE92
  • JS90
  • JS91
  • JS92
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Pre-sale: Ships after 10/31/2019
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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JS 94
James Suckling
This is a rich and dense Marsau and probably the best ever. Full body and a wonderful depth of fruit and chocolate. Love the texture and intensity. Shows sophistication.
Barrel Sample: 93-94 Points
WS 93
Wine Spectator
This sports a fleshy feel, with warm plum and cassis notes supported by a fresh chalky spine. Shows good energy through the finish. Sneakily long.
Barrel Sample: 90-93 Points
WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
This wine is richly spicy and refreshingly juicy. Fine tannins give the wine its structure while leaving the beautiful fruit right up front. This will be ready from 2025.
Barrel Sample: 88–90 Points
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Chateau Marsau

Chateau Marsau

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Chateau Marsau, Cotes de Francs, Bordeaux, France
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Just a few kilometres east of Saint Emilion, in the historical village of Francs, the Chateau Marsau vines command one of the highest reaches of the Côtes de Bordeaux-Francs appellation. Here, in this prized location covering just a few hectares, on gentle, southfacing slopes, the Marsau vines penetrate deep into the red and grey clay soils, guaranteeing a constant supply of water to the vineyard. Merlot, which has become a symbol of the right bank, is the only grape variety cultivated on these quite remarkable clay soils. The vines are rigorously selected for their suitability to the terroir and their ability to cope with restricted yields, which promote even grape ripening in optimum growing conditions.

At Marsau, given the relatively modest size of the vineyard, meticulous and painstaking vineyard management is carried out throughout the growing period, tailored specifically to each vine. Winemaking techniques are applied selectively, tailored to each individual vineyard block and take into consideration the specific nature of the vintage. The objective is to harness the natural concentration of the fruit, and in so doing, reveal the most expressive and distinctive character of the terroir and grape variety. The wines are aged in French oak barrels in separate batches, to retain the individual identity of each parcel.

Cotes de Francs

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On the right bank of Bordeaux between St. Emilion and Bergerac, Cotes de Francs boasts southwestern exposed slopes that produce robust Merlot-based wines. A tiny amount of Sémillon is grown and made in both dry and sweet styles.

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.

CVBF202216_2016 Item# 202216