2009 Cru Bourgeois Médoc
|Grapes||Cab Sauv, Merlot|
Deep dark colour, an obviously ripe Cabernet nose, as one might expect of a 2009, with some oakiness. Fleshy and expansive on the palate, with good volume of ripe dark berry fruit and soft feel of ripe tannins. Still youthful despite its ripe appeal, it will benefit from a moment in a decanter - or glass. Drinking range: 2013 - 2017 L&S (Sep 2014)
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Managed by Eric Nieuwaal, Châteaux d’Aurilhac and La Fagotte cover 21 hectares in the commune of Saint Seurin de Cadourne, where vines have been grown since the middle ages.
Situated in the very north of the Haut-Médoc appellation, amongst the vineyards that run from the drainage channel at the top of St Estèphe, to the waterway that marks the beginning of the Médoc – the Chenal de la Maréchale.
The vineyard was replanted in 1983 using rootstocks which were better adapted to the nature of the soil – clay, sand and gravel – in order to produce high quality wines with classic Bordeaux characteristics. The entire harvest is hand sorted before entering stainless-steel, temperature controlled vats. Generally, the wine is aged for about one year in oak barrels in order to make it slightly more rounded, before being bottle at the château.
In the glass the 2009 has a very dark appearance, showing a red-black hue at its core, with a deeply coloured, thin, smoky-red rim. The nose is very youthful, with smoky and somewhat caramelised oak battling it out against a wealth of sweet fruit, led by the dark scents of blackcurrants and cherry, but there is also a fresh and lifted tinge of strawberry to it that is certainly quite noticeable, along with a rather subtle, leafy, blackcurrant-skin character. It doesn't have more autumnal and earthy edge I know some would look for in the Haut-Médoc, but instead it presents a rather appealing melange of savoury Cabernet fruit set against the sweetness of Merlot, in a frame of oak that yet needs to integrate. The palate confirms this, showing a very firm straitjacket of youthful grip and polished oak at present, with a rather lush fruit texture, nice acidity though, and a lot of substance overall. This is a good wine, showing the worth of a vintage such as 2009, although the grippy tannin, as well as the youthful fruit and oak, don't suggest this is an easy-drinking wine to pop and pour. This is one for the cellar in my opinion Rating: 16 Chris Kissack, www.thewinedoctor.com (Sep 2014)
Long-time readers know d’Aurilhac is one of my favorite under-the-radar Bordeaux in top vintages. This impressively made Medoc offers a lot of quality for its price. The 2009 reveals copious black cherry, black currant, earth, and spice notes intertwined with a hint of background oak. A luscious texture, a succulent style, and a juicy, long finish suggest it will drink well for 5-7 years. Rating: 87-89 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, www.RobertParker.com (May 2014)
Black red, good spicy fruity wine with warmth and depth. Drink 2013-16. Rating: 16 Decanter Magazine (Mar 2013)
This recommended Cru Bourgeois '09 has a well-defined, crisp bouquet with blackberry, cedar and a touch of sous-bois - well integrated oak here. The palate is crisp and quite sweet on the entry with ripe red cherries, fresh strawberry and quite tart. Left 30 minutes in the glass, the d'Aurilhac finally moved up several gears, attaining harmony and focus. Silky smooth on the finish, quite lush but with the acidity to keep it all in balance. I ended up really enjoying this Haut-Medoc, but do allow it 45-60 minutes to open up. Rating: 90-90 Neal Martin, www.robertparker.com (Oct 2011)
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