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Le Carre 2009

Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
  • RP97
  • WS93
  • JS93
  • WE92
14.5% ABV
  • WE92
  • RP91
  • JS91
  • WS91
  • WS92
  • WE92
  • JS91
  • RP91
  • RP95
  • WS93
  • WE93
  • JS91
  • WE92
  • RP90
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Le Carre is a single-vineyard of just over one and a half hectares that abuts Clos Fourtet near the centre of the town of Saint Emilion. The wine is a dense purple color. Abundant quantities of black fruits, crushed rocks and flowers nicely wrapped in new oak, where it receives it's malolactic fermentation and aging. Whilst the main part of the wine is made up by Merlot, there is also a Cabernet Franc compliment.

Blend: 80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc

Critical Acclaim

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RP 97
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Achieving nearly 15% natural alcohol (one of the highest of the Jonathan Maltus St. Emilion estates) , this blend of approximately 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc is from vineyards that sit on limestone soils near Clos Fourtet, an area that performed brilliantly in 2009. Inky purple, with notes of graphite, vanillin, blackberry and cassis as well as crushed rock and floral notes, the wine has breathtaking extravagance and a luxuriant fruit quality that simply has to be tasted to be believed. Phenomenally rich, full-bodied, and brilliantly poised and well-balanced, this is a tour de force in winemaking and a colossal Le Carre, the finest Jonathan Maltus has yet produced. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2028.
WS 93
Wine Spectator
This is densely layered, displaying a creamy edge that makes the plum sauce, roasted fig and blackberry paste flavors seem accessible now, but the dense bittersweet cocoa and blueberry reduction notes add grip on the finish, and will require cellaring to meld fully. Best from 2014 through 2026.
JS 93
James Suckling
Blueberries and plums, with hints of sweet tobacco and orange peel follow through to a full body, with chewy tannins and a lightly toasted oak undertone and ripe fruit. Excellent wine from the same owners as Le Dome. Try after 2016.
WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
Low yields give a very concentrated wine, with the darkest tannins and black fruits. It’s a powerhouse of ripeness, spiced with wood and layered with acidity. As it ages, it will show a rich roundness, the tannins integrating into the open texture.
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Le Carre

Le Carre

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Le Carre, St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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Le Carre, meaning The Square, began producing in 2005. These wines are made in small quantities and are based on the Cotes Cru Classe land that surrounds the town of Saint Emilion. The vineyard is situated next to Clos Fourtet– separated by a tumble-down wall. This vineyard was purchased from Chateau Canon, Premier Grand Cru Classe.

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 vienyards 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/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.

FBR103713_2009 Item# 118838