Made from 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, and 1% Cabernet Franc, the 2022 Capbern is deep garnet-purple in color. It sashays out with flamboyant scents of warm cassis, fresh blackberries, and cherry pie, followed by suggestions of sassafras, cedar chest, and iron ore. The concentrated, full-bodied palate is jam packed with black fruit flavors, supported by finely grained tannins and just enough freshness, finishing decadently rich and with great persistence. pH 3.8
Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent (May 2023)
Attractive inky ruby colour, sculpted slightly heady iris flowers on the aromatics, opens to damson fruits, cocoa bean, liquorice root, slate, clear concentration and a flash of heat. Harvest began on September 6, earliest ever seen here, through to September 27. 26hl/h yields. 60% new oak.
Jane Anson, janeanson.com (May 2023)
Notes of dark berries and cherries mingled with licorice and loamy soil introduce the 2022 Capbern, a medium to full-bodied, rich and fleshy wine framed by ripe, powdery tannins and concluding with a long, somewhat heady finish. It's a blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot and the balance Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, picked between the 6th and 27th of September.
William Kelley, Wine Advocate (April 2023)
A firm and tight red with blackberry and currant character. Medium body. Bright and savory.
James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (April 2023)
Smells gorgeous, rich and vibrant with dark bramble berry tones. Blackcurrant and black cherry. Quite tannic straight away, they make the impression, slightly grainy and chalky giving a wide, expansive and mouth coating feeling. Bold, but clean and clear, it has a nice crispness as well as depth with some minty, herbal liquorice, flint and clove aspects on the finish. Slightly lifted in terms of alcohol impression at the end, sticking out a touch, but overall this is quite streamlined and sleek, not plush at all but cooly concentrated with a subtly juice core. 1% Cabernet Franc completes the blend. 3.25% pH. Ageing 18 months, 60% new french oak barrels.
Georgine Hindle, Decanter (April 2023)
One of the more opulent, sexy wines in the vintage, the 2022 Château Capbern just about jumps out of the glass with its sweet red, blue, and black fruits as well as notions of chocolate, graphite, and leafy herbs. Full-bodied, concentrated, and textured on the palate, with ripe tannins, this stunning Saint-Estèphe is up there with the finest vintages I've tasted from this château.
Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com (May 2023)
About this WINE
Chateau Capbern Gasqueton in Bordeaux has been in the ownership of the Gasqueton family, owners of the 3rd classed Growth Ch Calon Ségur, for 10 generations. It is a Cru Bourgeois, located close to the best part of St Estephe, and has 41 hectares under vine.
Unsurprisingly in view of the excellence of Calon Ségur at present this is a well-run estate, producing wines of charm and structure capable of lasting comfortably 10-20 years in good vintages. The fruit is all hand-harvested and oak is used judiciously, with only one-third of the barrels new each year. 10,000 cases are produced and in the context of the current pricing of top Bordeaux we regard this as offering excellent value for money.
Saint-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.
Saint-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.
Saint-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.
Cabernet 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.