|Classification||Cru Bourgeois Supérieur|
This has more of the round body and richness of the vintages of five and more years ago than any of the more recent ones. Solidly satisfying, still fleshy and round, nothing flashy but good density and length. Rating: 88-89 L&S (Apr 2016)
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The 2015 Charmail is a blend of 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc and 13% Petit Verdot that was picked by hand, the first under Hubert de Boüard's consultation. It has a slightly candied bouquet with dark plum, raspberry coulis and floral scents. The palate is medium-bodied with a fine, grainy texture, crisp tannin and lively black fruit with a tensile finish that bodes well for the future. Again, this is worth seeking out after bottling. Drink: 2019 - 2030 Rating: 90-92 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (Apr 2016)
Rather pretty dark fruits here, fresh and bright, with a rather crystalline character, loose and openly expressed. The palate follows on from this early suggestion, as although the fruit here is dark and toasted the texture is quartzy and gravelly, with a rather firm and stony cut to it, and not too much in the way of generosity. In the finish, there comes a sudden flourish of mildly spiky tannins. This is set to be rather austere I think. Rating: 14-15/20 Chris Kissack, www.thewinedoctor.com (Apr 2016)
Particularly dark crimson. Sweet and dense. Very ripe and attention-grabbing. A charmer indeed. Drinking range: 2021 - 2028 Rating: 16.5 Jancis Robinson OBE MW - www.JancisRobinson.com (Apr 2016)
The name Charmail comes from its 16th century origins, when the Trevey de Charmail family settled in the Medoc. It's a property on classic Médoc gravel and clay, of about 27.5 hectares, sitting high up and overlooking the Gironde.
Olivier Sèze bought Charmail in 1982. A leader in many ways, both in viticulture and in winemaking, he developed a process of pre-fermentation cold maceration, still used here now, which produces deeper coloured, fatter wines with soft tannins and this, along with the relatively high proportion of Merlot for the Haut-Médoc (50%), gives wines that are ready to drink within 4 to 6 years of the vintage. It also seems to make Charmail a fairly good bet in lesser vintages. The grapes are all hand-harvested and the wine is aged in barrel for 12 months.
In 2008 Bernard d’Halluin bought Charmail, and it was agreed that Olivier should continue to work there and be part of the new team, in charge of the winemaking. Bernard's daughter Marie has taken charge of the presentation and marketing.
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