2016 Ch. Le Crock, St Estèphe

2016 Ch. Le Crock, St Estèphe

Product: 20168015398
2016 Ch. Le Crock, St Estèphe

Description

Ch. le Crock is the handsome property one glimpses from the road when driving through the southern end vineyards of St Estèphe – the commune that has provided us with some of the best 2016s of all. The Cuvelier family like to stay at the château while they oversee the harvest at their grander property, Ch. Léoville-Poyferré. As it happened, Le Crock was the first 2016 Bordeaux I tasted and I was impressed with the wine’s deep, purple colour and dark, creamy fruits offset by that characteristic firm, Le Crock, edge. It is a favourite wine – based on a stunning 1989 tasted a decade or so ago and more currently the very agreeable 2003 which is drinking well now. Highly recommended in my opinion, and affordable value too – in any sized format. Drink 2022-2030+.
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About this WINE

Chateau le Crock

Chateau le Crock

Château Le Crock is one of the finest Cru Bourgeois properties in St. Estèphe, and has been owned by the Cuvelier family since 1903. They also own Léoville Poyferré, as well as a successful négociant business. Le Crock is located south of the village of St. Estèphe, with its vineyards being adjacent to those of Montrose and Cos d`Estournel.

Le Crock has 33 hectares planted with Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), Merlot (25%), Cabernet Franc (10%) and Petit Verdot (5%).

Le Crock's grapes are hand-harvested and are vinified traditionally - the wine is then aged in small oak barrels (33% new) for 18 months. It is bottled unfiltered. Le Crock now property produces textbook St. Estèphes that are deeply coloured and concentrated and full-bodied on the palate. Since 1995, Michel Rolland has been a consultant and the wine has been better balanced and more harmonious.

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St Estephe

St Estephe

St Estèphe is the northernmost of the most important communes of the Médoc and borders Pauillac on its southernmost border, with only a gully and stream separates it from Ch. Lafite. To the north lies the Bas-Médoc.

St Estèphe is defined by the depth of its gravel, which is ubiquitous but of varying depths and occasionally very shallow, when clay predominates. This keeps the soil cooler and wetter than its counterparts so that the wines can appear fresh in lighter vintages, but superbly successful in hot, dry years. 

The best châteaux in the south of the commune have the deepest soil and the thickest gravel. Cos d'Estournel has an exceptional terroir with its vineyards being located on a south-facing ridge of gravel with excellent drainage. 

St Estèphe is the least gravelly of main Médoc communes and in the north of the commune the vineyards are heavier and more clay-based leading to a rustic style of wine being produced.

The wines can appear austere in youth with a discernable ferric note at some châteaux, but the best typically display good depth of colour, pronounced acidity an tannins in youth and are exceptionally long-lived. At their best, they are the equal of almost any Bordeaux. The well-regarded St Estèphe co-operative controls the production of about half the appellation.

Recommended Châteaux
Cos (Ch. Cos d'Estournel), Ch. Montrose, Ch. Calon-Ségur, Ch. Lafon-Rochet, Ch. Les Ormes de Pez, Ch. Beau-Site, Ch. Cos Labory, Ch. Phélan-Ségur

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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.

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Reviews

Customer reviews

Wine Advocate88-90/100
jancisrobinson.com16.5+/20
Decanter91/100

Critic reviews

Wine Advocate88-90/100
The 2016 Le Crock is a blend of 46% Merlot, 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc and 6% Petit Verdot. It has an intense bouquet, showing quite noticeable new oak compared to some of its peers although there is a modest 30%. The palate is medium-bodied with quite firm tannin. This feels grainy in texture, one of the Left Bank wines that could be a doppelgänger for 2010, with a grippy, slightly masculine finish. Hopefully, it will develop more flesh during its élevage.
Neal Martin - Wine Advocate #230, April 2017 Read more
jancisrobinson.com16.5+/20
Rich and round. Very flattering. Slightly inky end. St-Estèphe on the finish. At the moment far from resolved but it has some alluring elements. 14.2%.
Jancis Robinson - 18th April 2017 Read more
Decanter91/100
From the Léoville Poyferré stable, this is beautifully fresh, rich and tight. An excellent wine, extremely juicy and controlled with a lovely extraction. It has a high IPT of 94 which comes across as a juicy support system for the fruit. From a blend of 46% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc and 6% Petit Verdot. Drinking Window 2023-2040.
Jane Anson - Decanter, 3rd April 2017 Read more