jueves, 18 de abril de 2013

Château de Ricaud Cadillac Côtes de Bordeaux 2010, France


- Owner: Alain Thienot
- Estates Director: Frédéric Bonaffous
- Estate Manager: Bruno Marlet
- Area undervine in 2010: 3 Ha
- Soil profile: to the north of the winery, colcareous-day interspersed with a deep vein of clay. 2 gravel terraces on the east and north-west slopes of the vineyard. The vineyard is shaped like a natural amphitheatre.
- 2010 Blend: 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot
- Planting density: 6,900 vines per hectare
- Average age of the vines: 25 years
- Canopy Management: sustainable plant protection, manual budrubbing and shoot removal, 2 leafpluckings (once at end of June beginning of July on die side the sun rises; once end of August, on the side the sun sets). Removal of any unripe grapes.
- Harvesting dates:
. Merlot 13-15 October, cool-harvest
. Cabernet Sauvigion: 27-29 October, at optimum ripeness
- Vinification: in separate batches, by varietal and by vineyard parcel. Fermentation temperature closly monitored to adopt the wine to specific vintage conditions.
- Ageing: 12 months in new French oak barrels

- Winery: Located in the heart of the historic area of Cadillac, in the Côtes de Bordeaux, Ricaud is set in a natural amphitheatre stretching across some of the most magnificent hillsides and soils in the region, enjoying natural drainage and perfect aspect.  In recent years, it has been completely restructured with increased vine density, rootstock selection and parcel identification together with a big replanting programme (over 45 hectares) to maximise the potential of this magnificent terroir.

The inaugural “Grand Vin” was created in 2010 from some of the best parcels of Cabernet Sauvignon at Ricaud, in an exceptional year for Cabernets.  Made from a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot, the wine has wonderful aromas of blackcurrant, cherries and plum with a distinguished palate of ripe, fleshy fruit encased by elegant tannins.

Alain Thiénot’s family bought Château de Ricaud in 1980 having first tasted Château de Ricaud Loupiac 1929 in a top Parisian restaurant.  Thiénot was immediately captivated with the outstanding quality of the wine, its rich medieval origins and the Eugène Viollet-Le-Duc inspired château.  In 200, the property came under Dourthe’s winemaking team when he became a majority shareholder of CVBG Dourthe-Kressmann.

Showing alongside Dourthe’s Bordeaux portfolio will be wines from Château de Sérame in the Languedoc and a selection of Thiénot Champagnes.

- Tasting notes:

** 2 stars(denotes a remarkable wine) "A rare feat among this appellation, this wine is made from 70% Cabernet Sauvignon - a choice that does not disappoint, be it in its presentation with its intense appearance, its complex bouquet focusing on red and dark fruit notes of cherries and blueberries, or on the powerful, generous and well-structured palate. This 2010 vintage will be ready to drink in 3-4 years..." (Guide Hachette des Vins 2013)

“Red fruits, tight on the palate and taut, with attractive fruit on the nose. Liquorice character - a really ripe Cabernet wine". (Jacques Dupont/ Le Point – April 2011)

89-90 "A wine with velvety tannins and a lot of blueberries on the nose and palate. Full body, soft and structured. Nicely done for the vintage." (jamessuckling.com – April 2012)

"Typical Cabernet style, very fresh, linear without any harsh character, very long and fresh, bright in appearance.”(Tast/ Bettane & Desseauve – April 2012)

"A very successful wine - quite delicious, generously rich and juicy, but not overly so. We particularly like the spicy character and delicious structure.” (Gault&Millau – April 2012)

- Price: £12


Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are two of the world's most widely known, grown and blended red-wine grape varieties. The two form the foundation of many of the great wines of Bordeaux, and are often joined by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Carmenere. However the international fame of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot far outreaches that of its Bordeaux cousins, and together they appear everywhere from supermarket shelves to fine-wine cellars around the globe.
Equally well known as varietal wines, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot have proved themselves in environments as diverse as France, Italy, Australia, Canada, Israel, South Africa, New Zealand, Chile, Spain, Argentina and California. The exact proportions of each variety used vary according to regional differences, grape availability and stylistic tastes, but there is a certain recognizable aspect to these wines, especially those with the bright fruit flavors of the New World.

