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2003 Ch. Monbousquet, St Emilion

2003 Ch. Monbousquet, St Emilion

Red | Drink now | Chateau Monbousquet | Code:  4056 | 2003 | France > Bordeaux > St-Emilion | Cab.Sauvignon Blend | Medium-Full Bodied, Dry | 12.5 % alcohol

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Scores and Reviews

PARKER

93-100/100

WA

93/100

PARKER - "....For whatever reason, the 2003 is less flamboyant and exuberant than other recent vintages. Possessing loads of tannin and structure, it comes across as a more masculine, less exotic effort than its 2001, 2000, 1999, and 1998 counterparts. Nevertheless, it is concentrated and plays it close to the vest ... at present, offering a surprising minerality along with plenty of blackberry and sweet kirsch liqueur notes intermixed with hints of smoke and espresso roast. Impeccably pure, it should age nicely for 12-15 years."
Robert Parker - Wine Advocate - Apr-2003

WA - This was an amazing performance for Monbousquet. The 2003 exhibits plenty of fat and succulence along with a full-bodied, sexy mouthfeel, and lots of black cherry and black currant fruit intermixed with licorice, baking spices and roasted herbs. Fully mature yet in no danger of falling apart or in decline, the color remains a healthy plum/garnet to the rim. This full throttle 2003 was one of the great buys of the vintage when it was first released, and continues to prove that great winemaking and viticultural management from less heralded terroirs can result in wines well-above their pedigree. Drink this beauty over the next 2-3 years.
Robert M. Parker, Jr. - 28/08/2014

The Producer

Chateau Monbousquet

Chateau Monbousquet

Château Monbousquet is located in the commune of St- Sulplice de Faleyrens in the south-east part of the St-Emilion appellation. For years Monbousquet was a notorious underachiever, whose wines were soft, dilute and generally uninspiring.

The catalyst for change came when the property was bought by Parisian supermarket tycoon Gérard Perse in 1993. Gérard, who now owns Château Pavie and Château Pavie-Decesse, severely restricted the yields, constructed a state of the art cuvier and hired the ubiquitous Michel Rolland as a consultant. Monbousquet's wines are now amongst the finest in St-Emilion.

Monbousquet is a blend of 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. The grapes are fermented in temperature-controlled, stainless steel tanks and the wine is then aged in 100% new oak barrels for 18 months. Monbousquet is bottled unfined and unfiltered.

The Grape

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cab.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.

The Region

St-Emilion

St-Emilion

St Emilion 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 Emilion 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 Emilion, 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 Emilion 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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