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Clos Les Lunelles Cotes de Castillon 2003

Bordeaux Red Blends from Cotes de Castillon, Bordeaux, France
  • RP92
0% ABV
  • RP90
  • RP94
  • WS92
  • RP92
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2.5 2 Ratings
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2.5 2 Ratings
0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The summer heat wave undoubtedly left its mark on this vintage. Very deep purplish-red colour. The oak component comes through first and foremost on the nose at this stage, with mocha and roasted aromas. However, there is bright, attractive jammy fruit (reminiscent of blackberry preserves) in the background, just waiting to open up. 2003 Clos les Lunelles is fairly massive on the palate, with considerable richness typical of the vintage as well as a tight tannic texture. There is a velvety quality on the middle palate and a very long aftertaste. The tannin is quite round and ripe. This wine can be enjoyed as of now, but it is also advised to keep back a few bottles for 3-5 years. Such patience will be richly rewarded.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
This 21+ acre vineyard planted on a clay and limestone plateau consists of 38-year-old Merlot (80%), Cabernet Franc (10%), and Cabernet Sauvignon (10%). It was acquired by Gerard and Chantal Perse in 2001, and in less than two years has become the reference point winery for the Cotes de Castillon ... not surprising in view of the commitment to excellence exhibited by the Perses. Made from tiny yields of less than 20 hectoliters per hectare, the blockbuster 2003 tips the scales at 13.5% alcohol. It reveals a peppery, spicy, incense-laced bouquet interwoven with black cherry jam, blackberry, and cassis-like aromas. Full-bodied, opulent, long, rich, and persistent, it is the finest wine I have ever tasted from the Cotes de Castillon. Enjoy it over the next 10-15 years.
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Clos Les Lunelles

Clos Les Lunelles

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Clos Les Lunelles, Cotes de Castillon, Bordeaux, France
In 2001, Chateau Lapeyronie, now known as Clos Les Lunelles, came out of relative obscurity with the help of Gérard Perse's "magic wand" (according to Robert Parker's expression). This small (8.5 hectare) Cotes de Castillon estate proved its incredible potential by earning a 93-100 mark from the famous American wine critic for Perse's first vintage.

Beginning in 1999 with the purchase of Château Clos L'Eglise and Chateau Sainte Colombe, which borders on Clos Les Lunelles, Gérard Perse's hugely successful involvement in the long underestimated Cotes de Castillon appellation is clearly another feather in his cap.

Cotes de Castillon

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Though the region is larger than many of its Right Bank neighbors, it is one that consistently produces high quality, well-valued red wines. In fact, Cotes de Castillon can almost be considered a geographical eastern extension of St. Emilion, producing similarly-fashioned reds based on Merlot.

Vineyards in the region’s clay, limestone and sandstone soils produce sturdy red wines. On alluvial terraces, in vineyards closer to the Dordogne River, wines tend to be more supple and fruity. In either case, a great Cotes de Castillon red will be bursting with raspberry, plum and blueberry, have an enticing bouquet of dried flowers and a finish that is plush and opulent.

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/or 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 can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can 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, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

VCJBWP_1048_03_2003 Item# 101823