2023 Château Le Prieuré, St Emilion, Bordeaux

2023 Château Le Prieuré, St Emilion, Bordeaux

Product: 20238145833
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2023 Château Le Prieuré, St Emilion, Bordeaux

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Blend: 85% Merlot; 15% Cabernet Franc. 

Some adjacent land purchased in 2020 is now included in the blend. That not being Grand Cru Classé status, all the wine must now be offered as Grand Cru. The new vineyards are clay, adding juicy ripe fruit to the structured wine from the original limestone. It is made by Vincent Millet and his team at Calon Ségur, as Prieuré is under the same ownership. The stylistic notes of spicy, creamy tannins and lifted fruits are here, too. This is more structured than the finest examples from the côtes but still a top-class example of the appellation.

Drink 2028 - 2043

Our score: 16.5/20

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Critics reviews

Neal Martin, Vinous91-93/100

The 2023 Le Prieuré, a property where the new winery will operate from 2024, was cropped at 35hL/ha between September 9 and 29. 

It has much more fruit concentration than its stablemate, Vray Croix de Gay: black plum mixed with Provençal herbs and a light ferrous tincture. The palate is medium-bodied with pliant tannins and a keen line of acidity, remaining fresh and vibrant as it gently fans out toward the composed and satisfying finish. I really like this—a fine Saint-Émilion from winemaker Vincent Millet.

Drink 2028 - 2044

Neal Martin, Vinous.com (April 2024)

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Antonio Galloni, Vinous92-95/100

Tasted two times

The 2023 Le Prieuré is a model of classicism and refinement. Dark, sensual and inviting, Le Prieuré is one of the most refined wines in Saint-Émilion. In recent vintages, it has always been a wine of tension. This iteration includes parcels from the neighbouring châteaux, where there is a bit more clay. Consequently, the 2023 has a bit more mid-palate texture than most years, yet it retains its vibrant, saline intensity. I loved it.

Drink 2030 - 2048

Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com (April 2024)

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Wine Advocate92-93/100

The 2023 Le Prieuré is the first vintage from this estate to incorporate newly acquired parcels in Villemaurine, lending the wine some additional mid-palate amplitude. Offering up aromas of dark berries, cherries, bay leaf and incense, it's medium-bodied, lively and textural, with a bright spine of acidity that reflects its limestone origins.

William Kelley, Wine Advocate (April 2024)

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Jancis Robinson MW16+/20

85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc. 35 hl/ha. New label. Cask sample.

Hedgerow fruit, the Merlot, lends a touch of sweetness, but there’s tension as well. Fine tannins. A chalky-terroir note on the finish. It is better balanced than 2022. It promises well.

Drink 2028 - 2040

James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com (May 2024)

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Spring bouquet and red berry aromatics leap from the glass, introducing a bright attack on the palate, which reflects tangy raspberry as well as brightness, nuanced depth and freshness: a success from St-Emilion this vintage, although the tannins are a bit tight overall. Planted on clay and limestone soils, the vineyard includes Merlots that average 33 years of age, and that reveal a certain wet stone minerality on the mid palate. Managed by the team of Château Calon Ségur, where it was tastedConservative score as the 30% new oak ageing (18 months) should soften the tannins and broaden the palate.

Drink 2027 - 2043

Panos Kakaviatos, Decanter.com (May 2024)

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About this WINE

Château Le Prieure, Saint-Emilion

Château Le Prieure, Saint-Emilion

Château Le Prieuré is a Grand Cru Classé estate in the appellation of St Emilion on Bordeaux’s Right Bank. Since 2020, Le Prieuré and its sibling properties (Siaurac and Vrai Croix de Gay) have been under the same ownership as Château Calon Ségur. The Suravenir insurance group acquired them from none other than Artémis Domaines, the owner of Château Latour, Clos de Tart and Château-Grillet, among others.

There has been considerable investment here by the successive owners. Much of the 6.24-hectare vineyard sits on St Emilion’s limestone plateau, near Château Trotte Vieille, with well-sited parcels dotted elsewhere. The vineyard has been certified organic since 2018; the team follow biodynamic practices in the vineyard.

There is a world-class team in place here. Vincent Millet oversees this and the other Suravenir properties; Technical Director Pénélope Godefroy has been retained by the new owners; and the legendary Jean-Claude Berrouet, long-time winemaker at Petrus, is the consultant.

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St Émilion

St Émilion

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

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Merlot/Cabernet Franc

Merlot/Cabernet Franc

Merlot and Cabernet Franc are grape varieties commonly used in Bordeaux-style blends, particularly in the Bordeaux region of France. When these two grapes are blended, they can create a wine that combines the best characteristics of each variety.

Merlot is known for its smoothness, soft tannins, and ripe fruit flavours. It often contributes black cherry, plum, and chocolate flavours to the blend. The grapes are relatively easy to grow and ripen earlier than other Bordeaux varieties, making them versatile for blending.

Cabernet Franc, on the other hand, adds structure, depth, and complexity to the blend. It typically brings aromas of red fruits such as raspberry and strawberry, along with herbal notes like bell pepper and tobacco. These grapes have thinner skins and can be more challenging to cultivate, requiring specific growing conditions to reach their full potential.

When Merlot and Cabernet Franc are combined, the result is a well-balanced wine with various flavours and aromas. The blend often exhibits a Bordeaux wine's medium to full body, along with a smooth texture and moderate tannins. The specific flavour profile can vary depending on the proportions of each grape in the blend and the terroir and winemaking techniques employed.

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