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Chateau Monbousquet (1.5 Liter Futures Pre-Sale) 2016

Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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  • RP92
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Blend: 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon

Critical Acclaim

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WS 96
Wine Spectator
This is packed with fig, boysenberry and raspberry fruit flavors that keep cascading over one another while enticing anise and plum cake notes fill in throughout. Gorgeous mouthfeel, with a creamy, rounded edge, yet never giving up a generally racy and focused feel.
Barrel Sample: 93-96 Points
JS 95
James Suckling
This is very layered and firm with beautiful tannins and richness. Full-bodied, tight and spicy with lovely depth. Refined and pretty.
Barrel Sample: 94-95 Points
WE 95
Wine Enthusiast
The home of Pavie owner Gerard Perse is on the Saint-Emilion plain, classified as a Grand Cru Classé in a recent re-classification of Saint-Emilion estates. This wine is richly concentrated, powered by both fruit and tannins in equal quantities. It should age well over the long term.
Barrel Sample: 93-95 Points
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2016 Monbousquet is a blend of 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon cropped at 38 hectoliters per hectare at 14.46% alcohol. It was picked between 6-11 October and matured in 70% new oak, the remainder one-year-old barrels. It offers an opulent but well defined bouquet of black cherries, violets and fresh fig, a little tight initially but soon unfolding in the glass. The palate is quite rich and generous on the opening with layers of blackberry and raspberry laced with graphite and a pinch of cracked black pepper. It tapers in a little towards the finish, completing a bold and assertive Monbousquet that is likely to require four or five years in bottle in order to soften those tannins. Interestingly, the sample tasted at Pavie was a little more flamboyant than the more classically styled one that I tasted elsewhere and preferred.
Barrel Sample: 90-92 Points
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Chateau Monbousquet

Chateau Monbousquet

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Chateau Monbousquet, St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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Chateau Monbousquet's origin goes back to 1540. The chateau has changed hands many times throughout the year, but there were two very significant periods in its history. From 1682 to 1826, Monbousquet was owned by the De Carles family. The chateau itself was built in 1779, and its fame grew in the 19th Century, under the short ownership of Count de Vassal-Monviel. The Count owned the estate from 1858 until 1877, enlarging the vineyard to its current size and significantly increasing production.

In 1993, Gerard Perse took ownership of Monbousquet, leading to many great accomplishments and a complete renovation, including a new drainage system, a barrel ageing cellar and state-of-the-art equipment introduced. Located 500 meters south of Saint-Emilion, the wines had ranked, for many years before Perse's time, somewhere in the middle ranges for Saint-Emilion wines. After over a decade of ownership, Monbousquet has become one of the region's leading wines.

St. Emilion

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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, Figeac, 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.

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.

BALF202471_2016 Item# 202471