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Clos du Marquis 2012

Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Julien, Bordeaux, France
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13.5% ABV
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13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Blend: 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc

Critical Acclaim

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WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
Firm and tannic, this dark berry-flavored wine comes from a specific parcel in the Léoville las Cases vineyard. It’s full of tannins and structure, firm and concentrated. At the end, both tannins and tight black currants promise aging. Drink from 2020. Cellar Selection.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Tasted blind at the Bordeaux 2012 Southwold tasting. The 2012 Clos du Marquis has a very intense bouquet, the more fruit-driven of all the Saint Julien 2012s with layers of black cherries and cranberry fruit, an undercurrent of autumn leaves and cigar box. The palate is medium-bodied with fine definition: smooth and very harmonious, quite intense on the entry and yet without that long sustain on the finish. That does not matter too much, because what comes before is very precise and pure, the class of the terroir evident from start to finish. Tasted January 2016.
JS 91
James Suckling
This is a soulful Clos du Marquis with currants, blackberries and hints of earth. Full body, velvety tannins and a long and flavorful finish. A fascinating earthy undertone. Better in 2018.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
A textbook St.-Julien, with a core of plum sauce and blackberry paste framed with roasted apple wood and backed by a solid graphite spine. Has the lightly chewy edge of the vintage, but offers good, pure fruit for balance. Best from 2016 through 2022.
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Clos du Marquis

Clos du Marquis

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Clos du Marquis, St. Julien, Bordeaux, France
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This wine comes from the prestigious Château Léoville-Las Cases in the Saint-Julien appellation of the Bordeaux region of France. Château Léoville-Las Cases is also the name of the red wine produced by this property. The wine produced here was classified as one of fifteen Deuxièmes Crus (Second Growths) in the original Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855.

Léoville-Las Cases was once part of a much larger estate until the time of the French Revolution when a portion of this estate was separated into what is today Château Léoville-Barton. In 1840, the estate was again divided and land that would eventually become Château Léoville-Poyferré was split off. Since the mid 20th century the Delon family have been owners of this estate.

St-Julien

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An icon of balance and tradition, St. Julien boasts the highest proportion of classed growths in the Médoc. What it lacks in any first growths, it makes up in the rest: five amazing second growth chateaux, two superb third growths and four well-reputed fourth growths. While the actual class rankings set in 1855 (first, second, and so on the fifth) today do not necessarily indicate a score of quality, the classification system is important to understand in the context of Bordeaux history. Today rivalry among the classed chateaux only serves to elevate the appellation overall.

One of its best historically, the estate of Leoville, was the largest in the Médoc in the 18th century, before it was divided into the three second growths known today as Chateau Léoville-Las-Cases, Léoville-Poyferré and Léoville-Barton. Located in the north section, these are stone’s throw from Chateau Latour in Pauillac and share much in common with that well-esteemed estate.

The relatively homogeneous gravelly and rocky top soil on top of clay-limestone subsoil is broken only by a narrow strip of bank on either side of the “jalle,” or stream, that bisects the zone and flows into the Gironde.

St. Julien wines are for those wanting subtlety, balance and consistency in their Bordeaux. Rewarding and persistent, the best among these Bordeaux Blends are full of blueberry, blackberry, cassis, plum, tobacco and licorice. They are intense and complex and finish with fine, velvety tannins.

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.

BFF139311_2012 Item# 139311