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2019 Chateau Charmail

2019 Chateau Charmail

94 DEC

Featured Review
A rich expressive nose so much going on here, ripe fruits, dried fruit, pepper, cinnamon, herbs and spices. A lovely combination of red and black fruits with tons of liquorice, cinnamon, mint and eucalyptus. So chewy, fruity, dense and plush, but great acidity. Complex and multifaceted with a really long length and good lift at the end. Give this time but will be great. Drinking Window: 2025 - 2038 Decanter

Decanter | 94 DEC

Critic Reviews

A rich expressive nose so much going on here, ripe fruits, dried fruit, pepper, cinnamon, herbs and spices. A lovely combination of red and black fruits with tons of liquorice, cinnamon, mint and eucalyptus. So chewy, fruity, dense and plush, but great acidity. Complex and multifaceted with a really long length and good lift at the end. Give this time but will be great. Drinking Window: 2025 - 2038

Decanter | 94 DEC
Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2019 Charmail rolls out of the glass with notions of plum preserves, baked cherries and fruitcake plus hints of spice box, gingerbread and pencil shavings. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has bags of spicy black fruit preserves on offer with a fine-grained frame and just enough freshness, finishing long and harmonious. Nicely done!

Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 90-92 RP
The 2019 Charmail has an understated bouquet that unfolds with aeration, revealing pretty red berry fruit, rose petal and crushed stone. I admire the focus here. The palate is rounded, sweet and nicely poised, with nice grip. A little oak toward the finish suggests this will age with style. Very fine.

Vinous Media | 92 VM
One of the top Haut-Médocs out there, the 2019 Château Charmail comes from a great terroir north of Saint- Estèphe and is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. Deep ruby/purple, with a great nose of red and black currants, toasted spice, tobacco, and dried flowers, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, a rocking core of sweet fruit, velvety tannins, and a great finish. It already offers pleasure but will shine for 10-12 years, if not longer. It’s well worth a case purchase.

Jeb Dunnuck | 92 JD
This has a perfumed nose of wild strawberries, currants, lavender, chocolate orange and praline. Medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins. Pretty and polished with a fresh finish. Drink or hold.

James Suckling | 91 JS

Wine Details for 2019 Chateau Charmail

Type of Wine Bordeaux Red : Picture in your mind a combination of cedar, lead pencil, blackcurrant, plum and mineral aromatics, and texture that caresses your palate like a playful lover. The experience is thrilling from the first whiff to the final seconds of a tannic, generous finish - that is what you'll get from a Bordeaux Red
Varietal Red Bordeaux Blend : The inhabitants of the Bordeaux region of France have been cultivating wine-grapes for thousands of years. Ancient Roman ruins litter the vineyards from Saint Emilion to Graves where the art of blending Bordeaux varietals has been practiced and perfected over a very long history. Bordeaux’s climate, terroir and soils, though varied, provide the optimal growing conditions for the red grape varietals planted in the region.

Rarely listed on the labels as “blend,” the red wines of Bordeaux are perhaps the most artfully designed and celebrated in the world. The calculated art of blending the native Bordeaux varietals is impressively accomplished in the most famous winegrowing region in the world. The phrase Bordeaux Blend which seems to have been coined by British wine merchants in the 19th Century relates as much to wines made from the blend as to the grape variety combination itself.

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec and occasionally Carmenere are the lead characters in the creation of Red Bordeaux Blends. Each plays a part in their own fashion and implemented in various combinations and percentages in each appellation within Bordeaux. Red Bordeaux Blends are majorly composed of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, roughly making up 90% of all Bordeaux Blends. Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec (occasionally Carmenere) are also important components and vital to the production of the region’s red wines.

For simplicity, the winegrowing region of Bordeaux can be divided into three main appellations producing Red Bordeaux Blends; the Left Bank (Medoc), Right Bank and Pessac-Leognan (Graves). The Left Bank has a terroir comprised of a wide variety of gravel, stones, sand, limestone and clay soils on a natural terrain of gentle slopes. This sets the stage perfectly for the production of Cabernet Sauvignon, which is the dominant grape of the Left Bank. For example, Chateau Lafite (Paulliac) is composed of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Right Bank is dominated by clay and limestone with sand and gravel, but the clay in the Right Bank is distinctly its own and adds to the health, growth and vitality of the vines of the varietals grown here. Right Bank wines are typically 80% Merlot-based, which are often denser, richer and mature earlier than those of the Left Bank (with exceptions – Petrus for example). Merlot is a vital component to Pomerol winegrowing and making. Cabernet Franc also plays a major role in the Right Bank, most notably, in Saint Emilion, where the infamous vineyards of Chateau Ausone and Chateau Cheval Blanc are planted to 55% and 52% Cabernet Franc, respectively. Chateaux that produce wines with a majority of Cabernet Franc are considered “old school” producers, but have perfected the use of Cabernet Franc, which was originally used as a blending grape.

Pessac-Leognan (Graves) enjoys a temperate climate, natural hygrometry influenced by the ocean, and has a terroir composed of gravelly soil over a clay subsoil on sloping, hilly terrain. Natural drainage due to the hilly terrain as well as the gravelly soil structure are perfectly attuned to the Cabernet Sauvignon grape vine, which prospers under these conditions. Pessac reaps the benefits of having the terroir of both the Left and Right Bank as it contains gravel and clay. The clay sub-soil allows the growth and success of Merlot, as well as Cabernet Franc. It is home to the only First Growth not in the Medoc. The 50-hectare vineyard of Haut Brion is planted to 45.4% Merlot, 43.9% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9.7% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot.

