jueves, 18 de abril de 2013

Château Le Boscq St Estèphe Cru Bourgeois Supérieur 2009, France


Producer: Chateau le Boscq [Dourthe Kressman]
Vintage: 2009
Grape variety: Cabernet Sauvignon
Origin: France, Bordeaux, Médoc
Appellation: Saint-Estephe

- Tasting notes: "This is a pretty, elegant wine, with attractive berry and cherry aromas. Spicy, black currant flavoured offering fine depth. It is medium bodied, good mid-palate with silky tannins and a long fleshy finish". greatwesternwine

- Price: £32.00


Saint-Estephe is one of the many famous wine-growing areas of Bordeaux and gives its name to the red wine appellation AOC Saint-Estephe. Situated at the northern end of the Haut-Medoc region on the gravelly western shores of the Gironde estuary, Saint-Estephe is separated from its famous neighbor, Pauillac. only by a stream, yet there are significant differences between them.

Because Saint-Estephe is marginally further from the gravel-bearing waters of the Garonne river, the soil here is far less stony than that found in the southern part of Haut-Medoc. Instead, a heavy clay base dominates this area, resulting in poorer-draining soils, delayed ripening and higher acidity levels in the wines. These factors mean that Saint-Estephe's blended wines are predominantly made from Merlot, as it performs better on clay soils than Cabernet Sauvignon. Because these wines are often austere and tight in youth, Merlot also serves to soften the palate.

Although Saint-Estephe cannot daim to have the much-prized shingle soils of its southern neighbors, growing wine grapes on day is not without benefits. The water retained in the soil can come in handy during the odd drought-like summers that have been known to bring a Bordeaux vintage to its knees.

The wines from Saint-Estephe are richly coloured and deeply flavored, and are known for their longevity. While most of the wine is produced under the Cru Bourgeois label, it is the dassed growths that continue to uphold the good reputation of Saint-Estephe. These include the two second growths. Chateau Cos d'Estournel and Chateau Montrose: third-growth Chateau Calon-Seour; fourth-growth Chateau Lafon-Rochet: and fifth-growth Chateau Cos Laborv.


Haut-Médoc is an Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) for wine in the Bordeaux wine region of southwestern France, on the Left Bank of the Gironde estuary. Covering a large part of the viticultural strip of land along the Médoc peninsula, the zone covers approximately 60 kilometres (37 mi) of its length.

As defined by the original Institut National des Appellations d'Origine (INAO) decree of November 14, 1936, its southern edge borders the city of Bordeaux and the Médoc AOC to the north, encompassing fifteen communes exclusive to the appellation, while at the same time it enclaves six appellations made up of nine communes (Margaux AOC, Listrac-Médoc AOC, Moulis-en-Médoc AOC, Saint-Julien AOC, Pauillac AOC and Saint-Estèphe AOC) that are technically wine-making communes of Haut-Médoc. Similarly, Haut-Médoc is a sub-appellation of the Médoc AOC.

Of Haut-Médoc's fifteen wine-producing communes, eight are located along the waterfront of Garonne and Gironde: Blanquefort, Parempuyre, Ludon, Macau, Arcins, Lamarque, Cussac and Saint-Seurin-de-Cadourne. Seven communes lie inland: Le Taillan, Le Pian-Médoc, Avensan, Saint-Laurent-Médoc. Saint-Sauveur, Cissac and Vertheuil.

Few of the estates falling within the generic Haut-Médoc appellation were included in the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855 (as all but six of the 61 are located within the AOCs Margaux, Saint-Julien, Pauillac and Saint-Estèphe), but several were included in the classification Cru Bourgeois.

- History: For most of its history, the Haut-Médoc was a vast region of salt marshes used for animal grazing rather than viticulture. In the 17th century, Dutch merchants began an ambitious drainage project to convert the marshland into a usable vineyard area. Their objective was to provide the British market a wine alternative to the Graves and Portuguese wines that were dominating the market. Using technology that was advanced for that time, the Dutch were able to convert enough marshland to allow large estates to form all along the Gironde. Soon the Bordeaux wine regions of Margaux, Saint-Julien, Pauillac and Saint-Estèphe took shape. By the 19th century, the wine region of the Haut-Médoc was one of the most prosperous in France, with wines that had an international reputation that would be unparalleled till the late 20th century.

The area covers approximately 4,600 hectares of declared vineyards, constituting 28.5% of the Médoc total, annually producing on average 255,000 hectolitres of wine. The variation in types of soil is greater than other appellations in the region, ranging from less than ideal terrain, to conditions on a par with some of the enclaved appellations of more celebrated reputation.

Of the permitted grape varieties of Haut-Médoc, 52% of the viticultural area is planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, with additional cultivation of Merlot, Petit Verdot and to a small degree Malbec (locally called "Cot"). Also permitted under the regulations of the AOC are the varieties Cabernet Franc and Carménère.

The INAO specifications demand the following production norms: a high planting density, a minimum of 6,500 plants per hectare, and minimum of sugar, 178 g (6.3 oz) per litre of must, maximum base yield of 48 hectolitres per hectare, and a minimum alcohol by volume of 10%.


The Cru Bourgeois classification lists some of the châteaux from the Médoc that were not included in the 1855 Classification of Crus Classés, or Classed Growths. Notionally, Cru Bourgeois is a level below Cru Classé, but still of high quality (formerly there were additional grades of Cru Artisan and Cru Paysan). Many wine writers consider that there is some overlap in quality between the Classed Growths and the Cru Bourgeois, although also saying that by and large the Classed Growths still represent the best wines.

The first Cru Bourgeois list was drawn up by the Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce and Chamber of Agriculture in 1932, selecting 444 estates for the classification. The words Cru Bourgeois were widely used on labels by the châteaux so listed, although the classification was never officially ratified. A substantial revision of the classification, dividing it into three tiers, was initiated in 2000 and finalised in 2003. This reduced the number of châteaux listed to 247. Following several legal turns, the 2003 Cru Bourgeois classification was annulled by the French court in 2007, and shortly afterwards all use of the term was banned.

In 2010, the Cru Bourgeois label was reintroduced, but in a significantly revised form. It now consists of only one level, and is awarded annually, as a mark of quality, to wines rather than to châteaux, on the basis of an assessment of both production methods and the finished product. Any property in the Médoc may apply. The lists are published approximately 2 years after the vintage, so the 2008 list was published in 2010, and the 2009 list was published in 2011. The 2009 list includes 246 wines.

References: greatwesternwine and wikipedia

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