Cabernet Sauvignon typically provides the wine's framework and structure, offering dark fruit flavors of blackcurrant and an excellent affinity for oak. Barrel-aged Cabernet Sauvignon can display a range of cedar and spicy flavors when aged in French oak, and more vanilla and coconut aromas when used with American oak.

Cabernet's tannins are firmer than Merlot's, though to what extent depends entirely on when and where the grapes are picked.

Merlot is generally considered the juicer of the two varieties, and has larger, plumper berries on the vine. In Bordeaux it was traditionally used to
soften Cabernet's tougher edges, but as viticultural and winemaking methods improved, Merlot was afforded more respect and actually overtook Cabernet Sauvignon in terms of French vineyard area. Now the blend is used all over Europe, with the Italians in particular keen to assert their own interpretation of the style.

In California the blend is often labeled as Meritage - providing the producer meets the requirements of the Meritage Alliance. The Australian regions of Coonawarra (South Australia), Margaret River (Western Australia) and Yarra Valiey (Victoria) are highly regarded for their unique expressions of the blend. South Africa's Stellenbosch region also produces some earthen and savory examples that defy many of the commonly held perceptions about New World wine. In other New World countries the blend is often abbreviated to Cabernet Merlot, though this mix could include Cabernet Franc as well.

Wines bearing the Cabernet Sauvignon - Merlot label can be lean or generous, austere or fruity and short or long-lived. They occupy every price bracket imaginable, from inexpensive table wines right through to some of the most expensive wines on the market.

Related blends include: Red Bordeaux Blend, Meritaae, Cabernet Franc - Merlot.


The Premieres Cotes de Bordeaux appellation is one of the most prolific in the Bordeaux region and produces some of its best-value red wines - their prices unaffected by the high status associated with appellations such as Medoc and Graves.

The Premieres Cotes de Bordeaux title is separate from the larger Entre-Deux-Mers appellation which dominates the remainder of the land between the Garonne and Dordogne rivers, having gained its independence because of the higher quality of its wines. The smaller appellations of Cadillac, Sainte-Croix-du-Mont and Loupiac form islands in the south of Premieres Cotes de Bordeaux, and are noted for their ability to produce sweet wines of high quality.

Cadillac was awarded its own independent AOC Cadillac appellation for sweet white wines in 1973. Its red wines continued to be labeled as Premieres Cotes de Bordeaux until 2009, when they became part of the new Cotes de Bordeaux appellation.

The Premieres Cotes de Bordeaux appellation runs for 40 miles (60km) along the eastern (right) bank of the Garonne river, just before it passes Bordeaux city en route to the Atlantic Ocean. The south-eastern end of this long, thin appellation extends to the very south of the Bordeaux region. More than 30 individual communes contribute to its output, with names like Beguey, Langoiran, Le Toume, Rions and Paillet being added to their wine labels.

Close to the Garonne river (where some patches of land are able to claim only the Bordeaux AC title), the soils are gravelly and high in chalky clay, but the soil types vary as they move further away from the river.

The wines produced under the Premieres Cotes de Bordeaux title are mostly red and are based the classic right bank varieties: Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Dry white wines made here from Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc are labeled AC Bordeaux, as they are not regarded as being of sufficient quality to carry the more specific Premieres Cotes de Bordeaux title.


The Cotes de Bordeaux appellation was created in 2009 to bring together wines from four existing Bordeaux appellations: Premieres Cotes de Blaye, Cotes de Castillon, Cotes de Francs and the red wines from Cadillac which previously fell under the Premieres Cotes de Bordeaux title.

Although intended to simplify the Bordeaux Cotes appellation structure, combining these four under an entirely new (but not entirely original or
easily distinguishable) title will temporarily add further complexity to the already complicated Bordeaux system. This is emphasized by the fact
that the four component appellations are geographically widespread. Francs and Castillon are located at the eastern end of the Bordeaux region, while Blave is in the west and Cadillac in the south.

The change is a commercially motivated decision, intended to create unity between these significant, but less well-known appellations. Cotes de Bourn was intended as a fifth appellation in the group, but this did not go ahead for various bureaucratic reasons.

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