2012 Domaine de L'A, Côtes de Castillon (Previously $30)

SKU #1267019 91 points James Suckling

 A Bordeaux displaying intense aromas and flavors of cooked strawberries and raspberries with floral and mineral notes. Hints of toasted oak. Full body with silky tannins, lovely acidity and an intense, textured finish.  (2/2015)

89-91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Medium-deep ruby. Sexy aromas of black fruits, cocoa, cinnamon and violet. Broad and supple but with a light touch to its musky dark berry and plum flavors. Sappy and energetic but at the same time almost creamy on the long finish. A very strong showing for this wine in 2012; it's far above the quality level of many other wines from the Right Bank satellites in this vintage. (ID)  (5/2013)

91 points Vinous

 A big, powerful wine, the 2012 Domaine de l'A offers serious depth and intensity. Super-ripe dark red cherry and plum flavors abound as this ample, creamy wine shows off its personality. A wine of texture and resonance, the 2012 is already quite delicious, but it also has enough depth to drink well for a number of years. This is a very strong showing from Christiane and Stéphane Derenoncourt. The 2012 is 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, fermented and aged in barrel with 40% new oak. (AG)  (1/2016)

90 points Wine & Spirits

 Christine and Stéphane Derenoncourt farm this 25-acre vineyard in the clay-limestone soils of Castillon, working with 40-year-old vines. They produced a 2012 of comfortable elegance, almost jammy in its mountain blueberry and black raspberry flavors. It’s ripe enough to appeal to a New World Cabernet drinker, while holding its form with soil-inflected tannins. Pour it with lamb chops.  (10/2016)

90 points Wine Enthusiast

 Ripe, soft and very drinkable, this has a generous structure that cushions the tannins with rounded black fruits. The acidity and the warm, generous character of the 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc blend net a fine representation of the fruity 2012s. This is Bordeaux consultant Stéphane Derenoncourt's home turf. Wooden fermenters and 16 months in barrel (40% new) necessitate time, so drink from 2016. (RV)  (12/2014)

90 points Wine Spectator

 Well built, with solid density for the vintage, this lets a core of dark plum sauce, steeped currant and blackberry coulis play out, while hints of charcoal, anise and smoldering tobacco line the fleshy finish. A solid effort. Drink now through 2018. (JM)  (12/2014)

Jancis Robinson

 Extremely flattering nose – almost Pomerolian – and then fleshy on the palate. This has rounded out nicely and provides lots of Castillon value. But, being so sweet and fleshy, it’s an early developer. *Good Value*  (4/2017)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Nice black cherry and blackberry fruits are present in this dense ruby/purple wine from winemaking consultant/guru Stéphane Derenoncourt. Quite fleshy, chunky, with lots of depth, ripe fruit and purity, this is a big, lovely, medium to full-bodied, fleshy, mouth-filling wine that represents excellent value. Drink it over the next 4-5 years. (RP)  (4/2015)

K&L Notes

89-91 points Neal Martin's Wine Journal: "Stephane Derenoncourt’s “baby”, the Domaine de l’A has a very pure, engaging bouquet with subtle floral notes that develop in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with supple, ripe tannins. The creamy oak is well integrated and politely remains in the background, lending the dark plum and cassis fruit the lift it needs. Class winemaking here in a challenging vintage." (05/2013)

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Staff Image By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/19/2016 | Send Email
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From one of the "in" Bordeaux regions for value wines. This property is the home of Stephane Derencourt. This Merlot wine displays black fruit aromas and flavors. Some good grip on the back and excellent acid balance. Still a bit young but decanting will soften up for your steak dinner. The nose opens after 30 minutes decanting and the palate impression is rich and round with some modern oak nuances. Great for the cellar too.
Drink from 2016 to 2028

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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.