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Clos Fourtet 93 Premier 2012

Winemaker's Notes:

"Having just had the 2003 and 2005 from my cellar, I can attest to the magnificent turnaround in quality this famous estate on the eastern side of St.-Emilion has achieved. All of it is attributable to its dynamic proprietor, Philippe Cuvelier. The 2012 Clos Fourtet (usually 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc) has beautiful blackberry and blueberry fruit and an inky purple color. With flawless integration of acidity, tannin, wood and alcohol, a full-bodied mouthfeel and stunning richness, this is impressive and certainly one of the vintage's top wines. It should evolve beautifully for 15-20 years, and be drinkable in 3-4. Yields were a modest 32 hectoliters per hectare with the alcohol at 14%...95" WA 4/15 "Gorgeous, with a pure, unadorned violet aroma giving way to very ripe and stylish plum, boysenberry and blackberry fruit. Offers a suave mouthfeel, with anise and tobacco hints filling the background. A finely stitched chalk note extends the finish. Not shy on depth, and sneakily long...94" WS 01/15 "The final blend was 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc. It offers an opaque dense purple color along with attractive blackberry, licorice, truffle and cassis fruit notes. It is full-bodied and dense with an authoritative mid-palate, sweet tannin and a layered mouthfeel that builds incrementally into a stunningly long finish. Precocious and charming already, it will drink better at an earlier age than the massive, prodigious 2009...93-95" WA 4/13 "Barrel sample. Powerful and concentrated, this is a firmly textured wine with a dark, solid, dense character. The palate balances fine acidity and fruit with a dark, brooding structure...93-95" WE 04/13

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Château Clos Fourtet:
The vineyards are located just outside the town of St Emilion, to the west, and just to the north of those of Chateau Canon; of the 20 hectare estate, 19 hectares are devoted to vines. They begin on the limestone plateau on which the town is situated, running away towards the first valleys which mark the descent down to the plain, to the west, where the soils are much less favourable. The Clos ... Read more
The vineyards are located just outside the town of St Emilion, to the west, and just to the north of those of Chateau Canon; of the 20 hectare estate, 19 hectares are devoted to vines. They begin on the limestone plateau on which the town is situated, running away towards the first valleys which mark the descent down to the plain, to the west, where the soils are much less favourable. The Clos Fourtet vines average 30 years of age, and undergo leaf thinning in June and August, and later a green harvest in order to maximise quality and reduce yields. Between the rows there is grass in order to increase competition for water in the superficial soil layers, thus forcing the vine roots deeper, and improving their capability to cope with hydric stress. Merlot dominates, at 85% of the vineyard, with Cabernet Sauvignon accounting for 10% and Cabernet Franc just 5%, all planted at a density of 6000 vines/ha. The fruit is harvested by hand into small crates to minimise damage, before fermentation on a plot-by-plot basis in temperature-controlled stainless steel equipment. The must is then macerated for thirty days before racking into barrels, where it undergoes malolactic fermentation, resting here for up to eighteen months, in 80-100% new oak, the balance (if not 100%) being second-year barrels. The grand vin that results, bottled unfiltered and lightly fined, is Clos Fourtet (about 5000 cases per annum), and since 1999 there has been a second wine Closerie de Fourtet (typically 2500 cases per annum). Read less

"Having just had the 2003 and 2005 from my cellar, I can attest to the magnificent turnaround in quality this famous estate on the eastern side of St.-Emilion has achieved. All of it is attributable to its dynamic proprietor, Philippe Cuvelier. The 2012 Clos Fourtet (usually 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc) has beautiful blackberry and blueberry fruit and an inky purple color. With flawless integration of acidity, tannin, wood and alcohol, a full-bodied mouthfeel and stunning richness, this is impressive and certainly one of the vintage's top wines. It should evolve beautifully for 15-20 years, and be drinkable in 3-4. Yields were a modest 32 hectoliters per hectare with the alcohol at 14%...95" WA 4/15 "Gorgeous, with a pure, unadorned violet aroma giving way to very ripe and stylish plum, boysenberry and blackberry fruit. Offers a suave mouthfeel, with anise and tobacco hints filling the background. A finely stitched chalk note extends the finish. Not shy on depth, and sneakily long...94" WS 01/15 "The final blend was 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc. It offers an opaque dense purple color along with attractive blackberry, licorice, truffle and cassis fruit notes. It is full-bodied and dense with an authoritative mid-palate, sweet tannin and a layered mouthfeel that builds incrementally into a stunningly long finish. Precocious and charming already, it will drink better at an earlier age than the massive, prodigious 2009...93-95" WA 4/13 "Barrel sample. Powerful and concentrated, this is a firmly textured wine with a dark, solid, dense character. The palate balances fine acidity and fruit with a dark, brooding structure...93-95" WE 04/13

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