What We Say 2005 Haut Boutet de Chateau Cantinot
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Mission Codename: Second Sister
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Acquire a delicious Right Bank Bordeaux of our operatives
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Château Cantinot
Wine Subject: 2005 Haut Boutet de Chateau Cantinot 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.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dense and dark garnet with deep ruby streaks in its clear core. When swirled, this wine shows its slightly thinker texture and settles quickly leaving tightly medium thick legs of varying speeds.
Smell – Rich spiced dark red and black fruit with aromas of soft toasted oak, dried herbs, cocoa and dark chocolate. A touch of earth and spice adds complexity.
Feel – Smooth and dry, this well-structured full-bodied wine has lively acidity, firm but approachable tannins and dark minerality without being overpowering.
Taste – Restrained black and red fruit with a touch of blueberry and plum as well. Add to this some dark chocolate and cocoa, a meaty herbal component and smooth and round woodsy toasted oak and spice.
Finish – Medium in length with the black and red fruit fading away leaving behind lingering textured tannins, hints of tart acidity and dark minerals.
Conclusion – The 2005 Haut Boutet de Chateau Cantinot Premières Cotes de Blaye is a delicious and approachable right bank Bordeaux at a great price. The characteristic Merlot really shines and the Malbec softens the texture while adding an approachable mouth feel to the mix.
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
About This Wine:
Medium bodied, well structured with soft tannins. Intense and rich red fruit flavors are perfectly harmonized with tones from oak barrel aging.
From the same team of Chateau Cantinot winemakers comes the Haut Boutet de Chateau Cantinot, a lovely Bordeaux crafted in a modern style. This sister chateau shares the same commitment to quality by producing a complementary Merlot based blend to Chateau Cantinot’s Cabernet Savignons dominated wine.
Yann Bouscasse, the owner of both properties, reports that he is often the last neighbor to pick his fruit, when he believes he has the best combination ripened fruit and sugar content. Of course, this demands careful hand picking and sorting to remove any bruised or damaged fruit. His vinification methods include cold prefermentation, stirring of the lees, and malolactic fermentation at 68 – 72 degrees.
Blended from 80% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Malbec, Haut Boutet is full, round and flavorful while softer on the palette than the bigger full-bodied Chateau Cantinot. No new oak is used in the 10-month barreling, which allows the full varietal characteristics to shine through. The Malbec lends a deep, fruity spiciness that compliments the gentler Merlot. Perfect for those who love full-bodied reds that don’t require a decade of cellaring, this is a wine for immediate enjoyment.
With round tannins notes of tobacco, cacao, black fruit and prunes, plus a hint of fresh herbs. Wine Spectator notes: “…meat and ripe fruit on the nose, medium-bodied, with soft tannins and a medium finish.”
And French daily newspaper Les Echos regards the wine as a triumph for this up and coming chateau: “Most attractive composition and structure, intense and rich, perfectly harmonising the fruit and the light tones of oak. The barrel maturation is still evident on the final palate and is highly flattering, but this should blend and mellow after two years in bottle. This wine is a great success and a compliment for the winemaking team at Chateau Cantinot.”
A great value 2005 Bordeaux, a vintage that featured perfect growing conditions.
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.
Appellation: Premières Cotes de Blaye
Grape Varietals: Merlot 80%, Cabernet Franc 10%, Malbec 10%
Wine Type: Red Wine
Appellation: Premières Cotes de Blaye