LA RAISON D’HÊTRE
2016 Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux
|Grapes||Merlot, Cab Franc|
|Sub-district||Saint Emilion & Satellites|
|Village||Côtes de Castillon|
The second wine of L’Hêtre, a new wine in the distinctly up-and-coming AP of Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux. Owned by the Thienpont family, organically farmed and situated high on the limestone plateau to the east of St-Emilion, this is great value considering its pedigree. 95% Merlot with a dash of Cabernet Franc, there is dark blackcurrant fruit and a whiff of smoke, allied to ripe tannins and potential to age. Drinking range: 2020 - 2026 Decanter Magazine (Jun 2020)
*Case price discount: Mix any 12 bottles (or 9l equivalent) of wine or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits, Sweet Wine or Fortified to get the 'case price' for each bottle.
Raison d’Hêtre, the second wine, is a blend of 95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc as well but from the young vines and from the parcels of clay-limestone on the lower slopes. It has a pretty dark violet colour, is round and fresh with red fruit aromas. Its taste is lively and spicy with attractive fruit/tannin balance. Perched at a height of 100m at the end of the limestone Saint Philippe d’Aiguilhe plateau that runs eastwards from Saint Emilion, the highest point of Bordeaux. It comprises 10 hectares of vineyards surrounded by woods and pastures. The vineyards enjoy good southeasterly exposure, a continuous gentle breeze and are divided between the limestone plateau and a mixture of clay, limestone and chalk soil slopes. The wines are fermented in concrete and oak vats and aged in a mixture of one-third new oak, one-third one year and one-third second year barrels. The artwork for the labels was created by Belgian artist, Anne Van Hereweghen. Winemaker's notes (Jun 2020)
Jacques Thienpont (of Le Pin and l'If fame) bought the beautifully positioned Château Goubau in 2015 with his sister, Anne de Raeymaker. The property is 100m up on the eastern edge of the Saint Philippe d’Aiguilhe plateau, the highest point in the Bordeaux region, and commands a stunning view. It had previously been named Château Goubau after another Belgian family who had owned it for ten years and it was they who had converted it to organic viticulture. In 2017 the Thienponts added another 10 hectares of vines from the neighbouring Château Montagne. From the 2016 vintage these wines are labelled L'Hêtre (the Hazel) and Raison d'Hêtre (oh come on, it's irresistible) - which continues Jacques' theme of naming properties after different trees.
The estate is managed by their nephew Maxime, who grew up at Château Labégorce-Zédé in Margaux.
Some of the best value in Bordeaux comes from the "second" wines of the big estates. These are made up of the fruit of younger vines, or barrels that don't quite make the final cuvée, or occasionally seperate dedicated vineyards. They are given the same meticulous care that the "first" wines get, but are ready to drink sooner and, crucially, are that bit less expensive. Treat yourself to a selection of great claret - you know you're worth it!
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