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November 05, 2013

Cantemerle 2010

Cantemerle label

Cantemerle’s effort in 2010 is special: it offers the best price versus score value of any classified growth in 2010 or 2009, the greatest back-to-back vintages of our lifetime. Robert Parker declared this wine to be the greatest he has tasted from this Estate awarding it 94+ points and the World of Fine Wine Panel recently declared Cantemerle as producing ‘some of the most exciting wines on the entire Left Bank’. Parker is not alone in his admiration for the 2010 with James Suckling also effusively giving this wine with 93-94 points; ‘layered and rich with lots of blueberry character and ripe velvety tannins. Lovely texture. Best wine from here in years!’

It is truly an outstanding wine from a seminal vintage; however, what makes it truly exceptional is the modest price. In fact it is unbelievably under valued at £255 for a case of 12 bottles, that equates to £21.25 per bottle in bond or £27.90 with duty and VAT paid, the market is missing a trick here, for now. We have been searching the 2009 and 2010 vintages and are confident that of the classified growths on the left bank Cantemerle 2010 cannot be matched currently for its score versus price. The table below measures Cantermerle 2010 against its peers by its POP (price over points ratio), invented by Liv-ex to demonstrate the price versus quality of investable wine.


*The POP is calculated by taking Robert Parker’s score and taking 80 away from the total under the assumption that no wine that scores under 80 merits investment. Scoring the wines out of 20 also increases the weighting of each point. The new score is then divided by the price of a nine litre case giving the POP score, the implication being that the lower the score the better the relative value.

Cantemerle has a rich history, albeit slightly polemic on occasions. The Chateau is found just outside the village of Margaux in the Haut-Medoc appellation, in the commune of Macau. It is classified as a Fifth Growth, yet it was not included on the original 1855 classification of Bordeaux, appearing a year later in 1856, accompanied by an asterix, making it along with Mouton Rothschild, the only other amendment to the immutable 1855 document.

Cantemerle’s history extends to the Middle Ages when it formed part of the fortifications defending the Medoc. Wine has been produced on this site since the 14th Century and in 1579 the Chateau was purchased by Villeneuve-Durfort family. In the mid 17th Century Loius de Villeneuve – the then Lord of Cantemerle – created a scandal when he was excommunicated for kidnapping the sister of the Lord of Gironville and publicly beating her in a church service.

Today the Estate is in the stewardship of the Le Groupe (Les Mutuelles d’Assurance du Bâtiment et des Travaux Public) who purchased it in 1981 and began investing heavily, rebuilding the cuvier, repairing the chai and embarking on a replanting scheme which results in an average vine age today of 30 years. Today the Estate boats 87 hectares and is cultivated with 50% Cabernet Saugvignon, 40% Merlot and an additional 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. The wine is aged in 40-50% new French oak for 14 months and the Estate produces 25,000 cases a year.

The Estate is renowned for rich concentrated fruit of blackberry, plum, with delicate brioche and toast, developing a lovely nose of forest floor and liquorice with age. In 2010 they trumped all their previous efforts creating a wine of intense fruit concentration, with beautiful symmetry and harmony. This wine will improve for 30 years but also offers incredible pleasure with food now.

It was not easy sourcing a parcel of 25 cases of Cantemerle 2010 for £255 and the price is set to rise in the short term. In the long term we can look to the 88 scoring 2000 Cantemerle which trades at £400 per case of 12. The 2010 offers the opportunity to a purchase truly great claret for under £22 a bottle.

To buy a case please follow this link to our sales page.