Red, Ready, but will improve

2005 Ch. la Couspaude, St Emilion

2005 Ch. la Couspaude, St Emilion

Red | Ready, but will improve | Chateau La Couspaude | Code: 937007 | 2005 | France > Bordeaux > St-Emilion | Cab.Sauvignon Blend | Medium-Full Bodied, Dry | 13.0 % alcohol

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Scores and Reviews

PARKER

90-92/100

PARKER - An outstanding sleeper of the vintage, the 2005 may turn out to be one of the finest examples yet of this modern-styled St.-Emilion. Nicely oaked, ripe but not over-ripe, it possesses a deep ruby/purple color as well as sweet scents of pain grille, kirsch liqueur, and black currants. Ripe, medium to full-bodied, and rich, with good glycerin as well as freshness, and a long, heady finish, this succulent offering should be enjoyed over the next 10-15 years.
Robert M. Parker, Jr. - Wine Advocate - eRobertParker.com #219 Apr 2006

The Producer

Chateau La Couspaude

Chateau La Couspaude

Château La Couspaude is a Grand Cru Classé property that has recently risen to prominence with consumers and critics alike. Only 3000 cases a year are produced from a small 7 hectares vineyard located on a rocky, chalky clay plateau only 500 metres from the centre of the village of St. Emilion.

La Couspaude is typically a blend of 70% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc and 12% Cabernet Sauvignon - the grapes are harvested at optimum ripeness and then fermented in stainless steel vats. The wine is matured for 16-18 months in 100% new oak barrels.

Owner Jean-Claude Aubert and winemaker Vincent Rebillout have turned La Couspaude around in a relatively short period of time and they now have a reputation for producing ultra-ripe, rich, full-bodied wines that verge on decadence.

The Grape

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.

In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.

In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and  Australia.

The Region

St-Emilion

St-Emilion

St Emilion is one of Bordeaux's largest producing appellations, producing more wine than Listrac, Moulis, St Estèphe, Pauillac, St Julien and Margaux put together. St Emilion has been producing wine for longer than the Médoc but its lack of accessibility to Bordeaux's port and market-restricted exports to mainland Europe meant the region initially did not enjoy the commercial success that funded the great châteaux of the Left Bank. 

St Emilion itself is the prettiest of Bordeaux's wine towns, perched on top of the steep limestone slopes upon which many of the region's finest vineyards are situated. However, more than half of the appellation's vineyards lie on the plain between the town and the Dordogne River on sandy, alluvial soils with a sprinkling of gravel. 

Further diversity is added by a small, complex gravel bed to the north-east of the region on the border with Pomerol.  Atypically for St Emilion, this allows Cabernet Franc and, to a lesser extent, Cabernet Sauvignon to prosper and defines the personality of the great wines such as Ch. Cheval Blanc.  

In the early 1990s there was an explosion of experimentation and evolution, leading to the rise of the garagistes, producers of deeply-concentrated wines made in very small quantities and offered at high prices.  The appellation is also surrounded by four satellite appellations, Montagne, Lussac, Puisseguin and St. Georges, which enjoy a family similarity but not the complexity of the best wines.

St Emilion was first officially classified in 1954, and is the most meritocratic classification system in Bordeaux, as it is regularly amended. The most recent revision of the classification was in 2012

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