2009 Clos Marsalette, Pessac-Léognan

SKU #1113096 92 points Wine Spectator

 Very perfumy, with white pepper and sanguine notes, followed by singed mesquite and silky-textured damson plum and cassis fruit flavors and a long, iron-tinged finish. A minerally style, but with the flesh for balance. Distinctive. Best from 2013 through 2026.  (3/ 2012)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Another impressive offering from proprietor Stephan von Neipperg, this blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot displays classic notes of wet gravel as well as jammy, smoky, sweet red and black currants, raspberries and forest floor. A classic Pessac-Leognan with the lush, opulent style of 2009 well-displayed, this is a seductive, full-bodied, fleshy wine to drink over the next 10-12 years.  (2/ 2012)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright red-ruby. Sexy, smoky aromas of black raspberry, charcoal and game show an exotic jammy ripeness that reminded me of syrah from the Languedoc. Then lush and mouthfilling, with compelling sweetness to its black raspberry, smoke and game flavors. For all its near-confectionery sweetness and early appeal, harmonious acidity gives this outsized wine lovely inner-palate energy. I'd enjoy this beauty over the next ten years.  (7/ 2012)

K&L Notes

Purchased by Count Stephan von Neipperg and Didier Miqueu in 1992, Clos Marsalette was brought back to its full potential in 2002 with the completion of a new winemaking facility. Its six hectares of vines are planted on three gravelly hills along the Garonne River. From Jancis Robinson: "Very dark crimson. Freshness of Pessac and the richness of 09. So sweet and thick and exciting. Real tension and fireworks. Long and tarry. Pushing to the limit without exaggeration. Quite gamey on the nose and pretty extreme in terms of ripeness. Obviously there has been a battle to keep it appetising, but I think the battle has been won." (04/2010)

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Price: $29.99

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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Bordeaux

- View our bestselling Bordeaux.
Specific Appellation:

Pessac-Leognan/Graves

- Graves is the large red and white wine region located to the southeast of the city of Bordeaux along the Garonne River. Cabernet Sauvignon dominates the red wines from the area, while the whites are mixtures of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. The most important area within the Graves is the village of Pessac-Leognan. Most of the great chateaux, including Haut Brion, a premier cru and the only wine outside of the Medoc to be included in the 1855 Classification, are located in this small appellation. Graves derives its name from the rocky, stony terrain of the region. Many people believe that the stony soil radiates the day's heat at night and thus makes the grapes ripen earlier than the other regions in Bordeaux.