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Chateau Sansonnet (Futures Pre-Sale) 2018

Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
  • WS96
  • JS96
  • JD96
  • WE94
  • RP94
  • D91
750ML / 0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Blend: 90% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Cabernet Franc

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 96
Wine Spectator
A lush and inviting style, with waves of cassis and plum puree, caressed by a velvety structure. The long and alluring finish is already well-formed. This has depth, mouthfeel and fruit to burn.
Barrel Sample: 93-96
JS 96
James Suckling
A solid and linear red with very tight and polished tannins. Full-bodied, reserved and compacted. This shows serious length and structure. Graphite and spice to the dark fruit.
Barrel Sample: 95-96
JD 96
Jeb Dunnuck
Another estate that I suspect has produced a best to date, the 2018 Château Sansonnet comes from a tiny 7-hectare vineyard which was purchased by Marie and Christophe Lefévère early in 2009. The vineyard itself is 35 years old and consists of a thin layer of clay sitting over the limestone plateau of Saint-Émilion. The 2018 is a blend of 90% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 3% Cabernet Franc, representing 65% of the total production, that saw malolactic fermentation in barrel and is still resting in 80% new French oak. This is another rich, powerful wine from Marie and offers a thrilling bouquet of crème de cassis, crushed rock-like minerality, graphite, and liquid violets. Deep, full-bodied, and concentrated, it nevertheless stays elegant and graceful, and just glides over the palate with nothing out of place. Count me in as a fan of this rich, sexy wine that also shows terrific balance and a sense of grace. It will be drinkable with just short-term cellaring and keep for 25 years or more.
Barrel Sample: 94-96+
WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
This is a generous, ripe wine, with rich, supple tannins. Its acidity and fine fruitiness are already giving great structure. The wine will certainly age well.
Barrel Sample: 92-94
RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
This 35-year-old, 6.96-hectare vineyard is planted to 6,000 vines per hectare on thin clay and limestone soils atop the Saint-Émilion plateau, just across the road from Trottevieille. It comes from the Sansonnet lieu-dit and is blended of 90% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Cabernet Franc. With 15% alcohol and a deep purple-black color, the 2018 Sansonnet is a little reticent to begin, opening out to notions of stewed plums, warm cassis, blackberry coulis and fruitcake with hints of grilled meats and fried herbs. Big, rich, full and laden with massive black fruit preserves layers, it has a plush texture and spicy finish.
Barrel Sample: 92-94
D 91
Decanter

Big-shouldered but enjoyable, this gives a sense of settling into itself. A slate finish lifts everything, even though the structure and the tannins are pretty forceful. A good wine with a glass-staining purple colour and tons of sweet damson fruit. A focussed freshness runs right through the middle of it all. Owned by Marie Lefévère. Drinking Window 2027 - 2040. Barrel Sample: 91

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Chateau Sansonnet

Chateau Sansonnet

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Chateau Sansonnet, France - Other regions
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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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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.

JOAF520664_2018 Item# 520664