|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.robertparker.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 MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com(Apr 2017)
Blueberry and blackberry character with hints of stones and minerals. Medium to full body and firm and silky tannins. Wonderful tannin quality here. Rating: 91-92 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com(Apr 2017)
A wine that can be shy in the early stages in certain vintages, but really comes out of itself in 2016. Oak dominates right now, although there is ripe cassis fruit underneath. They have made the slightly strange choice of having 100% new oak for the primeurs when the final wine will only have 33% - I have seen estates do this a few times this year and am not sure it's the best approach. Anyway, the overall impression is of luscious fruit with a kick of glamour, but I will need to restaste once bottled to see if that remains the case. A new blend this year, after buying a few new plots, of 40% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc and 8% Petit Verdot. The second vintage with Hubert de Bouard. Drinking range: 2023 - 2038 Rating: 89 Jane Anson, Decanter(Apr 2017)
One of the sleepers of the vintage, the 2016 Charmail is dark, ripe and voluptuous. Dark red fruit, new leather, spice and oak are pushed forward. Readers should expect a ripe, concentrated style. This is a big, big wine and there is real depth and density here. Tasted three times. Rating: 88-91 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com(Apr 2017)
A property who's star has been rising since Oliver Sèze bought the property in 1982. Oliver developed a process called pre-fermentation cold maceration 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. Château Charmail is next-door to Sociando-Mallet in the commune of St-Seurin-de-Cadourne, just north of St-Estèphe.
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