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Chateau Sansonnet 2016

  • V96
  • JD96
  • JS95
  • RP94
  • WS93
  • WE91
  • D90
750ML / 0% ABV
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3.4 10 Ratings
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3.4 10 Ratings
750ML / 0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The exceptional quality of the tannins of vintage 2016 is the result of perfect conditions of maturation, in particular on the argilo-calcareous soils. The natural hydric regulation avoided in the vines any stress due to the drought. Power, elegance, freshness and balance are the key words of 2016.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
V 96
An exotic, heady wine, the 2016 Sansonnet is a total stunner. Crème de cassis, lavender, bittersweet chocolate, menthol, licorice, graphite and sweet spice saturate the palate in an explosive, stunningly beautiful Saint-Émilion that balances concentration and vibrancy with impeccable class. Put simply, the 2016 Sansonnet is a total pleasure bomb. Don't miss it. Tasted three times.
JD 96
Jeb Dunnuck
An estate that has been firing on all cylinders recently, the Merlot-dominated 2016 Château Sansonnet sports a saturated ruby color as well as a beautiful bouquet of macerated black cherries, blackcurrants, smoked earth, spice, and tobacco. This ripe, sexy, full-bodied beauty has terrific overall balance, a layered texture, no hard edges, and a beautiful finish. It's a gem in the vintage and is well worth a case purchase. The blend is 90% Merlot and 5% each of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, all brought up in 80% new French oak. Don’t miss this brilliant wine.
JS 95
James Suckling
The blueberry and blackberry aromas are very impressive and lifted right out of the glass. Full-bodied, very tight and defined with beautiful berries and focus. Long and vivid. Traditional style with precision and verve. Drink in 2022.
RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2016 Sansonnet (composed of 90% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon) is a little youthfully mute, revealing suggestions of crushed black plums, baked cherries and blackberries with nuances of fallen leaves, black olives, lavender and pencil lead. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is charged with energy, giving mouth-coating red and black fruits with a firm, grainy frame, finishing long and lively.
Rating: 94+
WS 93
Wine Spectator
Bold, with a broad beam of warm cassis, plum reduction and braised fig flavors striding through, underscored by a strong graphite edge and backed by alluring black tea and well-roasted apple wood notes. Despite the heft, this is polished and integrated already, and should be a hedonistic delight in the near term. Best from 2021 through 2033.
WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
This wine is rich with ripe fruits, black tannins and a smooth, chocolate texture. Its tannins are impressively rich and dense, giving a wine offering power along with freshness and minerality. Drink from 2023.
D 90
A clay-over-limestone estate, owned by Marie Lefévère, which has produced a wine with excellent balance of flavour, freshness and power in 2016. The enjoyable dark fruits, bitter chocolate, clean lines and generosity are not overdone - it's intense without a doubt, but has settled down during barrel ageing in 80% new oak. It was bottled this July. 32hl/ha yield.
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Chateau Sansonnet

Chateau Sansonnet

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Chateau Sansonnet, France
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Doctor in pharmacy, Marie-Benedicte Lefevere has taken over the management at Chateau Sansonnet since 2009. It is in the cellars of the family properties in Pomerol and Saint-Emilion that culture and passion for wine was passed on to her. It is now with a lot of ambition and determination that she imagines the future of the production for Chateau Sansonnet, putting all her will and attachment to the property to hoist it to the top of the appellation.

Chateau Sansonnet is located in the North East corner of Saint-Emilion in the heart of the Grands Classified Growths. The exceptional terroir is composed of a thin layer of clay on limestone. Winemaker Dominique Bordeneuve has great experience in winemaking after 20 years at Chateau Sansonnet, it allows the property to rely on a unique knowledge of its terroir and plot. Jean Trias, technical manager, has always been passionate by the world of wine. He held positions and responsibilities in many properties before settling at Chateau Sansonnet in 2000 where he strives to develop the best wines.

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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.

BLF237874_2016 Item# 237874