The 2022 Clos Cantenac, owned by Martin Krajewski of Pomerol's Château Séraphine, was cropped at 45hL/ha with triage before picking that started on 5 September. It has an almost Burgundian bouquet with plush red berry fruit, a light marine influence, incense and warm gravel.
The palate is medium-bodied with pliant tannins, a slightly granular texture, and impressive mid-palate depth with a seamless, sumptuous, but not overbearing finish. This will be very tempting in youth, but it has the substance to age. This deeply impressed me, and it might surpass Krajewsk's aforementioned Pomerol.
Drink 2028 - 2042
Neal Martin, Vinous.com (April 2023)
A deep garnet-purple in colour and with a little swirling, it unlocks scents of warm plums, blackberry preserves, and cedar chest, with wafts of Indian spices and garrigue. The medium to full-bodied palate is laden with oak-laced black fruit preserves, supported by rounded, approachable tannins and compelling freshness, finishing long and savoury.
Drink 2027 – 2045
Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent (May 2023)
Intense spice as with the Petit Cantenac, but here it deepens into incense, clove, white pepper, and rosemary, with plenty of complexity while still a clear reflection of a hot vintage. Plenty of juice and energy to the ripe berry fruits, with a kick of freshness on the finish.
Average age 35 to 40 years old vines, from 6ha across 5 different vineyard locations, 45hl/h yield. The final blend will be done in March. 300l barrels for one year plus amphora. 45hl/h yield, harvest began September 6 for two weeks.
Drink 2026 - 2038
Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com (May 2023)
90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample.
Deeper colour than Petit Cantenac. Expressive floral (violet, iris) nose. Refined texture, the tannins present but finely honed. Plenty of freshness, so attractive weight and balance. Probably the most elegant Clos Cantenac yet.
Drink 2027 - 2037
James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com (May 2023)
Quite an intense nose, perfumed, direct and precise with liquorice, vanilla, clove, and graphite - the aromatics coming from the Cabernet Franc. Spiced and taught, linear and focussed, a nice drive of blue and red fruit with persistence, offset by dried herbs and soft toasted elements. Great complexity and textural interest with high acidity that gives life and energy.
Really well worked, not overdone, slick and intentional with a racy acidity that gives a tang and delightful freshness. I like this for its energy and brightness; there’s a joyous quality, and it’s not trying too hard but finessed with bounce and vibrancy. Ageing 12-14 months, 50% new oak. 300l barrels.
Drink 2028 - 2049
Georgina Hindle, Decanter.com (April 2023)
This is a classy and resonant wine with intensity and focus, serious balance, refinement, and actively challenging tannins with layer after layer of tender black fruit and brittle acidity.
An intriguing wild cherry perfume signals a wine of intent, and when the palate takes over, it is a measured performance where the elements act together without any over-enthusiastic ingredients breaking from the pack and ruining the precise symmetry found on the palate.
Nothing is rushed, and everything is polished, making this an elite wine in a legendary vintage.
Matthew Jukes, Money Week (May 2023)
About this WINE
Clos Cantenac is a 3 hectares wine property with vines planted on a combination of deep gravel, sand and clay over limestone soils.
It is situated close to the pre-historic "Megalith de Pierrefitte" in the Saint Emilion wine appellation and it was purchased in 2007 by Martin Krajewski, the owner of Chateau de Sours. The property is is run by Krajewski on the helm along with wine enthusiast Marcus Le Grice from New Zealand and Sebastien Lamothe, Oenologist and Technical Director of Chateau de Sours.
St Émilion 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 Émilion 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 Émilion, 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 Émilion 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
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.