One of the best-run estates in the underrated and undervalued appellation of Cotes de Castillon is Chateau d’Aiguilhe, which is owned by Stephan von Neipperg. As with all of von Neipperg’s wines, Stephane Derenoncourt is the consulting winemaker. The blend is usually 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, although I did not see the statistics on this particular vintage. The 2010 (10,000 cases produced) achieved 14% natural alcohol from modest yields of 34 hectoliters per hectare. It exhibits a deep ruby/purple hue, lots of cassis, crushed rock and floral characteristics, a round, generous, savory, broadly textured style and sweet tannins. Drink it over the next decade.
A classic Pessac-Leognan, the 2009 Carbonnieux possesses aromas of sweet black currants and cherries intermixed with hints of roasted herbs, unsmoked cigar tobacco, charcoal and licorice. Medium to full-bodied with more concentration than many vintages, this surprisingly fleshy effort has more poundage and glycerin than this normally light-styled Bordeaux has offered in the past. Harmonious sweet tannins and low acidity give the wine a fleshy mouthfeel and immediate appeal, but most of its aromatic complexity will not emerge for another 5-7 years. It should keep for two decades or more.
After bottling, wine often goes through a difficult period of weak aromatic expression and/or imbalance, with a sensation of hollowness. This stage is called “Bottle Shock”. In the case of Kirwan 2009, this phase is over and the fruit dominates, with robust notes of black cherry. The attack is soft, round and juicy in the mouth. The flesh has a velvety character that blankets the palate while aromas of pepper, cedar, cocoa and light roasted coffee complement the pervasive fruit. Even young, Kirwan 2009 already presents remarkable complexity. The months to come will further accentuate these perceptions of volume and smoothness. As for the bouquet, it will continue to develop for many years…..patience.
Château Kirwan is a 3ème Cru Classé. The wine is typically a blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 10% Petit Verdot. The wine is then matured in oak barriques (30-50% new) for 18 months. Owned by Dutch Bordeaux négociants firm Schröder and since 1925, it has enjoyed an upsurge in quality since the 1990s when bringing the estate back to its true status as a classed growth.
A delicious, fully mature Sauternes from Chateau Filhot – relabelled as Gold Reserve. The unctuous sweetness of youth is settled into a light and elegant style. Full of dried fruit and marmalade flavours. There is a little orange pith dryness on the finish.
A strong effort for this vintage, the 2008 exhibits a dark plum/purple color, plenty of firm, rugged, austere tannins, copious red and black fruits, admirable flavor intensity and medium body. Cellar it for 3-4 years and drink it over the following 15.
Château Lafon-Rochet is a 4ème Cru Classé St-Estèphe estate that has been owned by the Tesseron family since 1959. The property has one of the best terroirs in Bordeaux: its one block of 45 hectares is on a gravelly rise not far from Pauillac, and overlooks first growth Lafite Rothschild and second growth Cos d’Estournel.
‘This is a major sleeper of the vintage and the finest Senejac I have tasted. The team from Pontet Canet, who have done such a phenomenal job at that estate, were in charge of making this Senejac, and the result, not surprisingly, is a sensational wine that consumers need to buy by the case. Dense purple, with notes of creme de cassis, incense, licorice and forest floor, this wine is delicious and full-bodied, with sweet tannins, low acidity, copious fruit and exceptional concentration. Everything is in balance, and the wine is capable of lasting 10 or more years.’ – Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, Feb 2012.
Owned by Lorraine Cordier, whose family also own Château Talbot. One of the better known Crus Bourgeois of the Haut-Médoc and always offer very good value for money.
James Suckling, Wine Spectator 94 points. “The 1999 was particularly impressive for the vintage. It was superbly focused and beautiful on the nose, with sugared lemons, tropical fruit and maple syrup character. Full-bodied and thick, yet very fine, it was extremely … Read More
– For one of the best wines Bordeaux can offer, look no further than this one! With an immense palate, highly concentrated notes of cassis, and firm, ripe tannins, this wine is the ideal vintage to show off class and elegance. You’ll love the hint of clove in the aftertaste, as well as the notes of blackberry, cedar, forest floor, and licorice. There’s even touch of incense in this opulent wine, which only tastes better the longer it is allowed to age.
This biodynamic Bordeaux with its intense fruit character is the perfect wine to go with venison.
– This stunning wine, with black/purple color, exhibits notes of blackberry, licorice, incense, forest floor and cedar along with a hint of toasty oak. The wine is opulent, even sumptuous in texture, has stunning purity and a provocative 45+ second finish. This is another over-achieving Castillon that should drink well for at least a decade or more.’ 92 points Robert Parker, Feb 2012