The percentage of Petit Verdot and Malbec may be lesser in quantity, but not in quality. They are vital to the region’s creation of Red Bordeaux Blends. The combination of Bordeaux varietals is legendary in the region, around the world and has influenced winegrowers worldwide to plant and vinify wines which resemble those of Red Bordeaux Blends.

Country France : Wine is the lifeblood that courses through the country of France, pulsing with vigorous pride and determination. Viticulture is not just a hobby or an occupation in France; it is a passion, a cherished tradition that has been passed down through generations of wine stained hands. Winemaking is a beloved art that has been ingrained in the culture, an aptitude instilled in sons by fathers and the hallmark for which France’s reputation was built, allowing it to be renowned as, arguably, the most important wine producing country in the world.

For centuries, France has been producing wines of superior quality and in much greater quantity than any other country in the world. It boasts some of the most impressive wine regions, coveted vineyards and prestigious wines on earth. The regions of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhone, Sauternes and Champagne have become the benchmark, for which others aspire to become. Legendary producers such as Chateaux Margaux, Domaine De La Romanee Conti, Chapoutier, d’Yquem and Dom Perignon are idolized world-wide.

France has stamped its name on nearly every style of wine, from the nectar-like sweet Sauternes to hedonistic Chateauneuf Du Papes classic Bordeaux and Burgundy, to its sparkling dominance in Champagne. Many of the most infamous grape varietals in the world, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay originated in France and are not only beloved, but utilized in the creation of some of the greatest wines on earth. French wine production commands the attention of the wine market year after year. With over 860,000 hectares under vine, and numbers close to 50 million hectoliters of wine produced annually, France dominates the market and sets the standard for not only product quality, but also quantity.

France’s many contributions to the world of wine have been absolutely indispensable. The country is the originator of the term “Premier Cru,” coined the term Terroir (a French term so complex there is no literal translation) and has laid the blueprint for a structured appellation system, which others have implemented in their own countries. French vineyard techniques and winemaking practices are mimicked world-wide. California vintners have been replicating Rhone style wines for decades, South America has adopted the French varietal of Malbec and countries around the world are imitating Burgundian styled Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

With vast diversity in terroir, France is home to some of the most hospitable winegrowing locations on earth. The combination of topography, geology, climate, rainfall and even the amount of sunlight combined with the long historical tradition of winegrowing and making, has allowed the vintners of France to not only hone their skills, but learn from nature to create a product that like the world in which it resides… is very much alive.

Subregion Haut-Medoc


Producer Charmail : The beauty of Chateau Charmail, aside from its elegant 19th century manor house and its wondrous views of the vineyards, is its ability to consistently produce knock-out wines. Robert Parker has characterized Chateau Charmail as a “classic over-performer” unfailingly capable of releasing intense, seductive Bordeaux Blends with super silky tannins, year after year. The Haut-Medoc estate has had a consistent record of excellence for decades and is annually considered a “sleeper of the vintage”. Despite being acquisitioned multiple times since 1982, Charmail has defied any lapse in quality one might expect from new management by continuing and respecting the winemaking methods set before them.

Located on the banks of the Gironde, sitting across from Sociando-Mallet, Chateau Charmail is certainly well-located, resting on well-drained, gravely soils with some veins of clay running through them. Its proximity to the Gironde benefits from a certain mildness in the temperatures and is sheltered from the severe winter frosts which can be devastating for the plantation. The single, contiguous vineyard extends nearly to the edge of the water, where in the mornings, an assembly of the sunrise, mist and vines creates a magical scene. The topographical advantage witnesses rolling hills and southern exposure which contribute to the maturity of the grapes and vines, while also benefitting from a light wind which allows regular ventilation of the foliage and berries.

In previous years the 27-hectare vineyard was planted to 37% Merlot, 37% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Cabernet Franc and 12% Petit Verdot; however, with the new acquisition of neighboring vineyards, Chateau Bardis and Chateau Saint-Paul, the Charmail estate has swelled to 60 hectares with an extensive re-planting of Cabernet Sauvignon. On average the vines are 30 years of age and are planted to a vine density of 6,600 to 8,700 vines per hectare, in an effort to lower yields. The wines produced include the Grand Vin, Chateau Charmail and second wine, Les Tours de Charmail, which collectively account for 10,000 cases on the Bordeaux market each year.

Harvesting is completed manually, with the utmost respect to the vine stock and only the best berries are chosen using the Tribaie method (the separation of whole grapes, split grapes and small debris). The vinification process is an important and unique technique designed and utilized by Chateau Charmail which entails pre-fermentation, cold maceration, whereby the temperature of the fruit in the tanks is dropped to as low as 5 degrees Celsius and the berries are held in the vats for as long as two weeks, with the intent to protect the aroma compounds, endow the wine with stable color, and to neutralize the astringency on the palate so that the fruit is able to be showcased in the final product.

Chateau Charmail was awarded Cru Bourgeois Exceptionannel in 2018, a classification of estates in the Medoc, Haut-Medoc, Listrac-Medoc and various other appellations that were excluded from the Official 1855 Classification of the Medoc. The Cru Bourgoeis are a family of chateaux located on terroirs recognized for their quality all over the world, comprised of red wines that offer excellent value for money. Charmail is a charming estate that produces one of the greatest value wines in the Haut-Medoc and has been growing in popularity over the past few decades.

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