2005 Premières Cotes de Blaye
Red Blend •Premières Cotes de Blaye AOC
What We Say
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Mission Codename: Caviar and Wine
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Acquire a delicious Right Bank Bordeaux of our operatives
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Château Cantinot
Wine Subject: 2005 Premières Cotes de Blaye
Backgrounder: The Premières Cotes de Blaye AOC, located on the Right Bank of the Gironde in Bordeaux is one of the oldest wine growing regions in the area with vineyard sites dating back to the Roman era, long before vines were planted in the famed Medoc across the river. In addition to wine, the region is known for is caviar industry and sturgeon fishing in the coastal/river front town of Blaye.
The wines in this region is known for its exceptional value and unlike the generic Cotes de Blaye appellation, only the best grapes are used. Generally speaking, these wines are a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Malbec, higher alcohol than the generic appellation and are aged with a little new oak which adds to the overall flavor profile.
TOP SECRET INTEL ALERT: This wine will be soon featured in Wine Enthusiast where it will receive a 90 Point rating. Get your hands on a couple bottles from our limited allocation before the rest of the wine world discovers this wine.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dense and dark garnet purple with ruby red streaks through its dense but clear core. Along the edges the color remains dense and when swirled even the evenly spaced slow thin legs show hints of the ruby and garnet of this wine.
Smell – Rich and redolent with classic Bordeaux aromas of small red and black berries including red currant, blackberry, and cherry are layered over notes of smoke, earth and peppery spice.
Feel – Well structured, this medium-to-full-bodied dry wine has powdery fine grippy tannins that coat the palate. Its balanced but lively acidity adds character to the plush and plump feel of this wine.
Taste – Balanced overall, and perhaps fruit forward for a Bordeaux, with rich and plump flavors of red and black fruit are well integrated with spicy pepper, subtle bitter-sweet dark chocolate, smokey herbal and oak notes and a hint earthy herb.
Finish – Extremely long and well structured with the powder-fine tannins lasting for several minutes as the plump and fresh fruit fades gently away. Lingering notes of smoke and pepper remind you to take another sip.
Conclusion – The 2005 Château Cantinot Premières Cotes de Blaye is a delicious example of the Merlot dominated right bank. An exceptional value Bordeaux wine. A rich nose and a great texture that grabs hold but isn’t overly firm, yet still reminds you its there as its rich and plush fruit please the senses. We enjoyed this wine at our local French brasserie with roasted chicken. Perhaps we should have had some caviar?
SUBJECT: Yann and Florence Bouscasse, owners of Chateau Cantinot
AGENT WHITE: Greetings, Yann and Florence. We are thrilled to be showing your 2005 Premières Cotes de Blaye today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
YANN & FLORENCE: Its our pleasure, we are excited to be featured today on The Wine Spies.
WHITE: Tell us a little about the history of Chateau Cantinot?
YANN & FLORENCE: We, along with our children, founded Chateau Cantinot in 2002. However, our family history in the wine business dates to the middle of the 19th century.
In 1856 the brothers Frank and Julien Delmas based in La Rochelle founded a company that specialized selling eau de vie. The business was successful until phylloxera destroyed the vineyards of the region at the end of the nineteenth century. Wines were then imported from Algeria which at that point had been unaffected by the vine killing louse. The Delmas brothers then started a shipping business that transported wines between Northern Africa and France. They went on to become one of the most important transport companies in the Mediterranean.
In 1935, the company merged to become Vieljeux-Delmas with Peter Vieljeux becoming its chairman. His wife, Nicole Luze, the daughter of Albert de Luze, was an important wine broker and owner of Bordeaux properties. Florence is the daughter of Pierre and Nicole Vieljeux.
We weren’t foolish enough to think that making great wine would be easy. We know that to make a great wine it requires a lot of sweat and toil along with wisdom of time and passion.
WHITE: Tell us a little about the symbol on your bottle?
YANN & FLORENCE: The symbol on our label pays homage to our history and is derived from logo for the Delmas shipping company.
WHITE: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
YANN & FLORENCE: In terms of taste, the wines of the Haut Medoc like Sociando Mallet where Olivier Dauga our winemaker once consulted have been an influence.
WHITE: Who do you make wine for?
YANN & FLORENCE: The wine is going to reflect our tastes but we think primarily about the enjoyment of consumers who are going to be drinking our wines.
WHITE: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
YANN & FLORENCE: For me, game is what I like the most with our wines.
WHITE: In your opinion, what makes the Château Cantinot so special?
YANN & FLORENCE: We work our vineyards while being respectful of nature and the environment. We use a more Burgundian winemaking style with vinification of each parcel separately using temperature controlled tanks. We then start the malo-lactic fermentation while the wines are still on their lees. We age our wines in 350 liter upright tronconical vats as well as in barrels and cement tanks. In 2009, we started producing our limited cuvee called Les Tours de Cantinot. Here, we use a micro-vinification vat and macerate on the grape stems.
