2023 Château Poujeaux, Moulis-en-Médoc, Bordeaux

2023 Château Poujeaux, Moulis-en-Médoc, Bordeaux

Product: 20238123480
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2023 Château Poujeaux, Moulis-en-Médoc, Bordeaux

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Blend: 55% Cabernet Sauvignon; 35% Merlot; 10% Petit Verdot. 

Poujeaux has been owned since 2008 by the Cuvelier family, who also own Clos Fourtet in St Emilion. In 2023, the team here appreciated what they term “a return to the classic balance of the great vintages”. There is a little more Cabernet Sauvignon than usual, and the Petit Verdot has also been increased. The bouquet is encouraging with lavender, cigar box and a gentle spiciness. The palate is rounded by ripe Merlot with a sapid edge and typical Moulis tobacco and earthiness. This is a reliable pleasure.

Drink 2027 - 2040 

Our score: 15.5/20

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Critics reviews

Jane Anson93/100

A high proportion of Petit Verdot, 33% new oak for ageing, 38hl/ha yields, after hail on a small part of the vineyard.

Always an estate that works hard and is often a good bet across a variety of vintage conditions. It works again in 2023. Pretty austere right now, with layers of tannic architecture along with signature mint leaf and cigar box. There is no question this will age; don’t rush it. It needs time to unwind, and it feels like an impressive Left Bank claret full of classic character and confident tannic architecture.

Drink 2026 - 2038

Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux (April 2024)

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Neal Martin, Vinous91-93/100

The 2023 Poujeaux was picked from September 18 to October 4 and matured in 30% new oak. 

The first couple of samples tasted didn’t quite engage as much as a third bottle on the penultimate day’s tasting, which seems more representative. This Moulis, owned by the Cuvelier family (Clos Fourtet), has a tempting nose with blackberry, wild strawberry, incense and crushed violet scents—well-defined and focused, blossoming nicely in the glass. There’s good energy and vibrancy. The palate is medium-bodied with crunchy black fruit. Perhaps just a little gritty in terms of texture; there is a bit of rigidity apropos the tannins on the finish. Hopefully, it will gain more elegance once in bottle, but it feels as if it will meld together during élevage.

Drink 2028 - 2042

Neal Martin, Vinous.com (April 2024)

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Antonio Galloni, Vinous90-92/100

Tasted four times

The 2023 Poujeaux is plump, juicy and super-inviting right out of the gate. Inky dark fruit, sweet spice and floral accents caress the palate, all framed by supple, silky tannins. There's a bit more Petit Verdot in the blend this year, and that comes through in the wine's dark flavour profile and structural feel. This is a fine vintage for Poujeaux.

Drink 2027 - 2043

Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com (April 2024)

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Wine Advocate89-91/100

It's a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon (a higher proportion than usual), 35% Merlot and 10% Petit Verdot.

The 2023 Poujeaux offers up youthfully reserved aromas of licorice, dark wild berries and smoke. Medium-bodied, firm and slightly austere, it’s elegant and gently structured with powdery tannins and a long, somber finish. A second encounter revealed greater flesh and plentitude.

Drink 2025 - 2040

Yohan Castaing, Wine Advocate (April 2024)

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Jancis Robinson MW16.5/20

55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot and 10% Petit Verdot. Cask sample.

It’s ripe but fresh on the nose. Dark fruit with a minty edge. Generous fruit on the palate, the tannins integrated and fine. Good length on the finish. There’s some potential here. 

Drink 2028 - 2040

James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com (May 2024)

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James Suckling92-93/100

The tight tannins and pretty fruit are very attractive now, with medium body and a juicy finish. I like it.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (May 2024)

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Quite austere and lean, focussed but refreshing with high acidity and quite chalky, powdery tannins but a straight overall expression. Fruit is clean and pure - raspberry, blackcurrant and black cherry. Doesn't really deviate from the core. It's a soft, gentle expression with present but not imposing tannins that give the structure and creates the textured mouthfeel all the way through. Some liquorice and dark chocolate on the finish. Lovely classicism on offer with plenty of Cabernet character. Ageing one third new oak, the rest one and two year barrels.

Drink 2026 - 2036

Georgina Hindle, Decanter.com (April 2024)

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Jeb Dunnuck88-91/100

Tasted three times with consistent notes.

This château was hit by hail in July. The 2023 Château Poujeaux is based on close to equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with a splash of Petit Verdot. Ripe redcurrants, cassis, leafy herbs, and some floral, graphite notes all emerge from the glass, and this medium-bodied Moulis has good overall density and depth, ripe tannins, and a solid finish. This elegant, pretty 2023 will shine right out of the gate.

Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com (May 2024)

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About this WINE

Chateau Poujeaux

Chateau Poujeaux

Château Poujeaux is a leading Cru Bourgeois property that consistently produces wines of Grand Cru Classé quality. Poujeaux is located in the commune of Moulis and can trace its history back to the 16th century. It has been owned and run since 1921 by the Theil family and today it is brothers Philippe and François who are at the helm.

Poujeaux's 52-hectare vineyard is located in a single plot on a well-sited gravel ridge just outside the village of Poujeaux. The wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (50%), Merlot (40%), Cabernet Franc (5%) and Petit Verdot (5%).

The legendary 1953 Poujeaux was famously mistaken by Baron Rothschild for Lafite, and remains the finest wine the property has ever produced. Poujeaux wines are typically deeply coloured, wonderfully perfumed on the nose and display a seductive, creamy texture with densely concentrated cassis fruits on the palate.

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This is the smallest of the six Médoc communes but boasts a wide variety of soils and terroirs. Moulis is one of the two communal appellations located on the Atlantic side of the Médoc. It is positioned directly south of Listrac and even though it adjoins Margaux - the Médoc appellation with the highest number of Cru Classé châteaux - there are none here.

In the context of the Médoc, Moulis is hilly country, studded with a diversity of gravels, limestone and clay. These are sturdy wines, but the best are capable of considerable longevity and are often seductively perfumed. Generally they have more power than Margaux wines, albeit with less finesse and elegance.

Recommended Châteaux: Ch. Chasse-Spleen, Ch. Poujeaux, Ch. Maucaillou.

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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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