|Classification||Cru Bourgeois Supérieur|
Back to top form with a blast. Dark colour, lots of juice and velvety mouthfilling fruit richness. Impressive, pure and ripe. Drinking range: 2022 - 2035 Rating: 89-91 L&S (Apr 2017)
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From a 28.5-hectare vineyard overlooking the Gironde River on the northern side of Saint-Estephe, the 2016 Château Charmail is one of those hidden gems in the vintage that should be snatched up by readers. It’s a medium to full-bodied, elegant, classic wine that offers lots of darker fruits (cassis and blackberry), spice, new saddle leather, and leafy herbs as well as a kiss of damp earth. It has terrific balance and is going to keep for 15-20 years. The blend is 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Petit Verdot, all brought up in one-third new French oak. A total of 80% of the production went into the grand vin. Drinking range: 2019 - 2039 Rating: 92 Jeb Dunnuck, www.jebdunnuck.com (Feb 2019)
The 2016 Charmail is a blend of 12% Cabernet Franc, 10% Petit Verdot, 36% Merlot and 42% Cabernet Sauvignon cropped between 3-21 October and matured in one-third new oak. It has a slightly leafy bouquet that is nicely detailed, good depth with cracked black pepper emerging with time. The palate is medium-bodied with rustic tannin, great depth and grip, very fine salinity with a Saint-Estèphe-like structure on the finish. The 2015 Charmail was excellent and this is likewise. Drinking range: 2021 - 2035 Rating: 90-92 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (Apr 2017)
Bright dark crimson. Deep, dark nose with lots of hot cross bun spicy charm. Pretty sweet but well done, except that it's pretty dry and demanding on the end. Ambitious but you will have to wait! Drinking range: 2023 - 2032 Rating: 16.5 Jancis Robinson OBE MW - www.JancisRobinson.com (Apr 2017)
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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