White, Ready, but will keep

2013 Ch. Le Sartre, Blanc, Pessac-Léognan

2013 Ch. Le Sartre, Blanc, Pessac-Léognan

White | Ready, but will keep | Chateau Le Sartre | Code:  36489 | 2013 | France > Bordeaux > Pessac-Leognan | Sauv.Blanc & Sémillon | Full Bodied, Dry | 13.5 % alcohol

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The Producer

Chateau Le Sartre

Chateau Le Sartre

Located between three prestigious first growths in the Pessac-Léognan wine appellation in Bordeaux , Le Sartre draws on a long wine making history dating back to the 19th century. Revived in the late seventies by the Perrin family, owners of Château Carbonnieux , the 90 acres estate has beenmanaged since 2005 by  a team consisting of Marie-José Leriche, the late Antony Perrin’s sister, her husband René and winemaker David Château. David trained with Christophe Roumier (manager and winemaker of the Domaine Georges Roumier in Chambolle-Musigny) and Isabelle Dutartre  (consultant oenologist with De Ponte Cellars, Willamette Valley, Oregon). 

The plantings include 20 acres of Sauvignon Blanc, 4. acres of Semillion Blanc, 28.9 acres Cab Sauvignon, 3.2 acres of Cabernet-Franc, 31.4 acres of Merlot. The average age of the vines is 21 years for the red, and 19 years for the white varieties.

Red wines receive12 month ageing in cask, while white wines are left 9 months in cask with frequent bâtonnage.

The Grape

Sauv.Blanc & Sémillon

Sauv.Blanc & Sémillon

The blend used for White Graves and Sauternes and rarely encountered outside France. In the great dry whites of Graves, Sauvignon Blanc tends to predominate in the blend, although properties such as Smith Haut Lafite use 100% Sauvignon Blanc while others such as Laville Haut Brion have as much as 60% Sémillon in their final blends. Sauvignon Blanc wines can lose their freshness and fruit after a couple of years in bottle - if blended with Sémillon, then the latter bolsters the wine when the initial fruit from the Sauvignon fades. Ultimately Sauvignon Blanc gives the wine its aroma and raciness while Sémillon gives it backbone and longevity.

In Sauternes, Sémillon is dominant, with Sauvignon Blanc playing a supporting role - it is generally harvested about 10 days before Sémillon and the botrytis concentrates its sweetness and dampens Sauvignon Blanc`s naturally pungent aroma. It contributes acidity, zip and freshness to Sauternes and is an important component of the blend.

The Region

Pessac-Leognan

Pessac-Leognan

In 1986 a new communal district was created within Graves, in Bordeaux,  based on the districts of Pessac and Léognan, the first of which lies within the suburbs of the city. Essentially this came about through pressure from Pessac-Léognan vignerons, who wished to disassociate themselves from growers with predominately sandy soils further south in Graves.

Pessac-Léognan has the best soils of the region, very similar to those of the Médoc, although the depth of gravel is more variable, and contains all the classed growths of the region. Some of its great names, including Ch. Haut-Brion, even sit serenely and resolutely in Bordeaux's southern urban sprawl.

The climate is milder than to the north of the city and the harvest can occur up to two weeks earlier. This gives the best wines a heady, rich and almost savoury character, laced with notes of tobacco, spice and leather. Further south, the soil is sandier with more clay, and the wines are lighter, fruity and suitable for earlier drinking.

Recommended Châteaux: Ch. Haut-Brion, Ch. la Mission Haut-Brion, Ch. Pape Clément, Ch Haut-Bailly, Domaine de Chevalier, Ch. Larrivet-Haut-Brion, Ch. Carmes Haut-Brion, Ch. La Garde, Villa Bel-Air.

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