CHÂTEAU LE CROCK

2017 Cru Bourgeois Supérieur Saint Estèphe

EN PRIMEUR

This wine is structured and dense, with dusty tannins as well as full-bodied black plum flavors. Made by the winemaking team of Château Léoville Poyferré in Saint-Julien, the wine has good ageing potential. Drink from 2023 Rating: 93 The Wine Spectator, www.winespectator.com (Jun 2020)

* This is a pre-shipment/primeur offer. All orders are accepted under the TERMS of this offer which differ from the terms of the rest of the site.

The 2017 Le Crock, owned by the soon-to-be retired Didier Cuvelier, is matured in 25% new oak. It has a straightforward, slightly earthy bouquet with light sea spray scents infusing the black fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins, slightly glossy in style with lightly spiced black and red fruit and a splash of Hoisin towards the short finish. Give this Le Crock three or four years and you should have a decent, quite concentrated Saint-Estèphe. Drinking range: 2020 - 2030 Rating: 89-91 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (May 2018)

52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot, 6% Cabernet Franc. When the 2020 cru bourgeois classification gets underway later this year, they will apply for the new (reinstated) Exceptionnel category, for which they have to show five vintages. Mid cherry red. Subtle on the nose, a nice dusty touch. Beautifully lifted and fragrant. Juicy, supple and with lovely tangy dark-red fruit on the palate. Paper-fine tannins, in many layers, and a long, fresh, juicy finish. Fresh to a long finish. Delicious and likely to be GV. Drinking range: 2023 - 2032 Rating: 16.5 Julia Harding MW, www.JancisRobinson.com (Apr 2018)

A Cuvelier-owned estate with 32ha of vines that escaped the frost, yielding 50hl/ha. The talented oenologist Isabelle Davin and consultant Michel Rolland have delivered another St-Estèphe success, with plump, rich and ripe fruits. There's not a lot to worry about here - it's not especially long or layered, but it has excellent fruit integrity and a ripe tannic structure, offering lots of pleasure. For the best value this year St-Estèphe seems to be the go-to appellation. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. 3.7pH. 70 IPT. 33% new oak. Buy. Drinking range: 2025 - 2036 Rating: 90 Jane Anson, Decanter (Apr 2018)

The 2017 Château le Crock is a solid effort made from 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc. It’s a classic, medium-bodied effort that gives up plenty of red currants, spice, and herbs/floral notes. It has juicy acidity, plenty of fruit, and is a classy, balanced effort that will benefit from short-term cellaring and keep for a decade. Rating: 89-91 Jeb Dunnuck, www.jebdunnuck.com (Apr 2018)

This is tight and structured with a pretty center palate. Medium body, dark fruit and hints of spices and cedar. Very well done. Rating: 91-92 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com (Apr 2018)

Direct, with a solid core of plum and black cherry fruit lined with a tangy iron note. A flash of tobacco shows on the finish. Rating: 87-90 James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator (Apr 2018)

Proprietor Didier Cuvelier was quite precise about the degree of frost damage done here. "We had ten vines frosted. That's not 10% of our vines - I really mean just ten vines". As was the case elsewhere in St Estèphe, frost simply wasn't an issue here in 2017. The blend is therefore fairly typical for the domaine, with 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot and 6% Cabernet Franc, very close to the percentages found in the vineyard. I get fresh and substantial fruit character on the nose, accompanied by a convincing dried-cherry character and a vanilla freshness. The palate has a gentle substance, showing a fresh and cool style, with a dry bed of medium-grained tannins and fresh acids. A delightfully clean and pure palate, fresh and filled with elegant structure. This is a good Le Crock in the making. Rating: 90-92 Chris Kissack, www.thewinedoctor.com (Apr 2018)

Château Le Crock is in Saint Estèphe in the northern Médoc. The imposing current Château was built by the Merman family at the beginning of the nineteenth century and is surrounded by magnificent gardens. The vineyard is around 33 hectares (82 acres) and touches two of the most prestigious châteaux of the appellation, Château Cos d’Estournel and Château Montrose.

It is owned by the Cuvelier family, which also owns Château Léoville Poyferré in Saint Julien. The Cuveliers were originally wine merchants in Lille in northern France and Le Crock was their first vineyard purchase, in 1903, so has a special place in the affections of the family, many of whom spent their summers there. The Cuvelier properties were run with considerable flair by Didier Cuvelier for forty years. 2018 his cousin Sara Lecompte-Cuvelier took over at le Crock. Under Jonathan Servant, who runs the vineyard, the soil is worked mechanically, to avoid the use of herbicides, and with sexual confusion techniques to avoid the use of pesticides. The consultant oenologist is Michel Rolland.

Grape Varieties: 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot.

In the classification of the Crus Bourgeois in early 2020, Le Crock was elevated to the status of Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnel.

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BRUNELLO PRE-SHIPMENT OFFER FAQ

PRICES: This is a primeur offer - all prices are quoted IN BOND ex-VAT by the case size stated.

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