Chateau Chasse Spleen is a known and loved Bordeaux wine with no pretence, just superb value. It is loved across the old world for this reason and has a perennial following. In 2016, it has made its greatest modern day vintage, awarded 92-94 points from Neal Martin, besting the 2010, 2009 and 2005. Martin says, ‘This is a fabulous Chasse-Spleen, the best I have ever tasted from the estate. It could end up at the top of by [sic] banded score.’ It is priced today at £258 per case of 12 bottles. A Bordeaux wine that has a score of 94 and costs £21.50 a bottle from the Wine Advocate is rare indeed, offering a superb opportunity to take advantage of an honest Estate in a great vintage. With a Price Over Points Score below 20, this is another must buy drinker of the vintage, which will prove extremely popular.
Chateau Chasse-Spleen is sited in Moulis en Medoc, which is to the north-west of Margaux. It was selected as one of the six Crus Exceptionnels in the 1932 Cru Bourgeois classification. As such it is considered the flagship Estate and leading Cru of Moulis. It can trace its historical legacy back to 1560, one of the oldest in Bordeaux. The Estate was principally called Grand-Poujeaux, divided in 1822 to become Château Gressier-Grand-Poujeaux: not very pithy. Further divisions resulted in in three Chateau, Maucaillou and Poujeaux, both which are revered today. Chasse Spleen is the third and foremost division.
The name Chasse Spleen roughly mean ‘dispels melancholy’ or colloquially ‘to chase away the blues’. Chroniclers and recontours abound the story of Lord Byron visiting in 1821, when he was so taken by the vines that he announced ‘Quel remede pour chasser le spleen’. Alternatively, the name is attributed to the poem Spleen by Charles Baudelaire, who also visited the property. They are certainly romantic notions and certainly bourgeois.
Production approaches 25,000 cases, which explains how the price can be kept so competitive. The blend dominates with Cabernet Sauvignon with around 20% Merlot and a preponderance of Petit Verdot. In 2016 Chasse Spleen have produced a special wine, which at this price point, will be hard to beat throughout 2016. In great vintages good estates can often produce excellent top tier wines, in 2016 Chasse Spleen has done just that. Chase Spleen 2016 will certainly chase the blues away.
Chateau Chasse Spleen 2016, 12×75 – £258 EP
92-94 Points, Neal martin, The Wine Advocate
The 2016 Chasse-Spleen has a very elegant bouquet with neatly integrated oak, the terroir really showing through here, hints of cedar and smoke emerging with time. The palate is fresh as a button on the entry. It is cut through with a superb line of acidity that engenders superb tension, the tannins firm but fine with a subtle marine influence towards the persistent finish. This is a fabulous Chasse-Spleen, the best I have ever tasted from the estate. It could end up at the top of by banded score.
92-93 Points, James Suckling
A solid and linear young wine with blackcurrant and berry character, a medium to full body and a savory finish. Another excellent, young Chasse-Spleen.
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