Chateau Cantinot is meant to be about having great pleasure and enjoyment in relation to its price. I love grand cru wines when they are indeed great wines, but not when they’re average wines for the prices they command. Chateau Cantinot provides great value in relation to its price.
WHITE: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of Château Cantinot in the Premières Cotes de Blaye can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Awards & Accolades:
90 Points – Wine Enthusiast – A solid, ripe wine, with tannins to match the juicy black currants. The structure is flexible, pushing comfortably at the fruit. There is a bright character here, helped by the richness of the flavors. – RV.
About This Wine:
Full bodied and aromatic with notes redcurrant, blackberry and figs. Concentrated black cherry and blueberry fruit flavors combine with soft tannins for a long flavorful finish.
There’s a new trend in Bordeaux: the fabulous quality wines that one expects from this region, but at an unexpectedly reasonable price. In only six years, Chateau Cantinot has emerged as a leading force of change in the Cotes de Blaye region. Their goal is to produce a Bordeaux that will rival the most renowned chateaux – at a fraction of the price.
A truly artisanal wine that reflects tender care of the vines, selective pruning throughout the growing season, followed by hand-picking in small trays and careful hand sorting at harvest, Chateau Cantinot is a classic Bordeaux with an approachable blend of 55% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Cabernet Franc. Barrel aged in oak for 15 months, Chateau Cantinot is ready to be enjoyed now or can be cellared for up to 10 years.
Andreas Larsson, ASI’s (l’Association de la Sommellerie Internatinale) Best Sommelier in the World 2007, calls the 2005 Chateau Cantinot “young and deep color, the nose leans toward elegant showing dark plums, cassis and leather. The palette has great freshness and dark dense fruit, a nice and complete spiciness, very long aftertaste. A regal wine with lots of potential.”
And the 2008 Hachette Guide (one of the premier guides to the best French wines) says, “This vintage is the fruit of the traditional blend of the regional grape varieties, producing a wine of carmine hues, radiating a bouquet, which combines black fruit aromas and notes of grilled vanilla. The palate is generous and round, announcing, as yet, a very present tannic structure, which should mellow and soften during at least two years of quiet maturing.”
Excellent paired with any red meat (such as beef tenderloin) or chocolate. For a classic French dish, try “Entrecôte bordelaise” (rib steak with a sauce made of red wine and shallots).
Premium quality Bordeaux at affordable prices? That’s change we can believe in!
About The Winery:
Along the right bank of the Garonne River is the appellation Premier Cotes de Blaye, an up-and-coming appellation gaining a reputation for excellent wines at fair prices. Conscientious wineries here are producing contemporary style Bordeaux – full bodied fruit driven wines with controlled tannins at a fraction of the cost of wines from the prestige Bordeaux AOC’s.
Yann and Florance Boucasse bought the 50 acre Chateau Cantinot in 2002 and since then have dedicated their efforts to creating a top shelf wine to rival the best Bordeaux chateaux. Using traditional practices (as was the custom before big production pressures turned many wineries into factories), Yann and Florance Boucasse have restored the vineyards to a healthy state by pruning back the vines to produce less – but more intense – fruit.
But that is only part of the story. They’ve also hired consulting winemaker Olivier Dauga, former technical director for vinticulture at Chateau Sociando Mallet and Chateau La Tour Carnet (4eme Grand Cru Classé). Under his guidance, they implemented manual harvests and sorting tables to hand select only thehealthiest fruit. Each distinct parcel is vinified separately, which allows the unique characteristics of each parcel to emerge. In addition, they’ve brought in small, temperature-controlled oak fermentation vats from Burgundy.
Andreas Larsson, World’s Best Sommelier 2007, selected Chateau Cantinot as one of his signature collections, andhe named the 2005 “One of the top new generation of Bordeaux wines.” He described the 2005 Chateau Cantinot as “delicious; young and deep color, the nose leans toward elegant showing dark plums, cassis and leather. The palette has great freshness and dark dense fruit, a nice and complete spiciness, very long aftertaste. A regal wine with lots of potential.”
Savvy sommeliers in Paris have taken notice too, adding Chateau Cantinot to wine lists at Taillevant, the Hotel du Louvre, Hotel George V, and Le Crillon.
The Chateau Cantinot is an approachable blend of 55% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% CabernetFranc that is oak barrel aged for 15 months. It can be enjoyed right away or cellared for up to 10 years. The Boucasses’ sister property, Haut Boutet, produces an earthy, approachable blend of 80% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Malbec.
Grape Variety: Merlot 55%, Cabernet Sauvignon 35%, Cabernet Franc 10%
Wine Type: Red Wine
Appellation: Premières Cotes de Blaye