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Clos Dubreuil 2003

Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
  • RP92
  • WS91
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
This gorgeous, exotic, spicy St.-Emilion offers aromas and flavors of plum liqueur, figs, chocolate, and sweet black cherries as well as currants. With low acidity, tremendous opulence, and a sensual tactile impression, it is best consumed during its first decade of life. Sadly, production is limited for this garagiste operation.
WS 91
Wine Spectator
Very dark and reserved on the nose, but there's a lovely undertone of ripe black fruit, damsons and spicy oak just waiting to blossom. Full-bodied, with lots of fruit and oak flavors, firm young tannins and a long finish.
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Clos Dubreuil

Clos Dubreuil

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Clos Dubreuil, St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
Image of winery
In 2001, when his father asked him to return to France to visit an estate in Saint Emilion, Benoit Trocard, the fifteenth generation of one of Bordeaux’s oldest winemaking families from the Right Bank, decided to come back and discover the gem that his father was convinced he had uncovered. Benoit, aged 23 in April 2002, attached little importance to the estate’s old building which housed the vintage since its inception in 1997. Standing high up on the clay-limestone plateau of Saint Christophe des Bardes, Benoit Trocard set his eyes upon a terroir that immediately inspired him. This initial impression was quickly confirmed when he tasted his first glass of Clos Dubreuil and fell under the spell of a wine that perfectly evoked the essence of its magnificent terroir.

In 2002, Benoit Trocard therefore decided to set up at Clos Dubreuil and devote himself to the development of the estate by selecting the finest parcels of land from Saint Emilion’s clay-limestone plateau. In 2007 he acquired a farm dating from the Middle Ages, situated just a stone’s throw from Clos Dubreuil’s original location. This enabled him to freely pursue his passion for plot-by-plot vinification, an approach that allows each plot both to express its singularity and to interact harmoniously with the other plots. Benoit Trocard makes no secret of the fact that he is in pursuit of excellence. He obsessively strives for increased precision, both on the vineyards and in the winery. This, combined with the incredible, hilltop terroir, is what makes Clos Dubreuil a truly exceptional wine.

In 2014, Benoit Trocard began a serious new building project with the construction of a cellar whose scale matches his ambitious aims. It combines traditional and modern features, and is located in the same spot where Clos Dubreuil’s history began in 1997.

St. Emilion

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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, Figeac, 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.

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.

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