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Clos Fourtet (Futures Pre-Sale) 2018

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  • JD97
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 99
Wine Spectator
Dark plum and boysenberry fruit is laced with tobacco and chalk notes, while the fleshy grip slowly builds through the finish. This is seriously long, and though the fruit is gorgeous, the minerality steals the show in the end.
Barrel Sample: 96-99
JS 97
James Suckling
This is one of the best wines I have had from here. Full-bodied yet focused and super dynamic. Tight and linear with fantastic length and energy at the end. Exciting.
Barrel Sample: 96-97
WE 97
Wine Enthusiast
This is a beautifully structured wine with smooth tannins and supple acidity. Its hidden power is masked by the vivid Merlot fruit. With the fresh acidity and the fine tannins, this is a wine that will age well.
Barrel Sample: 95-97
D 97
Decanter
Easily as good as the 2015 at this estate, the 2018 may even prove to be better after some ageing. There is depth and concentration to the berry fruits, but also a fine quality to the tannins and a softness overall that suggests nothing was pushed, that all of this power is simply what was naturally given by the vintage. It's very good quality, true to the confidence of the estate, pulsating with rich raspberry and damson notes and playing between a seductive gourmet edge and maintaining its limestone freshness. I have enjoyed a number of older vintages of this wine recently, and I feel pretty sure that this will grow into one of those wines that you are so happy to open after a few decades of ageing. 33hl/ha yield. 60% new oak.

Drinking Window 2027 - 2043
Barrel Sample: 97

RP 97
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2018 Clos Fourtet is a little youthfully mute to begin. With coaxing, it opens out to notes of crushed blackberries, warm black plums and wild blueberries plus suggestions of forest floor, lavender, baking spices and potpourri. Full-bodied, the palate has an amazing texture of soft, plush tannins and oodles of freshness supporting the layer upon layer of berries and spices, finishing long and fragrant. Total time in barrel should run 16 months in 60% new and 40% one-year old barriques. The blend is 90% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 3% Cabernet Franc.
Barrel Sample: 95-97
JD 97
Jeb Dunnuck

Tasted on two separate occasions, the 2018 Château Clos Fourtet is a beauty, offering a ripe, powerful style in its crème de cassis, spice box, liquid rock, and incense aromas and flavors. Checking in as a blend of 90% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon that will see 16 months in 60% new oak, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, loads of flesh, ripe tannins, and a great finish. It’s slightly more approachable and sexier than the Canon, which shares a similar terroir on the upper plateau, but it’s going to evolve beautifully for at least 20-25 years. It’s a beautiful wine very much in the style of the vintage. Barrel Sample: 95-97.

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Clos Fourtet

Clos Fourtet

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Clos Fourtet, France
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Saint-Emilion's limestone plateau produces some of the appellations's most illustrious wines, and Clos Fourtet has an enviable location there. The 20 hectares of vines are situauted around a stately manor house built just before the French Revolution. This is on the very outskirts of the medieval town of Saint-Emilion. The chateau's underground cellars are perfect for aging wine.

Clos Fourtet owes its fame to the Rulleau and Carles families. The latter were lords of Figeac. They were the first to grow vines on this barely arable land, which nevertheless has outstanding natural drainage. Clos Fourtet's old vines, perfectly balanced grape varieties, traditional winemaking methods backed up by the most modern techniques, and aging in new oak barrels in underground cellars complement all the gifts that nature has bestowed on this chateau.

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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.

BANF520680_2018 Item# 520680