Château Peyreau

Saint Emilion Red Bordeaux Blend 2016

Earth, coffee, ripe blackcurrant, blackberry, salted caramel. Full to medium-bodied with softened tannins, hyper agile on the palate. Amazing. Artwork by Stéphane Derenoncourt. — a year ago

Château La Gaffelière

Saint-Émilion Red Bordeaux Blend 2016

Delectable Wine

The 2016 La Gaffelière is superb. Vivid and precise, with layers of nuance, the 2016 is a wine of real clarity. Blood orange, lavender, rose petal and mint add brightness to this stunningly beautiful Saint-Émilion. La Gaffelière is a blend of 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc, and it is the Franc that gives the wine so much character and complexity. This is just an irresistibly captivating Saint-Émilion. Stéphane Derenoncourt and Simon Blanchard consult. (Antonio Galloni, Vinous, January 2019) — 3 years ago

Château Lucia

Enzo Ide St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend 2009

David T

On the nose; dark currants, stewed styled blackberries, dark cherries, black plum, blueberries top nose, black raspberries, strawberries haunt here & there, semi-sweet tarry notes, dark chocolate, dry clay, loamy dry top soil, leather, lead pencil shavings, cedar, black tea, decayed red florals with fresh violets.

The palate is full bodied. Tannins rounded, dusty and 40% resolved. The structure is still big & bold, tension tight, balance is getting there and the length is in a good place with better evolution ahead. Dark currants, stewed styled blackberries, dark cherries, black plum, blueberries top nose, black raspberries, strawberries haunt here & there, semi-sweet tarry notes, dark chocolate, hint of mocha powder, vanilla, medium spice, dry stems, bay leaf, dry black turned earth, dry clay, loamy dry top soil, leather, lead pencil shavings, cedar, black tea, decayed red florals with fresh violets. The acidity is a little light but not bad. The long, drier, balanced finish is developing but needs another 5-8 years to reveal its best self.

Photos of; Owner Michel Bortolussi, small barrel room & Chateau Lucia exterior.

Producer notes and history...the owner of Lucia, Michel Bortolussi, got his start in the Bordeaux wine business selling equipment needed to make wine to all the top producers and winemakers in Bordeaux.
However, his strongest customer base were the numerous Chateau’s located in the Saint Emilion. Michel Bortolussi knee that if so many of his customers could produce great wine, he could as well. One of his best clients was wine consultant, Stephane Derenoncourt. That relationship was the start of Chateau Lucia.

Before Bortolussi and Stephane Derenoncourt teamed up to create Chateau Lucia. The wine was formally sold under the name of Chateau Lucie before Michel Bortolussi changed the name to Lucia.

The first vintage for Lucia was made in 2001. In 2012, Chateau Lucia was sold to Enzo Ide, a Belgian businessman.

Enzo Ide has retained the same technical team for their Right Bank vineyards and wine making. Enzo Ide also owns another vineyard, Chateau La Rousselle in the Fronsac appellation.

The 4.3 hectare St. Emilion vineyard of Chateau Lucia is planted to 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc.

Lucia has some of the oldest vines in Bordeaux. In fact, some of the vines date all the way back to 1901. They also have two other sections of vineyard with vines that are on average 30 years of age.

The younger vines are situated close to Chateau Monbousquet. Those vines are planted in more of the sandy terroir with some clay in the soils. Overall, the vineyard has a terroir of clay and limestone soils. The vines are planted to a vine density of 5,500 vines per hectare.

There is a lot of intensive labor that takes place at Chateau Lucia. To produce Chateau Lucia, the berries are harvested by hand. The fruit is sorted twice before fermentation. The grapes are whole berry fermented in small open-top, oak tanks that range in size from 30 to 50 hectoliters.

Everything in the small cellars is moved by gravity. Malolactic fermentation takes place in french oak barrels. The wine is aged on its lees in an average of 60% new, French oak barrels for between 12 to 18 months, depending on the character and quality of the vintage.

The production of Lucia is small at about 1,250 cases depending on what the vintage gives.

The 09 while tasty after opening up over an hour, still needs another 6-8+ years in bottle to be all it can be. Drink 2024-33.
— 4 years ago

jesus, DAD and 20 others liked this

Château des Aladères

Cuvée Confidentielle Corbières Red Blend 2012

Vintage 2012 | Syrah Carignan Grenache Mourvèdre | deep colour, swirling you see brown Italian rooftiles, vital sultry smell, stewed red summerfruits. Rounded in taste with characterful stubbornness. Enough reserve to live up to five more years. This cuvée is made with advice from Stéphane Derenoncourt. | paired with beef and salad — a year ago

Peter, Diederick and 22 others liked this

Château Marsyas

Red Blend 2011

2011 vintage. 65% cabernet sauvignon, 20% syrah, 10% merlot, 5% petit verdot. From the southern part of the Bekaa Valley, at 900 meters altitude. Young estate (first vintage 2007 it seems), consulted by Stéphane Derenoncourt. Very dark red colour. Intense nose reminiscent of fresh black cherries, blackberries, eucalyptus and a hint of cocoa powder. Juicy black fruit and subtle spices in the mouth, with amazing acidity keeping the high alcohol (15,5% abv.) in balance. Black fresh fruit remains until the end, the wood is perfectly integrated. Very good indeed. Serve slightly chilled at about 14 to 16 degrees Celsius to prevent the alcohol to dominate. — 4 years ago

