Country: Bordeaux, France
Grape Varietals: Cabernet sauvignon constitutes half the blend, with 40% Merlot and 5% each Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot making up the rest, and the wine is aged in oak (50% new) for 12 months.
Alcohol Percentage: 13.5%
Wine Rating: RP-89, JR-15.5, WS-90
Medium garnet-purple coloured, the 2016 Cantemerle offers up warm plums, black cherries and mulberries with earth and bay leaves undercurrent. The palate is medium-bodied with just enough fruit and pleasantly chewy tannins, finishing with a herbal lift. It develops attractive aromas with subtle notes of tobacco. On the palate, the wine is medium-bodied, with tannins of great suppleness and deep fruity flavours combined with tasty touches of blackberries, cedar and graphite. The wine is precise with good tension.
Grape Varieties: Cabernet sauvignon constitutes half the blend, with 40% Merlot and 5% each Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot making up the rest, and the wine is aged in oak (50% new) for 12 months.
About the Winery:
This unique soil and microclimate are reflected in the wine's personality. Cantemerle has a brilliant colour, a powerful bouquet, and a soft, lively flavour. It is rare to find such refined fruitiness. This great wine can be enjoyed young when it is charming, fruity, and marked by a vanilla taste that comes from well-integrated oak. This makes Cantemerle an ideal choice for the modern wine drinker who likes fresh tannins. However, it can also age extremely well. Fine, old vintages have impeccable class, with incomparable flavours of sheer elegance. Cantemerle, therefore, belongs to that rare category of the world's wines that can not only age but also improve over several decades.
There are now 91 hectares under vine, planted on fine, deep gravel, amidst a botanical fairyland of parklands. The château has regained its romantic charm, and there have been huge developments in the winery: it now boasts temperature-controlled cellars and three vat rooms, one each for stainless-steel, oak and cement tanks.
Cantemerle is frequently one of the best buys in Bordeaux because it offers fragrance, elegance, charm and balance, which are the hallmarks of good claret, without trying to over-impress or win prizes. It will age gracefully for between five and 20 years.
Bordeaux produced an abundance of superb wines in 2016. The reds exhibit real energy and vitality, with pure bouquets, plush silky tannins, plenty of mid-palate fruit and an impressive length of flavour. Slightly lower-than-average alcohol levels, allied to the perfumed fruit and ripe tannins that typify the vintage, will ensure wines with exceptional balance and ageing potential. Comparisons of 2016 with previous vintages are hard to draw, and none of the owners and winemakers that we talked to during our visits were willing (or able) to suggest a similar vintage in terms of wine style. Nicolas Audebert, who makes the wines at Château Rauzan-Ségla, uses the description ‘un kilo de plumes’, or a pound of feathers for those preferring imperial measures, meaning that the wines have volume as opposed to weight. This comes closest to capturing the essence of the 2016s. Unlike last year, the successes of the 2016 vintage come from all corners of Bordeaux. Cabernets from the Médoc ripened beautifully from Margaux to Saint-Estèphe, as they did in Pessac Léognan and the Graves, while both Pomerol and Saint-Emilion enjoyed a healthy, ripe merlot crop.
So-called second wines were almost uniformly excellent too. This is partly due to the fact that with cabernet sauvignon ripening so perfectly, many châteaux increased the proportion of that grape in their grand vin. The knock-on effect was that high-quality merlot grapes, normally destined for the first wine, ended up in the properties’ second wines to their undoubted benefit.
Château Cantemerle is a 5th Classified Growth of 1855 produced in the Haut-Médoc appellation. The vineyard of 91 hectares benefits from vines aged 30 years on average planted in silico-gravelly soil. The wine is aged for 16 months - 12 months in a barrel (40% new, 40% of one previous wine and 20% of two previous wines) and 4 months in vats after the final blending. Château Cantemerle 2016 consists of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot.
During the first six months of the year, the vineyard received as much rain as in a typical year. Thanks to a window of good weather at the beginning of June, the flowering occurred in an ideal manner. The summer then settled and brought with it heat and an incredible dryness. Finally, thanks to a rainy season in mid-September and an Indian summer with high thermal amplitudes, the vineyard was revitalized and was able to perfect the ripening of the berries. The fruit reached optimum maturity right before harvest, which took place peacefully between the 22nd of September and the 17th of October.