Girolate  2003 Front Label
Girolate  2003 Front Label

Girolate 2003

  • RP91
  • WE90
750ML / 14.9% ABV
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  • RP90
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750ML / 14.9% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Color is deep almost opaque, purplish red, high viscosity, with fuchsia rim. The nose boasts of pure black fruit aromas: blackberry and blackcurrant. The good integration of the wood lifts up all the flavors. Full bodied, yet multilayered it is soft as silk in the mouth. This beautiful wine can be associated with lamb, duck or roasted meats and ideal with mature cheeses (Roquefort, old Gouda, mimolette...

Critical Acclaim

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RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The flagship, luxury cuvee of 100% Merlot from the innovative, visionary firm of Despagne, Girolate is a cutting edge, amazing tour de force in winemaking. The smoky, chocolaty, espresso, and mocha aromas are interwoven with gorgeous layers of black cherry and berry fruit. This full-bodied, unctuously-textured, layered wine has as much in common with a big Napa Cabernet as it does with a Bordeaux Merlot. Its soft tannin, low acidity, and serious concentration are amazing when you consider its humble pedigree. Enjoy this hedonistic smorgasbord of wonderful things over the next 6-8 years.
WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
The Despagne family returned to tradition with the making of Girolate, planting a vineyard to the former high density, keeping winemaking simple. This is the 2003, the latest release. Reflecting the heat of that vintage, it is soft, textured, rich and spicy, with a southern warmth. Pure superripe Merlot.
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Girolate, France
Located 12km south of Saint Emilion, Girolate benefits an exceptional terroir. A meticulous work is being done to allow the outstanding aromatic and savoury potential of the fruits coming out of this particular plot. The entire Despagne expertise is being used to reach excellence in every ways. Care for each detail is meant for an out-of-the-way wine that is risking the impossible. Strict limitations of appellations are now bound to be enterily overthrown.

As far as we know the name “Girolate” comes from the ancient french [giro]: "the one who turns" and [late]: "great piece of land". We believe this terroir was very much sought after by poters for the excellent quality of its clay. Beneath the ground lies a thick layer of limestone enclosing a quarry. The 10ha plot is an exceptional terroir ideal for merlot. In order to favor its natural expression, we have choosen to plant at a very high density, spacing the vines by a mere meter that is to say 10 000 vines per ha. Because we wante them to concentrate all their energy on the 4 bunches they were to carry, whe have constrained them to grow as "bonsai’s" meaning very close to the ground with a high canopy. According to Jean Louis Despagne’s principle: "it is vain to believe one can create in the cellar what the vine wasn’t able to deliver"

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In most of France, wines are named by their place of origin and not by the type of grape (with the exception of Alsace). Just like a red Burgundy is by law, always made of Pinot noir, a red Bordeaux is a blended wine composed mainly of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Depending on the laws of the village from which the grapes come, the conditions of the vintage and decisions of the winemaker, the blend can be further supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot and in rare cases, Carmenere. So popular and repeated has this mix of grape varieties become worldwide, that the term, Bordeaux Blend, refers to a wine blended in this style, regardless of origin.

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WWH102251_2003 Item# 103224

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