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2015 Clos Marsalette, Pessac-Léognan (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1259337 92 points James Suckling

 A full-bodied red with blackberries, chocolate, spices and earth. Soft and layered tannins. Flavorful finish. So juicy and beautiful. Drink in 2020.  (2/2018)

92 points Vinous

 The 2015 Clos Marsalette is rich, powerful and authoritative, just as it was from barrel. Black cherry, smoke, rose petal, menthol, licorice and savory herbs fill out the wine's ample frame effortlessly, but there is good energy to back things up. Time in the glass brings out the 2015's aromatic dimension. Clos Marsalette is arguably the most extroverted, flamboyant wine in Pessac-Léognan. Tasted two times. (AG)  (2/2018)

91 points Jeb Dunnuck

 As to the red, the 2015 Clos Marsalette is close to an even split of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon that saw 40% new barrels. This beauty offers excellent purity and freshness, as well as a sexy, supple, forward, fruit-loaded style that makes it a joy to drink. Black cherries, lavender, violets, and hints of bay leaf all emerge from the glass, and despite its upfront sex appeal, it’s going to keep for a decade.  (11/2017)

91 points Wine Spectator

 Fresh, ripe and polished, featuring cassis and plum fruit flowing through over a bright mineral edge. Light sanguine and violet notes gild the finish, with the fruit lingering prettily. Very pure. Drink now through 2027. (JM)  (1/2018)

88-90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2015 Clos Marsalette (Rouge) is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 48% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc picked between September 21 and October 5 at 42 hectoliters per hectare. Matured in 40% new oak barrels, it has a correct, tightly wound bouquet, blackcurrant with just a touch of wilted violet. I like the definition here, but it is holding its breath in at the moment. The palate is medium-bodied with light tannin. You could almost slip this down the throat now: silky smooth, just a light grip with fine tannin on the finish. It has an easy-drinking sensibility, though that does not mean it was not thoughtfully crafted. Enjoy this Pessac-Léognan over 5-7 years. (NM)  (4/2016)

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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.


- 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.


Specific Appellation:


- 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.