(83% merlot and 17% cabernet franc; 28 h/h production): Opaque purple-ruby. Perfumed aromas of red cherry and sweet spices complicated by rose petal, white pepper and minerals. Then suave and juicy on the palate, offering pure flavors of red cherry jam, raspberry and vanilla nicely framed by lively acidity. Finishes impressively long, with a steely quality and repeating floral notes. The cabernets were harvested very late here, from October 20 through 23. Technical director David Suire told me that this was due to a 15-year-old parcel of cabernet franc vines that had been grafted over from cabernet sauvignon because of the estate's dissatisfaction with the sauvignon's quality. But the grafting caused the vines to ripen even later and it was necessary to wait them out in 2012.
Author: Ian D'Agata
Issue: May/June 2013
Wine Advocate | Rating: 94
This is undeniably one of the great terroirs in all of Bordeaux, with a beautiful southerly exposure sitting on pure limestone. The 2012 (14.3% alcohol) displays chalky, dusty minerality, black raspberry and blueberry fruit, medium to full body, delicate, well-integrated tannins, and a lush, medium to full-bodied mouthfeel. It is not going to make anyone forget the prodigious 2009 and 2010, but the 2012 exhibits its high-class nobility from this fabulous terroir. Drink it over the next 20 years. Yields were tiny - 23 hectoliters per hectare - and the final blend 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc.