Wine of the Month - October 2018

Wine of the Month - October 2018

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Our inaugural selection of the Wine of the Month include wines from both the Left and the Right Bank of Bordeaux:

1 x Château Branaire Ducru 2014, 4th Growth, Saint-Julien
1 x Château Cantenac Brown 2015, 3rd Growth, Margaux
1 x Château d'Aiguilhe 2015, Côtes de Bordeaux, Castillon
1 x Château Prieure-Lichine 2015, 4th Growth, Margaux

Tasting Notes

Château Branaire Ducru 2014 - "The Château Branaire-Ducru is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc picked between 24 September with the early-ripening Merlot, and finishing on 11 October. The yields came in at 40 hectoliters per hectare and Patrick Maratoux explained the importance of waiting for the correct maturity of each parcel. It has a tightly wound bouquet with black cherries and orange peel aromas, focused if not quite as complex as say, Château Beychevelle. The palate is medium-bodied, sinewy in the mouth with tensile tannins. This is a wine that seems to be making a huge effort in this vintage, but I would like to see more finesse manifested on the finish by the time it is in bottle. You know, I think that will develop. That 12 to 13% vin de presse lends this Branaire Ducru impressive sustain on the finish and I suspect that it will coalesce throughout the barrel ageing in two-thirds new oak (though the sample shown at the château was 100% new oak)." - Neal Martin, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (4/29/2015, Issue 218), Ratings: 90-92, Drink: 2018-2032

Château Cantenac Brown 2015 - "The 2015 Cantenac Brown follows their excellent 2014 with another great Margaux. Here, a nuanced nose that does not come racing from the blocks, but keep your nose in the glass and it reveals detailed blackberry, cranberry and strawberry aromas that are neatly embroidered with the new oak. The palate is medium-bodied with fine, quite tensile tannin. There is breeding interwoven into this Margaux, palpable sophistication, and it finishes with panache, fanning out with lightly spiced red and black fruit. It is not the most ostentatious Margaux in what is a fecund season for the appéllation, but I suspect it will surprise a few wine-lovers as its ages." - Neal Martin, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (4/27/2016, Issue 224), Ratings: 90-92, Drink: 2020-2045

Château d'Aiguilhe 2015 - "The 2015 Chateau d'Aiguilhe is a blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, picked between September 23 and October 8 at 30 hectoliters per hectare, and matured in 30% new oak barrels. It has a very ripe and opulent, quite showing bouquet with fig and date-tinged red berry fruit. The palate is very well balanced, a supple ball of red cherry and strawberry fruit, with a touch of Christmas cake and allspice towards the finish; the Cabernet Franc imparts a little edginess, with a saline tincture lingering on the aftertaste. This is a very fine Côtes de Castillon from Comtes Von Neipperg." - Neal Martin, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (4/27/2016, Issue 224), Ratings: 90-92, Drink: 2018-2028

Château Prieure-Lichine 2015 - "The 2015 Prieuré-Lichine has a tightly wound bouquet, crisp and a little leaner than some of its Margaux compadres. It just feels contained at the moment. The palate is medium-bodied with gruff tannin on the entry. There is respectable depth here, but it feels linear and rather predictable towards the blackberry and cedar finish. I would like to see more complexity and personality come through by the time of bottling. It feels a bit bolshie at the moment." - Neal Martin, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (4/27/2016, Issue 224), Ratings: 88-90, Drink: 2019-2032

Effective October 18, 2019, the US Trade Representative's Office imposed a new 25% value-added tax (i.e., import tariffs) on a wide range of European products (including French wine, Italian cheese and single malt Scotch whisky) to penalize EU subsidies for Airbus.  EU has made counter-claims agains the US subsidies for Boeing.  A ruling by WTO on EU's counter-claims is expected in the spring of 2020.

For any Futures (en primeur) and Pre-Arrival items, our current prices are shown before taxes and tariffs.  Prior to shipment, we may have to collect any tariffs levied by the US government at the time. Tariffs will be based on the date of importation and the rate of US tariffs in place at the time.  Current rules exempt wines with alcohol content above 14.5% from the newly imposed 25% tariffs. We will offer free storage in our professional wine cellar in Bordeaux in the event of any delay in importation caused by the uncertainties created by tariffs.

If you believe these tariffs are NOT in the best interest of US consumers like yourself, please consider writing to your congressional representatives to let them hear your voice.  You can find out how to contact your representatives here using this directory provided by the US Congress.


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