|Grapes||Petit Verdot, Cab Franc, Merlot, Cab Sauv|
44% Merlot, 39% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. Fine juice and penetrating Cabernet fruit - lean and taut. Drinking range: 2022 - 2032 Rating: 89-91 L&S (Apr 2017)
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The 2016 Potensac has a ripe, pure-fruit-driven bouquet of black cherries and bilberry fruit, developing lovely floral aromas. The palate is medium-bodied with fleshy ripe black fruit and fine mineralité. There is a subtle marine influence at play toward the finish, and a dash of white pepper on the aftertaste. Enjoyable. Tasted blind at the Southwold tasting. Drinking range: 2020 - 2036 Rating: 92 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (Aug 2020)
Another sleeper is the 2016 Château de Potensac, which is 44% Merlot, 39% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, all aged 14 months in 30% new French oak. This beauty is upfront and ready to go, with a dark, rich bouquet of currants, unsmoked tobacco, graphite, and earth. With beautiful concentration and a layered, elegant texture, it’s one of those wines that has ample upfront appeal yet will keep for 15+ years. Drinking range: 2019 - 2034 Rating: 91 Jeb Dunnuck, www.jebdunnuck.com (Feb 2019)
The 2016 Potensac is a blend of 39% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, cropped at 55 hectoliters per hectare between 5 and 19 October (11 days of picking), then matured in 30% new oak. Jean-Hubert Delon told me that his team was selective in the winery and so the Grand Vin only comprises 55% of the total production. It actually shares the potent marine/estuarine influence of the Chapelle de Potensac, plenty of black fruit here, maybe a little rustic but with plenty of character. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, quite linear at first, opening nicely in the mouth to reveal a spicy and lively middle and finish. This has a little more panache than the 2015 Potensac, more detail towards the finish, and it should give plenty of drinking pleasure over the next decade or more. Drinking range: 2020 - 2035 Rating: 90-92 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (Apr 2017)
Château Potensac is owned by the Delon family, owners of Léoville-Las Cases and Nénin. Potensac belies its humble Cru Bourgeois status and regularly outperforms its more illustrious neighbours.
The vineyards of Potensac are located in Ordonnac in Médoc. The blend is predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon, with approximately 40% Merlot and Cabernet Franc combined.
Yields are severely restricted to around 35 hl/ha (hectolitres per hectare) and rigorous selection for the 'grand vin' consigns roughly 35% of the harvest to the second wine, named Château Lassalle. Michel and Jean-Hubert Delon do not filter their wines as they prefer the more caring approach of fining with egg whites.
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