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May 12, 2017

Cantemerle 2016 & Cruzelles 2016

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This morning Chateau Cantemerle 2016 has released for £258 per case of 12, or £129 per case of six bottles. In 2016, Cantemerle as always represents the best price among any of the Grand Cru wines of Bordeaux. It has been awarded 94-95 points from James Suckling and 90-92 points from Neal Martin, placing it among their finest ever. Today’s price and score translates to a Price Over Points (POP) score of 23.5 from the Wine Advocate score and 17.8 from James Suckling’s, once again, sure to be one of the lowest of the 2016 Campaign. In fact, Chateau Cantemerle, which is the first great Estate that one encounters as they enter the Medoc on the D2, only just made the 1855 Classification parchment the evening before submission as a Fifth Growth. It has, ever since, offered some of the best quality vs value in Bordeaux, or anywhere else for that matter. Chateau Cantemerle should be a perennial in any cellar.

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 the Villeneuve-Durfort family. Today the Estate is in the stewardship of 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. The Estate boasts 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.

Cantemerle is renowned for rich concentrated fruit flavours of blackberry and plum, with delicate brioche and toast, developing a lovely nose of forest floor and liquorice with age.

Cantemerle 2016, 12×75 – £258 EP

90-92 Points, Neal martin, The Wine Advocate
The 2016 Cantemerle has a tightly wound bouquet and it never quite delivers the detail and mineralité that some of its peers have produced in this vintage. There are attractive undergrowth scents and a touch of tobacco, but it does not leap from the glass with joy. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, good depth of fruit, blackberry laced with cedar and graphite. One sample was missed a little precision, however, a second and third demonstrated much more precision and tension. My score reflects this.

 

94-95 Points, James Suckling
Dense and chewy already with plenty of ripe tannins and bright fruit. Vivid acidity. Full body, a firm and silky texture and a flavorful finish. Lots going on. Excellent follow-up to the great 2015!

Yesterday afternoon Chateau Cruzelles released for £200 per case of 12, outstanding value for one of the hidden gems of Bordeaux. In 2016 it has been awarded 91-93 points from Neal Martin, who announces ‘Cellar space should be made for this sensual and engaging wine, and if prices follow their trend as in previous years, it could be one of the Right Bank’s outstanding values.’ Said quote is almost Parker-esque. The score translates to a POP score of 17, which is truly compelling.

Chateau Cruzelles is owned and run by Denis Durantou, the current owner and 4th generation winemaker at L’Eglise Clinet. In fact, Chateau Cruzelles,11-hectare property in Lalande de Pomerol, is located just 1km away from the Pomerol plateau and is visible from the back door of L’Eglise Clinet. Planted to 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, the Estate was carefully chosen by Denis Durantou for its gravel and clay soil, very similar to his property at L’Eglise Clinet. A bargain for a wine with such a pedigreed terroir and winemaker! Tim Atkin MW considers this  “One of the Gironde’s greatest bargains”, Martin views it has one of the outstanding right bank wines of the vintage: we do too!

Cruzelles 2016, 12×75 – £200 EP

91-93 Points, Neal martin, The Wine Advocate
The 2016 Les Cruzelles, Denis Durantou’s second estate in Lalande-de-Pomerol, is a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc picked 22-29 September and on 6 October, respectively. The yield is 40 hectoliters per hectare, and it is matured in 50% new oak. It has a very fragrant bouquet with perfumed red cherry and crushed strawberry fruit infused with minerals, like the La Chenade, very harmonious and detailed. The palate is medium-bodied with crunchy red berry fruit, crisp acidity, a little spicier than the La Chenade and perhaps with a touch more persistence on the finish. Cellar space should be made for this sensual and engaging wine, and if prices follow their trend as in previous years, it could be one of the Right Bank’s outstanding values.

91-92 Points, James Suckling
A very finely textured red with cherries, chocolate and berries. Medium body and fine tannins. A beauty.

To buy this wine, click here