NOTE: Cantemerle is sold En-Primeur. Stock due to arrive mid-late 2018. See the En-Primeur here.
A catch all appellation that is about 60km long on the left bank of Bordeaux. There are few classified vineyards in this generic appellation and no discernible regional style. There are however, a handful of wonderful wines that are often overlooked, are great value and ultimately are great Bordeaux.
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’.
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.
Often the fifth wine on the depth chart of Bordeaux’s magical quintet. In the great years it is an amazing variety to work with, but often in the great years it is not needed. It can add body, structure and acidity but lacks some charm for a single variety wine. But in the hands of a skillful blender it can really lift a wine or in some cases, a particular site can make Petit Verdot sing a song like no other.
A vintage of two extremes which counteracted each other and we ended up with one of the best vintages we’ve seen in a while.