With Cheval Blanc, Ausone is St Emilion’s finest property, and its breeding and pedigree show out with every vintage. Whilst the price means that Ausone will only ever be available to a select few, the quality ensuresthat those who do invest will not be disappointed. Only a handful of bottles available, alas, of this most ethereal of Bordeaux’s names.
CHATEAU CHEVAL BLANCCheval Blanc combines both approachability even when young, and complexity. The 03 and 99 are both drinking well now, the 1982 will one day vie for the accolade of THE wine of the (twentieth) century. The proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon is very unusual – only 1%. The main grape is Cabernet Franc (57%) – a grape of good colour and structure, with flavours of capsicum and plums. Merlot is 40% of the blend.
CHATEAU HAUT BRION“While I have always admired Haut-Brion, now I am addicted to its perfume and complexity.”
ROBERT PARKER Haut Brion was the first wine estate to start bottling its own wine in the early 17th century, rather than selling in bulk to négociants, and it consequently gained in fame and value thanks in particular to claret lovers in London. It is therefore considered the forefather of the great Bordeaux growths. It naturally was placed at the top of the famous 1855 Médoc Classification.
CHATEAU LATOUR (Pauillac)The name comes from the 14th century tower on the estate, which was used by the English (Bordeaux was under English rule at this time) to fend off pirates. Latour is considered one of the most powerful, dense Pauillacs to be found and it needs to age. Tasting notes include leather and walnuts, enhanced by intense blackcurrant fruit.
This estate can trace its origins right back to the 12th century. It now omprises a massive 654 acres. The vineyard is planted with 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. The wine is fermented in oak vats, and matured in new oak for 2 years, procedures that add yet more structure to an already complex wine. Look for spicy vanilla oakiness and ripe blackcurrants. We have chosen here some exceptionally stunning vintages from this excellent estate.
CHATEAU MOUTON ROTHSCHILDChâteau Mouton Rothschild is the only Château to achieve reclassification in the 1855 Médoc Classification (a list drawn up by the dignitaries of the region to classify all the Médoc Châteaux according to the prices they were fetching on the market at the time). This put them in 1973 into the realm of the top five Châteaux (Premiers Grands Crus Classés). The bottles from this vineyard are famous not only for the powerful yet deceptively smooth wineinside, but also for the colourful labels brought out each year (designed by a different artist for each vintage).