|Cab Sauv, Cab Franc, Merlot
|5ème Cru Classé
65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc. 12.845 Alc. Very deep rup-purple colour with black centre. Supple and sophisticated Pauillac Cabernet - it's got all it needs in fresh blackcurranty cassis, not massively long but nicely balanced. Very tightly-woven, intense purple fruit texture, quite incisive. Rating: 91 L&S (Apr 2012)
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Unusually dark purplish crimson. Very introvert. There is extract here but not much aroma. Substance and mouth-drying tannins on the end plus acidity but not really much weight in the middle. Difficult to see this really giving much pleasure. Almost bitter on the finish. 2016-2022 Rating: 15.5 Jancis Robinson OBE MW - www.JancisRobinson.com (May 2012)
Ripe, exotic, black cherry fruit character on the nose here, suggestive of rich ripeness. This is certainly appealing. The character on the palate is interesting, with a vibrant almost needling acidity countered by the supple, layered cream of the black cherry fruit, and behind that some fine grained tannins. Having said that it does all feel a little disparate but it may just need to integrate in barrel. Some promise here. Rating: 15-16 Chris Kissack, www.thewinedoctor.com (Apr 2012)
A ripe, plush, modern style, with a ganache note leading the way for crushed plum, blackberry and currant pâte de fruit notes. Lots of briar and anise on the finish lends a grippy feel. Rock-solid. An estate rapidly on the rise. Rating: 90-93 James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator (Apr 2012)
Fascinating visit here with the winemaker Catarina Freitas in 2012. Catarina showed us the map of the parcels which were owned by the property at the time that it was bought in 2009, and then two others, showing how, by purchases and swaps, they has vastly reduced the number of parcels and are consolidating the vineyard.
This was also where we first saw Alessandro Masnaghetti's maps of the area, which is a fascinating insight into where all these wines actually come from.
Catarina explained that as a result of the strength of the co-operative movement in Saint Estèphe and northern Pauillac, properties passed down though families often got split into tiny plots. The previous owner, in a rush to expand the surface area, bought what he could. Sometimes this was just a couple of rows of vines in the middle of someone else's vineyard. This made vineyard management harder, and also made it difficult to see clearly what they had at vinification - it was impossible to vinify every tiny bit separately.
Winemaking includes pre-fermentary cold maceration that can last up to an astonishing fifty days. Like properties such as Charmail, they tried using dry ice to cool the harvest so as to make sure the fermentation did not start, but from 2011 on they are using a new method, which I have not come across anywhere before, which is to hold the harvested grapes in a cold room at 3C for twenty-four hours before beginning the egrappage and final sortings and putting them into vats.
We were also shown the proposed new winery, which will use the natural slope of the built part of the property down to the Gironde. It will be built into the hill and use gravity thoughout to avoid pumping. Make no mistake, there intent is very serious here and its a name to look out for.
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