2016 Chateau Marie LaRose

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2016 Chateau Marie LaRose
2016 Chateau Marie LaRose

The vast majority of Bordeaux wines today are nothing like the Bordeaux wines of yesteryear. The influence of the New World, the Parker era, evolutions in viticulture to reach higher levels of ripeness, massive changes in winery technology, and multiple other factors have created a new generation and genre of Bordeaux wine. This new generation seeks less pyrazines, softer tannins, and lower anti-oxidants than the older products, with a prospect of earlier maturation and enjoyment.

Although the changes have been widespread, impacting the majority of producers, there have been a small number of holdouts. Indeed, at these holdouts, wines produced as recently as the mid-2000s employed nearly identical production techniques as wines produced in the mid-1960s. Dominated by grippy, muscular tannins with high anti-oxidants and forest floor aromatics, these traditional-style wines often mature on a 20- to 30-year timeline, stretching the cork to its physical limit.

Other producers have tried to carve out a middle ground, attempting, sometimes quite successfully, to retain some tannic grip and ageability while introducing finer perfumes into the aromatics from the start. But this approach is risky, as a wine can lose its identity with this type of winemaking.

Our original vision for Chateau Marie is stylistically something "heart of the Left Bank" like Pichon, Ducru, or Leoville (notwithstanding the First Growths of the area, of course), but also something less modern than today's versions of those wines, having a little more of the older-style pepper spice of the Cab Franc, but still achieving a higher level of ripeness for the Cabernet (which has become almost expected). Our 2015 Chateau Marie represents a noteworthy first start and our 2017 will be close to spot-on with respect to this paradigm.

But our 2016 Chateau Marie is totally different: a much more traditional wine, more like those Bordeaux holdouts. The styling is firmly Graves/Pessac-Leognan, rather than Medoc. It bears a stark similarity to several younger and older Pape Clements we have tasted recently, and it channels Smith Haut Lafitte in a good year. The wine is fairly high in anti-oxidants and pretty grippy, showing good floral aromatics, the kind that will further develop with bottle age. And, unusually for one of our wines, it was aged 40% in new French Oak. Of all the Chateau Marie wines, this one will age the longest. At the time of its release in Spring of 2020, this was a 4-year old wine already, and we recommend holding a minimum of 5 more years for optimal enjoyment.

Chateau Maries generally peak between 6-9 years from the vintage date and thereafter continue to drink well for many years to come.

Other notes

Harvest rate: Each clone harvested at custom yields

Varietal CompositionProprietary blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Verdot, and Cabernet Franc
DesignationGillespie County, Texas
Volume750 ml
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Price $139.00
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