2022 Château Marsau, Francs-Côtes de Bordeaux
Jane Anson, janeanson.com (May 2023)
This medium to full-bodied 2022 Marsau is an attractive wine produced from 100% Merlot. It has a delightfully pure bouquet of peony, violet, iris, menthol and cassis, followed by a crunchy and juicy yet fresh texture and then by a mineral-driven finish of remarkable purity, expressing elegant notes of licorice and pencil lead. Anne-Laurence and Mathieu Chadronnier have produced a red wine that punches above its weight. Bravo!
Wine Advocate (April 2023)
The 2022 Marsau is powerful, rich Cotes de Bordeaux. It emerges from a 12-acre, biodynamically farmed parcel of Merlot on clay 20 kilometers east of Saint-Émilion. Dense and vibrant, the 2022 possesses notable density in its fruit and also plenty of structure. Marsau is unique in that it is aged 80% in foudre, the rest in used oak, tank and amphora. Larger format oak naturally yields a wine that is quite reticent within the context of Bordeaux, especially en primeur.
Antonio Galloni, Vinous (April 2023)
A juicy and flavorful red with blackberry, chocolate and hazelnut character. Medium to full body. Structured yet juicy. Plenty of grip and structure. Savory. Salty. Most impressive wine I have had from here. Pure merlot. 80% aged in cask.
James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (April 2023)
Lovely dark fruity fragrance with perfumed floral aromas on the nose, smells expressive and open. Smooth and supple, a lovely combination of tension, mouthwatering acidity and fruitiness here, such sleek texture with definition and soft juiciness. The tannins have grip and purpose with a softly fleshy and mineral sensation - liquorice, wet stone and graphite - giving a wide and interesting expansion on the palate. Feels cool and controlled, serious and focussed, with balance, still with concentration and power and grip. Feels very classy on the palate.
Gerogina Hindle, Decanter.com (May 2023)
About this WINE
This excellent little property in the obscure Côtes de Francs is producing delicious wines.
Owned by the president of Bordeaux negociant, Dourthe, Jean-Marie Chadronnier, Chateau Marsau has been heralded by Robert Parker as "The Petrus of the Côtes de Francs".
Lying at the top of a hill, north-east of the village of Francs, the vineyards benefit from an excellent microclimate, with exceptional sunshine hours. The soils are predominantly clay which suits the Merlot grape variety, with which 85% of the vineyards are planted, very well.
The character of the wines is classic right-bank with soft, round, elegant fruit and fabulous balance.
Cotes de Francs
Francs-Côtes de Bordeaux, formerly known as the Côtes de Francs, is an appellation located on the Right Bank of Bordeaux. It is permitted to make red wines as well as dry and sweet white wines.
It forms part of the Côtes de Bordeaux network of appellations along with Blaye, Cadillac, Castillon and Sainte-Foy.
One of the leading producers in Francs-Côtes de Bordeaux is Château Marsau, the home estate of Anne-Laurence and Mathieu Chadronnier; Mathieu is the president of major négociant CVBG.
The most widely planted grape in Bordeaux and a grape that has been on a relentless expansion drive throughout the world in the last decade. Merlot is adaptable to most soils and is relatively simple to cultivate. It is a vigorous naturally high yielding grape that requires savage pruning - over-cropped Merlot-based wines are dilute and bland. It is also vital to pick at optimum ripeness as Merlot can quickly lose its varietal characteristics if harvested overripe.
In St.Emilion and Pomerol it withstands the moist clay rich soils far better than Cabernet grapes, and at it best produces opulently rich, plummy clarets with succulent fruitcake-like nuances. Le Pin, Pétrus and Clinet are examples of hedonistically rich Merlot wines at their very best. It also plays a key supporting role in filling out the middle palate of the Cabernet-dominated wines of the Médoc and Graves.
Merlot is now grown in virtually all wine growing countries and is particularly successful in California, Chile and Northern Italy.
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The Chadronnier family have not ploughed their 14 hectares since 2019; work is done by hand. There are cover crops, trees between rows and no summer pruning; everything is as sustainable and regenerative as possible. The winemaking is low intervention. Marsau, set apart by its clay soil, is planted to 100% Merlot.
The vineyard’s adaptability to climate challenges makes 2022 its most successful vintage yet. The fruit is glossy with heady summer floral and soft-fruit scents. The palate gleams with tiny sparks of ferric energy. You could call it a mini Pomerol but it’s not as simple as that. The wine’s ease within its own skin marks it out as its own person, reflecting both its origin and its owners. It offers wonderful value and authenticity.
Drink 2025 - 2038
Berry Bros. & Rudd (April 2023)
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