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Chateau Prieure-Lichine (Futures Pre-sale) 2011

Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaux, Bordeaux, France
  • WE94
  • RP93
  • WS91
  • JS90
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

WE 94
Wine Enthusiast

Firm and complex, it shows both ripe fruit and weighty tannins, and is still very closed and tight. This is a powerful expression of the vintage—a wine that should age well.
Barrel Sample: 92-94 Points

RP 93
The Wine Advocate

This sexy, delicious effort is atypically fat, fleshy and opulent for a 2011. While the acidity is present, it is lower than in many Medocs. The wine displays lots of blue, red and black fruits intertwined with a floral note that provides additional complexity. Front end-loaded with a mid-palate and finish that fill out nicely, this beautifully made wine is a true sleeper of the vintage. Drink it over the next 15+ years.
Barrel Sample: 90-93 Points

WS 91
Wine Spectator

Clean and direct in profile, with polished blackberry and black currant fruit melded with a chocolate note. Stays polished through the finish, if a touch light.
Barrel Sample: 88-91 Points

JS 90
James Suckling

Blueberry and spices on the nose. Full to medium body, with chewy tannins and a medium finish. Lacks a tiny bit of a center palate.
Barrel Sample: 89-90 Points

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Chateau Prieure-Lichine

Chateau Prieure-Lichine

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Chateau Prieure-Lichine, , France - Bordeaux
Chateau Prieure-Lichine
Château Prieuré-Lichine's vast vineyard holdings (70 hectares) are located on some of the best gravelly outcrops in all five communes of the Margaux appellation. Owned by the Ballande group since June 1999, this estate is currently undergoing a major transformation in order to enhance the reputation of its superb terroir even further.

The vine density at Prieuré-Lichine is quite high, and the vineyard is carefully managed plot by plot. The grapes are completely picked by hand into small crates and carefully gone over on a sorting table prior to crushing. Only the ripest, healthiest grapes are used. Malolactic fermentation takes place in barrel. The entire winemaking process is devoted to bringing out the charm, elegance and finesse characteristic of the finest wines in the Margaux appellation.

Willamette Valley

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One of Pinot Noir’s most successful New World outposts, the Willamette Valley is the largest and most important AVA in Oregon. With a temperate climate moderated by Pacific Ocean influence, it is perfect for cool-climate viticulture—warm and dry summers allow for steady, even ripening, and frost is rarely a risk during spring and even winter. Mountain ranges bordering three sides of the valley, particularly the Chehalem Mountains, provide the option for higher-elevation, cooler vineyard sites. The three prominent soil types here create significant difference in wine styles between vineyards and sub-AVAs—the iron-rich, basalt-based Jory volcanic soils found commonly in the Dundee Hills are rich in clay and holds water well; the chalky, sedimentary soils of Ribbon Ridge, Yamhill-Carlton, and McMinnville encourage complex root systems as vines struggle to search for water and minerals; and the silty loess found in the Chehalem Mountains, somewhere in between the other two in texture, is fertile and well-draining but erodes easily, creating challenges for growers but necessitating careful vineyard management.

The celebrated Pinot Noir of the Willamette Valley typically offers supple red fruit, especially cranberry, without the powerful punch often packed by its California counterparts. Elegance is paramount here, and fruit flavors are balanced by forest floor, wild mushroom, and dried herbs—much more in line with Burgundian examples of the variety. Chardonnay too takes its inspiration from the French motherland, focusing on tart, crisp fruit and minerality, rarely relying upon heavy new oak. Pinot Gris here is fleshy and bright, and Riesling is dry, aromatic, and citrus-focused.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

JOBPRILCHINE_2011 Item# 116406

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