miércoles, 20 de marzo de 2013

Chateau L'Embrun, Blaye AC 2006


Grapes: 70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Malbec. Storage life 10 years from vintage.
Alcohol: 13.0% vol, acidity. Approximately 5.8 g / l, sugar: 0.2 g / l, natural cork

"Delicious fruit flavors of ripe black cherries and currants, a deep spice on the palate and excellent length give rise to a classic Bordeaux. Enjoy it as the perfect companion to a succulent lamb chops or grilled beef filets". Franck Fourcade

- Winery: Chateau L'Embrun is one of the stars of the new Blaye AC appellation. In years gone by the appellation of Cotes de Blaye was better known for their white wine rather than their red wines, it was an area know for producing lighter-style, fruity quaffing reds dominated by Merlot. In 2000 the new Blaye appellation was created with the intention of improving wines from this area - the new laws require 11% alcohol by volume rather than 10.5% and maximum yields have been reduced and new plantings have an increased vine density. All of these help to produce more concentrated, complex wines. Chateau L'Embrun is at the forefront of the quality revolution in Blaye. It was purchased by Franck Fourcade, who also owns Chateau Chasserat in the same area, in 2001. Chateau L'Embrun's vineyards are approximately 35 years old and the vineyards are planted with 70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Malbec.

- Price: £12.75


Blaye is an historic town located on the east bank of the Gironde estuary, 20 miles (32km) north of Bordeaux city. The landscape here is visibly different - higher and hillier - from that just across the Gironde on the flat Medoc peninsula, and the Blaye area lends a picturesque element to the landscape of Bordeaux. Historically, it has been home to three appellations: AOC Blaye, AOC Cotes de Blaye and AOC Premieres Cotes de Blaye. They were all created in 1936, then revised in the 1990s and again in 2009, when various changes were made to the Bordeaux appellation system.

As of 2009, Blaye wines are exclusively red. They are blended predominantly from Merlot, Cabernet Sauvianon and Cabernet Franc, with smaller quantities of Malbec, Petit Verdot and even Carmenere.

Although Blaye has been producing wines for far longer than its more prestigious cousins to the south and west, it fell victim long ago to the harsh facts of commercialism. The area's particular position on the Gironde Estuary leads its shores to silt up heavily, which made access difficult for trading ships. The glory of Bordeaux as a whole has risen and fallen on the health of its exports, subject to both geographical and political factors. Today, the presence of a nuclear power plant just 10 miles north of Blaye town does little to improve the area's reputation.


Cotes de Bordeaux Blaye is the appellation title for Cotes de Bordeaux wines made specifically in the Blaye district of Bordeaux, just across the Gironde from the Medoc. The wines are both red and white (any rose produced here is sold under the generic Bordeaux appellation). Wines once made under the Premieres Cotes de Blaye appellation are now sold under this newer title.

The reds are made predominantly from Merlot, Cabernet Sauvianon and Cabernet Franc, while the whites are produced from an equally traditional Bordelais blend of Sauvianon Blanc, Semillon and Muscadelle. The less internationally successful varieties Colombard and Uani Blanc are also permitted in Cotes de Bordeaux Blaye whites, but with the international focus of this appellation these will remain minority components.

The exact blend of each Cotes de Bordeaux Blaye wine depends on several factors: the target market and style of the wine, the existing varieties planted in the vineyards and the precise terroir of those vineyards. Those sites with clay soils, for example, are better suited to Merlot and are able to create softer, suppler wines for early consumption. Those on gravelly soils will favor the Cabernet varieties, which are likely to create more-structured wines with higher tannin levels - wines which will require and reward a few years' cellaring.

The Cotes de Bordeaux appellation was created in 2009 to bring together several 'cotes' of Bordeaux under a single banner - the idea being to improve their marketability and simplify the overall Bordelais appellation structure. Individually, these appellations were struggling to find sufficient marketing resources to combat the increasing popularity of Bordeaux-style wines from emerging wine regions, particularly those in the New World.

The process began officially in 1985, when the presidents of five Cotes appellations founded the Association des Cotes de Bordeaux. This later became Les Cinq Cotes de Bordeaux, as confusion had arisen between this name and that of the entirely separate Premieres Cotes de Bordeaux title. By the end of 2003, the decision had been taken to create the Cotes de Bordeaux appellation, with the geographical denominations Blaye, Cadillac, Castillon and Francs. After another six years of negotiations and red tape, the appellation was confirmed and ratified.

References: farehamwinecellar and wine-searcher

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