Chateau Cantemerle 2016

Chateau Cantemerle 2016

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In a manuscript dated 1147, The Pons of Cantemerle was witness to a donation by the Lord of Blanquefort to the La Sauve Majeur Abbey. Officially wine began to be produced in 1354. The Lord of Cantemerle paid 1 cask of wine as tithes. In 1369 King Edward III named Louis Chabot lord of Cantemerle. The title allowed him to receive 1/6 of the harvest from the fief. The estate passed to the Caupene family in the 15th century. The Cantemerle estate was more focused on growing grains than grapes during the early part of its history. For example In 1575, only 12 casks of wine were produced from whole estate.
In 1579 Jean de Villeneuve purchased the estate. After his marriage into the Dufort family, his heirs would controlled Cantemerle for over 300 years. Jeanne Amande de Villeneuve Dufort was the last in line ot own the property. The estate was sold at auction upon her death. After purchasing the estate 2 weeks prior, the Calvert firm sold it to Theophile-Jean Dubos. In 1981, the Dubos family sold the Estate to Group SMABTP. At that time only 20 hectares of the estate was producing grapes. After heavy investment from SMABTP, there are 90 hectares producing grapes. The vineyards are 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and %5 each of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc.
Wine Spectator: 91
Lively cherry and bitter plum fruit streaks through, laced with fine chalky tannins. Picks up iron and savory hints on the finish.
Wine Advocate: 92
The 2016 Cantemerle has a tightly wound bouquet and it never quite delivers the detail and mineralit that some of its peers have produced in this vintage. There are attractive undergrowth scents and a touch of tobacco, but it does not leap from the glass with joy. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, good depth of fruit, blackberry laced with cedar and graphite. One sample was missed a little precision, however, a second and third demonstrated much more precision and tension. My score reflects this.
Decanter: 93
For me this is easily one of their best ever wines, totally living up to its fifth growth billing. Lovely and juicy with excellent tension, really walking that line. Menthol, cassis and cedar are framed by well-wrought tannins that bring the whole thing together and lead onto a juicy finish. The blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot is aged in 40% new oak for 12 months, followed by a further four months in vats before bottling.
Wine Enthusiast: 96
This is another successful vintage from this estate. It is so finely structured that you notice the blackberry fruit more than the tannins, with a seam of crisp acidity throughout.
Vinous: 92
The 2016 Cantemerle comes across as raw and not fully put together. Even so, the wine possesses superb richness, volume and depth. Iron, smoke, raspberry jam and succulent cherry notes are all pushed forward. Plush and racy, with striking depth, this succulent, expressive Haut-Mdoc is built for pleasure. Tasted two times.
James Suckling: 95
Dense and chewy already with plenty of ripe tannins and bright fruit. Vivid acidity. Full body, a firm and silky texture and a flavorful finish. Lots going on. Excellent follow-up to the great 2015!