Clos de Sarpe (Futures Pre-Sale) 2020
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Barrel Sample: 94-96+
Full-bodied and layered with blackberries, black olives, walnuts and bark. Juicy. Superb depth and richness with so many layers of fruit and tannins. From organically grown grapes. Old-vine cabernet franc comes through. Barrel Sample: 95-96
Opaque purple-black in color, the 2020 Clos de Sarpe rolls seductively out of the glass with opulent scents of Chinese five spice, rose oil, sandalwood and camphor, leading to a core of plum preserves, blueberry pie and fragrant soil, with a touch of woodsmoke. The rich, full-bodied palate is, as always, not lacking in freshness, delivering layer upon layer of spicy black fruit preserves and a velvety texture, finishing very long and beautifully perfumed. The blend this year is 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, aging for an estimated 13 months in French oak barrels, 70% new. The alcohol weighs-in at 15%. Barrel Sample: 94-96+
Barrel Sample: 94-96
Chateau Clos de Sarpe is also an independent estate, people-oriented, generous and altruistic, founded on respect for the land and a permanent quest for perfection for the pleasure of all who love quality 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.