2023 Château Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc, Bordeaux

2023 Château Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc, Bordeaux

Product: 20238004338
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2023 Château Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc, Bordeaux

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Description

Blend: 75% Cabernet Sauvignon; 15% Merlot; 6% Petit Verdot; 4% Cabernet Franc.

This is the first vintage made in Cantemerle’s new winery and vat room. There is 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, providing a backbone of dark cherries and cassis, with some herbal notes at play too. Noticeable tannins and firm acidity give structure on the palate, thanks to the addition of 15% press wine. This is supported by plenty of fleshy dark fruits. This is always a wine with character.

Drink 2028 - 2040

Our score: 16/20

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Critics reviews

Jane Anson92/100

Intense plum colour, this has lift and attractive leafy notes, full of character and carefully-shaped and extracted tannins, cassis fruits, black chocolate and liqourice. Old school in feel, finessed and not overly sleek, full of heart. 35% new oak, 43hl/ha yield.

Drink 2029 - 2042

Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com (April 2024)

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Neal Martin, Vinous87-89/100

The 2023 Cantemerle has an attractive nose that offers more fruit concentration than its peers, raspberry and crushed strawberry, light peppery notes. The palate has good body on the entry, but it doesn't quite possess phenolic ripeness right on the finish. Could this be subsumed during the élevage? A third sample verified a nagging, albeit slight vegetal aspect but let's see how it will show once in bottle.

Drink 2027 - 2040

Neal Martin, Vinous.com (April 2024)

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Antonio Galloni, Vinous88-90/100

The 2023 Cantemerle is a deep, potent wine. A blast of dark plum, blackberry, mocha, grilled herbs, gravel and lavender make a strong first impression. The aromatics and overall structure are quite appealing, although I find the tannins a touch bruising at this stage. A long, sustained finish compensates to some degrees. Tasted two times.

Drink 2026 - 2038

Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com (April 2024)

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Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW83-85/100

The 2023 Cantemerle is deep garnet-purple in color. It features notions of prunes and raisin cake, leading to touches of dried herbs, tobacco leaf, and balsamic. The light to medium-bodied palate is chewy and innocuous, with dried berry flavors and an herb-laced finish.

Drink 2026 - 2033

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent (April 2024)

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Jancis Robinson MW16+/20

75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot. Cask sample.

Appealing fruit on the nose with a toasted edge. Juicy, firm and long, the tannins polished and integrated. Shows class and elegance albeit in a lighter vein.

Drink 2028 - 2038

James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com (April 2024)

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Wine Advocate88-89/100

The 2023 Cantemerle offers up aromas of dark berries, cherries, mint and herbs, followed by a medium-bodied, round and fleshy palate that's a touch varietal in profile this year.

William Kelley, Wine Advocate (April 2024)

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James Suckling93-94/100

This shows focus and balance with a pretty dark-fruit character, as well as hints of blue flowers and stones. Medium-bodied, juicy and vivid with very polished tannins and fresh acidity. Nice center-palate with cabernet character coming through. Firm at the end.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (April 2024)

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Jeb Dunnuck88-91/100

Red and black fruits, iron, leafy herbs, and a kiss of chocolate all emerge from the 2023 Château Cantemerle, a medium-bodied, nicely concentrated, balanced 2023 offering ripe tannins, integrated oak, and just a complex, attractive, satisfying style.

Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com (May 2024)

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About this WINE

Chateau Cantemerle

Chateau Cantemerle

Ch. Cantemerle's woodland setting is amongst the most beautiful of any château in the Médoc. It is located in the far south of the region, almost on the outskirts of the city of Bordeaux. It is the first major property on the Médoc Route des Châteaux, north of Bordeaux.

Cantemerle has 94 hectares of vineyards, planted with Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), Merlot (30%), Cabernet Franc (6%) and Petit Verdot (4%). The wines are made under the guidance of consultant oenologist, Eric Boissenot, undergoing 12 months' ageing in French oak, of which 40% is new.

Cantemerle is a Cinquième Cru Classé, with approximately 400,000 bottles produced each year and a further 160,000 bottles of the property’s second wine, Les Allées de Cantemerle.

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Haut-Medoc

Haut-Medoc

Despite being as visually unprepossessing as the rest of the Médoc (despite its grandiose châteaux) this large red-wine appellation of Haut-Médoc is home to some of the world’s greatest wines. Its 4,500 hectares of vineyards form a largely continuous strip that follows the Gironde from St Seurin-de-Cadourne, just north of St Estèphe, to Blanquefort in the northern suburbs of Bordeaux.

All the great communes of the Left Bank fall within its boundaries: Margaux, St Julien, Pauillac and St Estèphe, as well as the up and coming Moulis and Listrac. These are labelled under their own, more illustrious and expensive appellation names. Châteaux labelled simply as Haut-Médoc rarely reach such heights, but nevertheless offer consistently good quality and offer some of the best value in Bordeaux.

Haut-Médoc wines tend to be firm and fine with generous fruit and a nice minerality – what many would consider ‘classic Claret’. They come from loftier vineyards and offer higher quality and more complexity than those labelled simply as ‘Médoc’. Almost all wines are a blend of the principal varieties – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc – which helps producers hedge their bets if the slightly capricious climate causes one variety to fail. Small amounts of Petit Verdot, Malbec and even Carmenère are also used.

The higher proportion of sand and gravel to the south tends to produce finer wines, while the heavier clay and gravel north of Margaux yields sturdier examples. The best Haut-Médocs are found north of Ludon, a village just below Margaux. These include five classified Growths: Third Growth Ch. La Lagune, underperforming Fourth Growth Ch. la Tour Carnet and Fifth Growths Ch. Cantemerle, Ch. Camensac and Ch. Belgrave – as well as a number of fine Cru Bourgeois. Ageing ability varies but the lesser wines are usually delicious after three to four years, lasting around a decade, while the Cru Classés have a drinkability window of around six to 15 years.

Recommended Châteaux (labelled as Haut-Médoc): Ch. Beaumont, Ch. Belgrave, Ch. Cantemerle, Ch. Peyrabon

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Cabernet Sauvignon Blend

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.

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