- Clos Cantenac
- St Emilion
- Merlot / Cabernet Sauvignon / Cabernet Franc
- Case size
- En Primeur
Neal Martin, May 2021,
The 2020 Clos Cantenac offers tightly wound black cherries and blueberry that unfurl nicely with aeration, a very subtle camphor aroma emerging with time. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit, touches of graphite and tea leaf toward a clean, precise finish that is quite traditional and structured in style. It needs a little more tension in the final third but otherwise, good potential. Drink 2025 - 2035
Wine Advocate, May 2021,
The 2020 Clos Cantenac is made from 100% Merlot. It has 14.5% alcohol and is aging in barriques, 40% new, for 12 months. Deep garnet-purple colored, it opens with compelling notes of plum preserves, boysenberries and blueberry compote, plus wafts of underbrush, red roses and Sichuan pepper. The medium to full-bodied palate is laden with juicy black fruits, supported by soft tannins and just enough freshness, finishing with a peppery lift. 8,000 bottles are due to be made. Drink 2024-2038
Matthew Jukes, May 2021,
I tasted Petit Cantenac (the second wine from this estate) immediately before this wine and, as I subconsciously do with every wine I taste, I fleetingly predicted the shape, size and flavour of this Grand Vin before I took my first sniff and a sip. Gosh, what a shock! The nose sits down in the glass and glares back at you impertinently for disturbing its slumber. The flavour is bound tightly in steel shackles and there is little wriggle room for the flavour to express itself, but the finish allows you to turn around and look back at what has gone before, admiring its rigidity and composure. Like Petit C, the tannins are firm, fit and dry and this rigid, unbending platform supports the densely packed fruit perfectly. Even though the alcohol seems pretty punchy on paper there is a cool feeling throughout the flavour and this is because the acidity is keen and nervy and it, accordingly, brings a fabulous dynamism and flair to the party. Once the fruit notes open a touch on the palate it is possible to see deep mulberry and spice tones among the bold blackcurrant and plum theme and this makes 2020 Clos Cantenac as luxurious as it is controlled. I have not seen anything like this wine before from Clos Cantenac and it proves that 2020’s vintage conditions were like no other. It also shows us how this estate manages to respond to everything that is thrown at it and that makes this an unexpected and also a seriously impressive wine.
South of Pomerol lies the medieval, perched village of St Emilion. Surrounding St Emilion are vines that produce round, rich and often hedonistic wines. Despite a myriad of soil types, two main ones dominate - the gravelly, limestone slopes that delve down to the valley from the plateau and the valley itself which is comprised of limestone, gravel, clay and sand. Despite St Emilion's popularity today, it was not until the 1980s to early 1990s that attention was brought to this region. Robert Parker, the famous wine critic, began reviewing their Merlot-dominated wines and giving them hefty scores. The rest is history as they say. Similar to the Médoc, there is a classification system in place which dates from 1955 and outlines several levels of quality. These include its regional appellation of St Emilion, St Emilion Grand Cru, St Emilion Grand Cru Classé and St Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé, which is further divided into "A" (Ausone and Cheval Blanc) and "B" (including Angélus, Canon, Figeac and a handful of others). To ensure better accuracy, the classification is redone every 10 years enabling certain châteaux to be upgraded or downgraded depending on on the quality of their more recent vintages.