Château Larcis Ducasse

Saint-Émilion Red Bordeaux Blend 2003

David T

I’m opening my last bottle of the 03 Larcis Ducasse after recently reading a couple of professional write ups about the wines fruit fading and to drink up. I did not find that to be the case w/ my last bottle. I found the wine to be around it’s peak form with another 5 years plus ahead. On the nose; menthol, eucalyptus, ripe; dark cherries, cherries, blackberries, plum, poached & candied strawberries, notes of blue fruits, black raspberries, cherry cola, touch herbaceous; sage & bay leaf, limestone & rich, moist, black, turned earth, crushed dry rocks, graphite, dry soil/clay with dry & fresh dark florals. The body is medium full. Tannins are 75-80% resolved. The length, structure, tension & balance are right where I’d expect them to be and are quite enjoyable. The palate is very similar to the nose. Menthol, eucalyptus, ripe; dark cherries, cherries, blackberries, plum, poached & candied strawberries, notes of blue fruits, black raspberries, cherry cola, touch herbaceous; sage & bay leaf, limestone & rich, moist, black, turned earth, crushed dry rocks, dry & very grippy, edgy minerals, Montecristo cigar, graphite, dry soil/clay with dry & fresh dark florals. The acidity is lovely and the long finish is well balanced with an even tug of war between fruit & earth with the dry earth dominate on the long set. Photos of; of their great southern exposed sunny hillside vineyard, the old craved stone entrance and Nicolas Thienpont & Stephane Derenoncourt. Producer notes & history...Chateau Larcis Ducasse began during the days of the ancient Romans, who valued the best hillside vineyards in the area. The early part of the modern era for Larcis Ducasse begins in 1893, when Henri Raba bought the Saint Emilion vineyard. After Henri Raba passed away in 1925, his wife and son Andre Raba continued managing Larcis Ducasse. His niece, Helene Gratiot Alphandery, inherited the property in 1941. She managed Chateau Larcis Ducasse until 1990. Then her son, Jacques-Olivier Gratiot took control of the property after she passed away and he remains in charge today. Chateau Larcis Ducasse remains the property of the Gratiot Alphandery family today. Prior to 2003, it had been years since the wines of Chateau Larcis Ducasse were prized by Bordeaux wine lovers. The wine had fallen out of favor, due to a lack of attention and effort. That changed in 2002 when they hired Saint Emilion consultants, Nicolas Thienpont and Stephane Derenoncourt to turn things around and manage the estate. One of the first improvements at the property suggested by them was to create a new drainage system. The next step was to change harvesting practices. Prior to 2002, the grapes were often picked too early and over a very short duration of 2 to 3 days. Now, the harvest takes place when the fruit is ripe and picking can take as long as 2 to 3 weeks. Starting with the 2005 vintage, all work in the vineyards moved to 100% organic farming methods. The 10.85 hectare St. Emilion vineyard of Larcis Ducasse is planted to 78% Merlot and 22% Cabernet Franc. This shows a slight change in the vineyard, as more Cabernet Franc has been added to the plantings since 2003. The vineyard is located just around the bend in the road from Chateau Pavie. In fact, their vines but up against each other. They are surrounded by more good producers. To the south, is Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere and La Gaffeliere, and as you move north, Chateau Troplong Mondot and Chateau Pavie. The terroir of Chateau Larcis Ducasse is a mixture of soils. The vines on the top of plateau and the slopes have a south facing exposure. At the higher elevations on the plateau, the terroir is limestone, clay and chalk soils. As you travel further down the slopes towards the terraces, the terroir is a blend of chalky limestone, marl, sand, silt and clay soil. At the base of the slopes, you find sand and clay soils. On average the vines are 35 years of age. While the older plantings were done at a vine density of 6,600 vines per hectare, as the vineyard continues to be slowly replanted, the vine density is increasing with each subsequent replanting. The new plantings are being done at 7,500 vines per hectare. They are also using budwood obtained through selection massale. The yields are kept low at Larcis Ducasse. In 2009, the effective yields were only 25 hectoliters per hectare.To produce the wine of Chateau Larcis Ducasse, the grapes are whole berry fermented. The fruit is transported by gravity flow into traditional, cement tanks for fermentation. Cuvaison takes between 25-28 days. There are no pump overs. Pigeages are conducted during fermentation. Malolactic fermentation takes place in barrel. The wine of Chateau Larcis Ducasse is then aged in 67% new, French oak barrels, which are mixed in size, between standard barrels and 500 liter French, oak casks. The wine is then aged for an average of 18 to 20 months in barrel before bottling. The production averages close to 4,000 cases depending on what the vintage gives. — 4 years ago

Ceccherini, Garrick and 25 others liked this
Antonio Galloni

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Great write up!
David T

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@Antonio Galloni Very nice of you to reach out and say so. Thank you.
Peggy Hadley

Peggy Hadley

Really enjoy you write ups and pictures. Thanks.

