24 hectare of vines on clay, limestone and sand in one of the bargain appellations of Cotes de Blaye. Bought in 1997 by a negociant with an eye for value estates. The vineyards consist of 84% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc and 7% Cabernet Sauvignon. The style is fruit forward, clean and pure with a hint of oak. The wines are made to be drunk and enjoyed relatively young. Which by Bordeaux standards means 5-10 years old.
Cotes du Blaye – A massive region that falls under the larger Cotes de Bordeaux appellation now. Quality is variable as is the terroirs. Look for good producers and stick with them, especially in great years.
Merlot – It gets a tough time most of the places it is grown. But in Pomerol and Saint-Emilion Merlot not only dominates but makes some of the best wines in the world. Perfume, silky and plush. Cabernets Franc and Sauvignon season the wines with structure and acid but in some places, like Petrus they are almost not needed.
Cabernet Franc – Is actually one of the parents of Cabernet Sauvignon… along with Sauvignon Blanc (oh! The name makes sense now!). It is most famous for being the third most important grape in quality Bordeaux but also excels in the Loire Valley (where it lived before it went to Bordeaux), especially Chinon and Saumur. The wines are bright red in colour, highlight aromatic with raspberries, rose petals, violets along with tobacco, cassis and some herbal elements. The best examples can live as long as any great wine.
Cabernet Sauvignon – The main grape of Bordeaux’s left bank. Cabernet is late ripening and full of acid and tannin. The great wines are structured but finessed with beautiful cassis, violets and it also transmits the flavours of the soil it is grown in really well. Cabernet isn’t a drink now variety, it really needs 10 or more years to show its best. But when you get there, WOW! Often blended with Merlot, Cabernet Franc or in Australia Shiraz to fill out its mid-palate referred to as the ‘Cabernet doughnut’.