94 Insider Points
91 Points - Wine Enthusiast * Cellar Selection
90 Points - Wine & Spirits
Distinguished - Jancis Robinson
Recommended - Decanter
91.9pts - Cellar Tracker Average
The Right Bank, How Merlot is Supposed to Taste.
I spent 2 summers working vineyards in the Castillon area of Bordeaux after college. It was there I discovered REAL Merlot, particularly from St. Emilion. This bottle is a shining example of what you should expect (quite the opposite from much of the bulky California-designate Merlots).
A dense nose of earthy cassis with a hint of mint takes me back to my work in the vineyard. Savory on the palate with balanced flavors of brambleberry, new oak and yummy spices, leading to an even better finish. This is one to bust out at your private dinner parties.
94 Points - JZ September '17
"100% Merlot. Saignée and cold pre-ferment maceration. Long post-ferment maceration. Malo in barrel and will have 18 months in oak, 40% new. Deep purple-crimson. Ripe and perfumed pure fruit, somewhere between red and black plus a touch of vanilla on the nose. Sweet and chocolatey on the finish, both in the meltedness of the tannins and the flavour. Rich and velvety but with a little less obvious freshness than the Petit Cantenac but greater intensity and length. Generous and plush." - Jancis Robinson
St. Emilion, France
Oooh la la…. The velvet perfection of St Emilion. Clos Cantenac’s Grand Cru vines produced an inimitable bottle in 2012, and each glass is a lesson in Bordeaux’s right bank beauty. Plush, richly textured, and clearly strutting its stuff; this bottle warrants every 91+ point score it’s received.
“The wines of Clos Cantenac have a good “polish” about them and a fine sense of place."
- Steven Spurrier, Editor of Decanter Magazine (2015)
Why we love it:
- Like the nearby Megalith de Pierrefitte (a massive and singular stone formation), Clos Cantenac has stones. Well, gravel in any case. This exceptional plot of Merlot vines has its roots sunk deeply into the gravel, sand, and clay soils.
- The winery has some long history as well. The 200-year-old building was renovated by owners Martin Krajewski and Marcus Le Grice in 2007 in time for their first harvest as the estate’s new owners.
- The special attention to detail sets Clos Cantenac’s St. Emilion Grand Cru apart. They hand harvested 4 ½ acres of Merlot over two days to secure their precious grapes.
- Two rounds of maceration (one before fermentation, one after) highlight the remarkable fruit quality. And the finishing touch? Twenty months in oak barrels to round out the gloriously ripe tannins and integrate the voluptuous flavors.
Good aromatic range on the nose, starting with notes of blackberries and cassis enhanced by spicy notes of cinnamon and pepper. The palate is elegant showing lush fresh berries and bright red fruits and black cherries. It is tightly coiled but shows good weight and structure, with fine velvety tannins and a long seductive finish.
Clos Cantenac is a small but seductive 15 acre property with carefully planted vines on an exceptional "terroir" close to the prehistoric "Megalith de Pierrefitte." This enchanting Saint-Emilion vineyard and ancient 200-year-old winery was purchased in January 2007 by Martin Krajewski, already the owner of Chateau de Sours, along with his great friend and wine enthusiast Marcus Le Grice from New Zealand. Clos Cantenac proudly respects both the history and culture of the region to traditionally craft these fine Grand Cru wines.