Chateau Sansonnet (Futures Pre-Sale) 2020
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
A powerful and intense red with blackberry, blueberry and ultra fine chewy tannins. It’s so long and energetic. Dense center palate.
Barrel Sample: 95-96
Barrel Sample: 94-96+
Deep purple-black colored, the 2020 Sansonnet needs a bit of swirling and coaxing to release its beguiling nose of black cherry preserves, bursting ripe blueberries and stewed plums, with hints of star anise, violets, dark chocolate and cardamom, plus a waft of wood smoke. The rich, decadent, full-bodied palate (15% alcohol) delivers impactful, mouth-coating black fruits, framed by velvety tannins and seamless freshness, finishing with lingering exotic spices notes.
This 35+-year-old, 6.96-hectare vineyard is planted to 6,000 vines per hectare on thin clay and limestone soils atop the Saint-Émilion plateau, just across the road from Château Trotte Vieille. This 2020 blend is 95% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc, aging for around 16 months in French oak barrels, 80% new. Barrel Sample: 94-96
Barrel Sample: 94
Doctor in pharmacy, Marie-Benedicte Lefevere has taken over the management at Chateau Sansonnet since 2009. It is in the cellars of the family properties in Pomerol and Saint-Emilion that culture and passion for wine was passed on to her. It is now with a lot of ambition and determination that she imagines the future of the production for Chateau Sansonnet, putting all her will and attachment to the property to hoist it to the top of the appellation.
Chateau Sansonnet is located in the North East corner of Saint-Emilion in the heart of the Grands Classified Growths. The exceptional terroir is composed of a thin layer of clay on limestone. Winemaker Dominique Bordeneuve has great experience in winemaking after 20 years at Chateau Sansonnet, it allows the property to rely on a unique knowledge of its terroir and plot. Jean Trias, technical manager, has always been passionate by the world of wine. He held positions and responsibilities in many properties before settling at Chateau Sansonnet in 2000 where he strives to develop the best wines.
Marked by its historic fortified village—perhaps the prettiest in all of Bordeaux, the St-Émilion appellation, along with its neighboring village of Pomerol, are leaders in quality on the Right Bank of Bordeaux. These Merlot-dominant red wines (complemented by various amounts of Cabernet Franc and/or Cabernet Sauvignon) remain some of the most admired and collected wines of the world.
St-Émilion has the longest history in wine production in Bordeaux—longer than the Left Bank—dating back to an 8th century monk named Saint Émilion who became a hermit in one of the many limestone caves scattered throughout the area.
Today St-Émilion is made up of hundreds of independent farmers dedicated to the same thing: growing Merlot and Cabernet Franc (and tiny amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon). While always roughly the same blend, the wines of St-Émilion vary considerably depending on the soil upon which they are grown—and the soils do vary considerably throughout the region.
The chateaux with the highest classification (Premier Grand Cru Classés) are on gravel-rich soils or steep, clay-limestone hillsides. There are only four given the highest rank, called Premier Grand Cru Classés A (Chateau Cheval Blanc, Ausone, Angélus, Pavie) and 14 are Premier Grand Cru Classés B. Much of the rest of the vineyards in the appellation are on flatter land where the soils are a mix of gravel, sand and alluvial matter.
Great wines from St-Émilion will be deep in color, and might have characteristics of blackberry liqueur, black raspberry, licorice, chocolate, grilled meat, earth or truffles. They will be bold, layered and lush.
One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.