Clos du Marquis (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017
Blend: 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Wonderful aromas of blackberries, flowers, violets and Indian spices. Medium to full body with extremely polished, tight tannins that interface well with the ripe fruit. Remains extremely long and focused. A blend of 72% cabernet sauvignon, 27% merlot and 1% cabernet franc. Better after 2023.
Solid tannins come from the vineyard, giving this dense, concentrated wine with a powerful structure and blackberry fruits. The wine’s future is assured, with richness, spice and fruitiness all coming together. Drink from 2023.
Barrel Sample: 91-94
Barrel Sample: 92-94
A fresh, pure style, with violet and cassis aromas leading off, followed by a racy core of raspberry, blackberry and black currant fruit. Very well-integrated, featuring a deeply embedded structure and a singed apple wood note skirting along the edges. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2022 through 2035. 8,333 cases made.
Barrel Sample: 91-93
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 Chateau Léoville-Barton. In 1840, the estate was again divided and land that would eventually become Chateau Léoville-Poyferré was split off. Since the mid 20th century the Delon family have been owners of this estate.
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.
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.
Tasting Notes for Bordeaux Blends
Bordeaux Blends are dry, red wines and generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, black cherry plum, graphite, cedar and violet. 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.
Perfect Food Pairings for Bordeaux Blends
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 Secrets for Bordeaux Blends
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.