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Chateau Prieure-Lichine (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017

  • JS94
  • WE94
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  • TA94
  • WS92
  • RP90
750ML / 0% ABV
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750ML / 0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Blend: 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
JS 94
James Suckling
This is really fresh and layered with currant, berry and floral aromas and flavors. Medium-to full-bodied, integrated and polished. Beautiful. Very focused. More cabernet in the blend than normal. Possibly at the same level as 2016.
Barrel Sample: 93-94
WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
Soft and juicy, this is an open style of wine. The wood flavors are apparent, giving it a toasty character. At the same time, it has plenty of blackberry concentration to create an attractive, fruity core for medium-term aging. Drink from 2023.
Barrel Sample: 92-94
D 94
Decanter
This is the definition of a wine to buy in an off-vintage. It has the signature of the last few years, but in an early-drinking package. It's a little oaky and smoky for sure, but handles it well and delivers punch and personality without overstating the case. Ripe damson fruits help to deliver impact, even if the fruit is generally a touch below the exuberance of the last two years. Planted in the vineyard to 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot.
Barrel Sample
TA 94
Tim Atkin
Warm and floral Margaux fruit aromas, with spices and some coffee. Fairly serious structure and depth, plenty of tannins, spices, rich fruit, coffee and spice. A youthful but very balanced wine.
Barrel Sample: 92-94
WS 92
Wine Spectator
Bright and fresh, with a mix of raspberry, pomegranate and plum notes guided by light floral and spice notes. Shows a brambly edge on the finish. On the lighter side but offers good energy.
Barrel Sample: 89-92
RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2017 Prieure-Lichine is scented of crushed blackberries, black cherries and roses with touches of cloves, cinnamon and dusty earth. The palate is medium-bodied with plenty of flesh, textured by plush tannins and just enough freshness, finishing long.
Barrel Sample: 88-90+
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Chateau Prieure-Lichine

Chateau Prieure-Lichine

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Chateau Prieure-Lichine, France
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Chateau 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.

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Margaux

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Silky, seductive and polished are the words that characterize the best wines from Margaux, the most inland appellation of the Médoc on the Left Bank of Bordeaux.

Margaux’s gravel soils are the thinnest of the Médoc, making them most penetrable by vine roots—some reaching down over 23 feet for water. The best sites are said to be on gentle outcrops, or croupes, where more gravel facilitates good drainage.

The Left Bank of Bordeaux subscribes to an arguably outdated method of classification but it is nonetheless important in regards to history of the area. In 1855 the finest chateaux were deemed on the basis of reputation and trading price—at that time. In 1855, Chateau Margaux achieved first growth status, yet it has been Chateau Palmer (officially third growth from the 1855 classification) that has consistently outperformed others throughout the 20th century.

Chateau Margaux in top vintages is capable of producing red Cabernet Sauvignon based wines described as pure, intense, spell-binding, refined and profound with flavors and aromas of black currant, violets, roses, orange peel, black tea and incense.

Other top producers worthy of noting include Chateau Rauzan-Ségla, Lascombes, Brane-Cantenac, and d’Issan, among others.

The best wines of Margaux combine a deep ruby color with a polished structure, concentration and an unrivaled elegance.

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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.

MCYF422870_2017 Item# 422870