Tag: Bordeaux Shippers

Nov 11 2011

Wine Tasting: Château Rauzan-Ségla – An Exceptional 2nd Growth!

Posted on November 11, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Last Wednesday night I attended a Bordeaux Shippers‘ tasting at the Royal Automobile Club in Sydney. These tastings are a great opportunity to sample out-of-reach legendary Bordeaux wines like the Château Mouton Rothschild, Premier Cru Pauillac 1996 ($1,142) as well as some excellent Bordeaux in more affordable price ranges.

One of my favourites of the evening was the Château Rauzan-Ségla Deuxieme Grand Cru Classe Margaux 1996 ($185). Ok, not exactly a bargain, but this wine is widely regarded as a “super-Second”, and one of the best wines in the appellation after 1st growth Château Margaux.

One of the oldest estates in Bordeaux, Château Rauzan-Ségla has a bit of spotted history, which may be why its name is not as familiar as it should be to most people. Apparently Thomas Jefferson, one of the world’s greatest oenephiles, bought a few cases in 1790, and in 1855 the estate was ranked Deuxieme Grand Cru Classe, equal at the time to Château Mouton Rothschild. The Wine Advocate’s Neal Martin notes that the wines of the 19th century have become legendary. (Neal Martin, Château Rauzan-Ségla, eRobertParker.com, November 2006)

But for most of the 20th century, its reputation waned and it was not until the 1980s, when the château was taken over by the négociants Eschenauer, that the vineyards were replanted and the winery modernised.  Since 1994 the perfume house Chanel has continued to make a substantial investment in the estate, restoring its position as the head of the class of the 14 2nd Growths.

 

Less than 100,000 bottles of the Grand Vin are produced each year. A blend of 54% cabernet sauvignon, 41% merlot, 4% petit verdot and 1% cabernet franc, the wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks and then barrel aged for 18 to 20 months in barriques, … Read the rest

May 05 2011

Château Latour: The Epitome of Great Bordeaux

Posted on May 05, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

This Thursday evening I’m attending a very special tasting of classic Bordeaux wines at Wine Vault in Artarmon. Sponsored by Bordeaux Shippers, our host for the evening is The Wine Front’s Gary Walsh. Thursday’s session is sold out, but I believe tickets may still be available for a second session on Thursday 2 June.

One of the highlights of a very special lineup is the Château Latour 2001. It sells for around $1,000 a bottle, so I’m sure Thursday night will be one of my only chances to sample this great wine. In preparation I thought I would do a little research on one of the world’s most acclaimed drops. While most of us probably can’t entertain the possibility of buying a bottle of Latour, Margaux, Lafite, Mouton or Haut-Brion, these First Growths are the benchmarks for style, character and status, informing the aspirations and direction of some of their best New World competitors, who typically make wines a little gentler on the hip pocket!

Château Latour is one of Bordeaux’s five original First Growth (Premier Cru). Its elevation to First Growth status dates back to the 1855 Bordeaux Wine Official Classification that was done ahead of International Exhibition in Paris. But as early as 1787, one of the world’s greatest connoisseurs of wine, then minister to France, Thomas Jefferson, deemed La Tour de Ségur a vineyard of first quality.

Situated on the banks of the Gironde estuary, Château Latour is at the very southeastern tip of the commune of Pauillac in the Médoc region of Bordeaux. Here 78 hectares are under vine, but only the best grapes from the oldest vines of the 47 hectares surrounding the Chateau, known as L’Enclos, can be used in the production of the Grand Vin. Since 1966 the Latour has also produced … Read the rest