Ch. Clauzet, good Bordeaux that doesn’t break the bank…

May 16, 11 Ch. Clauzet, good Bordeaux that doesn’t break the bank…

Posted by in France

I do like my claret. Until I moved to England I had no idea what claret was (it’s what the English call Bordeaux red wines) and even then I didn’t think would have much of a chance to drink it. “Oh, I don’t have enough money to even contemplate buying a bottle, let alone a case!” However, once you look past the big names there are plenty of excellent and good value for money choices, on both the Left and Right Banks of the Gironde River. The St Estephe commune is located near the mouth of the Gironde river estuary on the Left Bank in the northernmost corner. It’s known primarily for it’s muscular and well structured red wines, wines that usually need a lot of time to mellow before you can drink them. I was invited to a dinner at Racine with the owner of Chateau Clauzet and Chateau de Come, Baron Maurice Velge, as well as the technical director, Jose Bueno, last week to taste their efforts at producing a St. Estephe wine that was not only imminently drinkable but also a combination of strength and elegance. Because of it’s location so far north, St. Estephe is often overlooked, but the vineyards of Ch. Clauzet are neighbours of Lafitte and Cos d’Estournal and have very similar soils, deep gravel and gentle slopes thus providing good drainage. The wines are a blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and a dash of petit verdot and/or cabernet franc.  Technical Director, Jose Bueno, came to the vineyards after spending 23 years as cellar master with Baron Phillipe de Rothschild and wanted the challenge of working with what he views as “the outstanding terroir” of the estate. The Chateau Clauzet is a blend of 55% cab sauv. 40% merlot and 5% petit verdot/cabernet franc. We tasted a vertical of the wines from 2010 to 2004 right off the bat. It was informal and we were left to our own devices during the tasting although Jose was on hand...

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