Thienpont Derenoncourt

La Violette Du Manoir Grand Vin De Bordeaux 2010

Ken Z

Drank 10/13/20.
Nose on the light to medium side with plum, gravel, and fig. Black fruit and soil dominate the palate. Tannins mostly resolved at this stage. Finish is dry and falls off a bit quickly. Drink up, as this will not improve further.
3/21/8/4/3 +50 = 89 pts.
— 2 years ago

Ken, Tom and 13 others liked this

Château Poujeaux

Moulis en Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend 2007

David T

First, let me say the 07 Bordeaux vintage was largely frowned upon by professional critics. When I tasted it upon release, I had some doubts. However, I have said many times, in all difficult vintages anywhere, there are still producers that made good wine. Especially, if you give them time to evolve in bottle. This 07 has blossomed with 10 years in bottle and an absolutely perfect steak wine.

The nose reveals; smoldering ambers, dry crushed rocks, limestone minerals, ripe blackberries, black cherries, black raspberries, baked strawberries, black plum, floral blueberries, dark fruit liqueur, leather, cedar to saddle-wood, dark rich soils, stones, anise, graphite, old cigar with ash, hints of mushroom, steeped tea, fresh & withering red & dark floral bouquet.

The body is beautiful with; rich, round, velvety, smooth, tarry tannins. This 07 Poujeaux is in top form with plenty of life left ahead...another 7-10years easily. The structure, tension, length and balance are nicely knitted together. It glides effortlessly over the palate. A combination of dark currants & cassis. Ripe blackberries, black cherries, black raspberries, bright cherries, baked strawberries, black plum, floral blueberries, dark fruit liqueur, dark chocolate, mocha bar, vanilla, clove, dark spice, leather, cedar to saddle-wood, dark rich soils, stones, smoldering ambers, dry crushed rocks, dry clay, limestone minerals, dry brush, anise, graphite, old cigar with ash, touch of pepper, hints of mushroom, steeped tea, beautifully, fragrant, violets, lavender, fresh & withering red & dark floral bouquet. The acidity is nicely balanced in the wine. The finish without the steak shows dusty, grainy tannins, good balance in fruit & earth, elegant, ripe fruit and persistent on the palate.

Photos of, the unassuming Chateau Poujeaux by Bordeaux standards, the rootstock & soil structure of the Poujeaux terroir, Cellar with concrete tanks & large oak vats and a wide shot of the Estate.

Producer history and notes...Chateau Poujeaux’s history can be traced back to the 16th Century. At that time, the owner of Chateau Latour, Gaston De L’Isle, owned the estate. Over the centuries, Chateau Poujeaux, like numerous Bordeaux estates has been the property of a multitude of owners.

In fact, the owner of Chateau Beychevelle Marquis François Etienne de Brassier was one of owners. Over the centuries, Chateau Poujeaux was bought, sold, split up and divided. It was not until 1921, when the Theil family became the owners of the property that all the previously divided sections were brought back together again.

The modern era for Chateau Poujeaux began more recently. It started in 2008, when Jean Theil sold Chateau Poujeaux to the Cuvelier family, who were already owners of Clos Fourtet in St. Emilion. Once the Cuvelier family purchased, Mathieu Cuvelier took charge and things changed for the better.

The winemaking facilities were modernized and the farming technique used in the vineyards of Chateau Poujeaux were also changed.

They reduced yields and began picking later, giving them riper fruit. They also moved to an organic vineyard management approach and are looking at biodynamic farming as well. All of this work in the vineyards have helped push the wine quality of the estate. You only need to open and taste some their newer vintages. You’ll notice the improvement in fruit quality and the winemaking practices.

The 68 hectare Moulis vineyard of Chateau Poujeaux is planted to 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. The terroir is gravel based soils, typical of the area as show in the above photo. The average age of the vines is close to 35 years, although some vines are older.

The debut vintage under the Cuvelier family was the 2008. At Chateau Poujeaux, they are practicing serious vineyard management with the help of Stéphane Derenoncourt, who works with numerous Bordeaux Winemakers on both banks, including the Cuvelier’s property in St. Emilion, Clos Fourtet.

Chateau Poujeaux, fruit is whole berry fermented in a combination of small stainless steel vats, oak barrels and cement tanks with a 25-day cuvaison. Chateau Poujeaux is aged in about 40% new, French oak barrels for an average of 12 months. On average, Chateau Poujeaux produces close to 25,000 cases per year.
— 3 years ago

Mark, Peter and 26 others liked this
Alex Lallos

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Fully underrated chateau. Great note @David T
Alex Lallos

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Ps I tasted this en premieur in march 08... what a surprise
David T

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@Alex Lallos Thanks Alex.


Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Great fruits and amazing with steak — 5 years ago

Brett Estwanik
with Brett