2009 d'Aiguilhe, Côtes de Castillon (Pre-Arrival)
Intense aromas of sliced mushrooms, blackberries and spices follow through to a full body, with sweet, ripe fruit, velvety tannins and a fresh clean finish. Tangy and fresh. Best ever from here and one of the values of the vintage. Best in 2016.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Tiny yields of 20 hectoliters per hectare have produced a wine with terrific fruit intensity, a moderately tannic structure, and hints of chocolate, cedar, spice box, and earth. Although not as big as I expected given the vintage, it is well-made and impressively endowed. Enjoy it over the next 12 years.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(an 80/20 blend of merlot and cabernet franc, cropped at just 26 hectoliters per hectare; 45% new oak) Inky purple. Very rich, spicy aromas of dark smoky plum and blackberry jam are just this side of overripe, but manage to stay maintain vibrancy. This successfully continues its balancing act on the palate, with very ripe, luscious black fruit and dark chocolate flavors that are kept lively by sound, harmonious acids. Finishes long and smooth, with a lingering note of spicy plum. Stephan von Neipperg's Chateau d'Aiguilhe benefits from very well situated hillside vineyards, which drain well and get plenty of sunlight. The harvest here was relatively early for the area (October 1 through 10), which at least partly explains the success of this wine.
Alluring aromas and flavors of toast, mineral and roasted plum are expressive and energetic in this rich, modern red. The texture is broad yet polished, with well-integrated tannins and fresh acidity. Drink now through 2019.
Note: Futures item. Wine will arrive 2012-2013. You will be contacted for delivery instructions.