Mission Codename Charmer
How do you spell charmer-sexy red in French? Les Charmes-Godard Rouge! 20 bucks and change can’t buy into Bordeaux’s top appellations. Yet when you stay with top producers and look just outside the most famous regions, little undiscovered gems appear, that can easily give their big brethren a run for the money. Come the Thienpont family, who are famous for digging such properties out, and resurrecting them to go hand in hand with their top labels, made under the same painstaking regimen that they built their “cult” reputation on. By any means, this is not a “Baby Le Pin” but perhaps a Baby VCC!
Bright medium to dark ruby, with a purple glow that accents the wider rim wrapping the glass as this elegant red virtually waltzes around. Bold black cherries, entwined with dried plum and apricot define the perfume, all lined in the back by a graphite note. Juicy acidity lifts the massive tannins (for $22? damn!) on the superb buildup to a cassis and cocoa powder mid-palate. An intense grip within the velvety mouthcoating texture brings this beauty to a gleaming finale. This, we warn you, is not your daddy’s Merlot, it’s therefore meant to pair with rich proteins, exotic mushrooms, even umami-driven Asian cuisine.
The Thienpont brothers own and oversee some of the most sought-after names in all of Bordeaux, including Château Le Pin and Vieux Château Certan in Pomerol as well as Châteaux Pavie Macquin, Larcis Ducasse, Beauséjour Duffau and L’If in Saint-Émilion. These legendary names have long-standing track records of perfect scores, yet the Theinponts are humble enough to venture into incredible values frown just outside these prestigious appellations of excellence. Charmes-Godard also makes a killer white that is famous for over-delivering, so they lean on that program, while very few people even know that they also make this outstanding red. Now you do. Get in on this wine that offers the SAME loving care that goes into the $100-1,000+ per bottle range the Thienponts own.
Decanter recommends; “This tiny appellation contains some big names… Size and location make it somewhat insular, but the top wines are without doubt of interest… The pioneers and pace-setters in the Côtes de Francs, though, are without doubt the Thienpont family. George Thienpont acquired Château Puygueraud in 1946, but initially cleared the run-down vineyard and did not replant until 1979. This remarkable, long-ageing wine is now a reference in the appellation, but has been joined by others in the Thienpont stable. These include Châteaux Les Charmes-Godard, Laclaverie and, most recently, La Prade. Winemaking and management of the properties is handled by George’s industrious son Nicolas, who also manages St.-Emilion Grands Crus Classés Bellevue, Larcis-Ducasse and Pavie-Macquin.”
Bordeaux authority Chris ‘Winedoctor’ Kissack adds; “What are Bordeaux backwaters today were once desirable wine regions, their limestone terroirs held in high regard by local vignerons. While fashions and tastes have changed over the centuries, and few fans of the Merlot-dominated right bank would now step outside the comfort zones of St.-Emilion and Pomerol, the potential of the soils around the town of Francs is just as it was in pre-phylloxera times. Château Les Charmes-Godard is one estate worth looking out for; this vineyard was purchased during the 1980s by Nicolas Thienpont, of the same Thienpont family that own Vieux Château Certan and Le Pin in Pomerol, and who manage Pavie-Macquin and Larcis Ducasse in St Emilion. Rather than being recent arrivals though, the Thienpont family have a long association with the vineyards around Francs. The wines today are pretty smart, and they offer great value too, made using the same fastidious attention to detail employed across the Thienpont portfolio.”
From absolutely one of the TOP vintages of the decade, and with this HALF OFF price tag just for a day here at The Wine Spies, it’s your chance to load up on an extraordinary Bordeaux for a song!
Here is what the wine press has to say:
93 Points – James Suckling - “This is very dense and lively with stones, limestone and cement. Full-bodied, yet vivid and lively. Beautiful finish. This is always an under-the-radar Bordeaux and needs your attention.”
Bright medium to dark ruby, with a purple glow that accents the wider rim wrapping the glass
Bold black cherries, entwined with dried plum and apricot, lined in the back by a graphite note
Juicy acidity lifts the massive tannins (for $22? damn!) to a cassis and cocoa powder mid-palate
An intense grip within the velvety mouthcoating texture brings this beauty to a gleaming finale
Not your daddy’s Merlot, this is meant for rich proteins, exotic mushrooms, even Asian cuisine
What the Winery Says
2016 Francs Côtes de Bordeaux AOC
- Nicolas Thienpont
- 100% Merlot
- Francs Côtes de Bordeaux AOC, Libourne
- Limestone and marl
- Vineyard size
- 4.5 hectares
- Average vine age
- 40 years
- 12 months
- 20% new French oak