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Chateau Monbousquet 1995

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750ML / 0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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WS 92
Wine Spectator
Immediate gratification in a bottle. Dark in color, with loads of coffee, tobacco, grilled meat and fruit aromas. Full-bodied and very velvety, with a long, smoky berry aftertaste.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Although similar to the 1996, the 1995's fruit is more accessible, and while the tannin is elevated, it is buffered by lower acidity, as well as more glycerin and fat. The 1995 offers an opaque purple color, and a glorious nose of new oak, spice, and abundant black fruits. This full-bodied, super-extracted, multi-layered wine must be tasted to be believed - especially for readers who remember Monbousquet as the soft, innocuous, commercially-styled St.-Emilion it was for many decades. The 1995 has more accessibility than its blockbuster younger sibling, but it still requires 4-5 years of cellaring. Anticipated maturity: 2003-2022.
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Chateau Monbousquet

Chateau Monbousquet

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Chateau Monbousquet, 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.

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St-Émilion

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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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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.

LSB210353_1995 Item# 210353