Refined, poised and silky, this wine tastes far more like a St. Julien than an Haut Médoc. Wonderfully balanced, the palate offers notes of cassis and graphite which finish on an appealing salty tang.
Cantemerle tends to produce somewhat understated and restrained, but finesse-filled wines. The medium-bodied 2008 offers elegant notes of raspberries, red currants, crushed rocks and oak backed up by good concentration, sweet tannin and no hard edges. Drink it over the next 10-12 years. Drink: 2011 - 2023
New owners have done a wonderful job at Cantemerle, and while the 2008 may not be quite as terrific as the 2005, it is an elegant, floral, raspberry and black cherry-scented effort displaying sweet tannins, medium body, and admirable purity. If it fleshes out in the bottle, it will merit the higher score.
Crimson. Hint of rawness on the nose but lovely round silky texture on the palate. Pretty dry tannins but very fine ones. Muscular. Well done.
Currant bush and berries on the nose. Medium-bodied, with fine tannins, bright acidity and a clean, fruity finish.
One of the only three non-communal classified growths (with La Lagune and Cantenac), Château Cantemerle is located in Macau, a village due south of Margaux. Despite its classic claret spirit, it has an unusual connection to vineyards thousands of miles away. In the early 1980s, much of Cantemerle's Cabernet Franc was changed to Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot by top grafting. Mexican viticulturalists, specialists in this field, were flown in from the Napa Valley to carry out the procedure. Quite an extraordinary project for a ‘mere' Haut Médoc.
The Haut-Médoc is an appellation within the Médoc that stretches along the left bank of the Gironde from Blanquefort in the south to the north of Bordeaux. The region encompasses the more famous communes of St-Estèphe, Pauillac, St-Julien and Margaux. Following the 1855 classification many of its most famous estates were classified and scored as first, second, third, fourth or fifth growths. This was based on their social and commercial positions at the time. Most of these classed growths use the village appellation name, such as Pauillac. However five of these classed growths fell outside a village appellation so take the name Haut-Médoc. Many of the vineyards which are classified as Haut-Médoc may actually also be referred to as Cru Bourgeois wines. These wines have lower permitted yields and so offer great value for money.