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Château Saint Pierre, Lussac Saint-Emilion 2018

Red Wine from France - Bordeaux
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From a family owned property in the so-called ‘satellite’ district of Lussac Saint-Emilion, this is a ripe and concentrated red revealing notes of violets and liquorice. The blend is predominantly merlot, whose richness is tempered by the freshness and structure of the two cabernet grapes, sauvignon and franc. Opulent unoaked claret from the excellent 2018 vintage.
is no longer available
Code: CS11531

Wine characteristics

  • Red Wine
  • Full-bodied
  • Merlot
  • 75cl
  • Now to 2026
  • 14.5% Alcohol
  • no oak influence
  • Cork, plastic

Satellite St Emilion, Fronsac

Saint-Emilion possesses an ancient history of winemaking and is a UNESCO world heritage site not only for its beautiful old village but also for the vineyards that surround it, a true cultural landscape. To the north and east of this core area is an area of mixed agriculture, though vines account for 50% of the land, consisting of four further communes with the right to append the name of their more famous neighbour to their own. These are Montagne, Saint Georges, Lussac, and Puisseguin. Parsac and Sables are two communes formerly enjoying similar privileges but which are no longer seen having merged into Montagne and Saint-Emilion respectively. From these less renowned appellations you will find much good value for wines of a similar, merlot dominated style to Saint-Emilion itself, and of increasingly high quality and improved reputation.

Merlot is the dominant grape here with cabernet franc in earnest support and some supporters of the more difficult to ripen cabernet sauvignon. The...
Saint-Emilion possesses an ancient history of winemaking and is a UNESCO world heritage site not only for its beautiful old village but also for the vineyards that surround it, a true cultural landscape. To the north and east of this core area is an area of mixed agriculture, though vines account for 50% of the land, consisting of four further communes with the right to append the name of their more famous neighbour to their own. These are Montagne, Saint Georges, Lussac, and Puisseguin. Parsac and Sables are two communes formerly enjoying similar privileges but which are no longer seen having merged into Montagne and Saint-Emilion respectively. From these less renowned appellations you will find much good value for wines of a similar, merlot dominated style to Saint-Emilion itself, and of increasingly high quality and improved reputation.

Merlot is the dominant grape here with cabernet franc in earnest support and some supporters of the more difficult to ripen cabernet sauvignon. The soils, mostly damper and cooler than those of the Médoc, are responsible for this varietal hierarchy and merlot consistently ripens in the clay, though limestone, gravel and other alluvial deposits that make up the various vineyard soils. Merlot certainly ripens more consistently than cabernet franc and considerably better than cabernet sauvignon on clay, but each commune or estate has its own variations on these soil themes and the different grape varieties have their own supporters depending on the terroir. Cabernet sauvignon, for example, is gaining some ground as climate change brings more warmth and consistency to vintages.

There are two main areas where the quality is more consistently superior. The first is up on the plateau that abuts the border with Pomerol. A continuation of the plateau of blue clay that defines the best wines of Pomerol, this area is home to the most sought after of all Saint-Emilions, Château Cheval Blanc. The second group of properties are to be found on an escarpment east of the town of Saint-Emilion, where a thin layer of topsoil overlays a bedrock of sandstone on south-facing slopes that end suddenly and precipitously. Though the best wines of the second group are less highly regarded than the best of the first group there are superb wines in both.

Saint-Emilion has a hierarchy of properties similar in some ways to the Médoc classification of 1855, though that of Saint-Emilion is reviewed every ten years or so. The classification was first established in 1955 and has been updated in 1969, 1986, 1996, 2006 and 2012, often causing uproar and legal battles between those demoted and the authorities.. The Saint-Emilion classification might be seen as a more meritocratic one than that of the Médoc as each château must apply for inclusion and is then judged by a panel of experts who base any decision on the quality of wines at tasting. The estates must also adhere to lower permitted yields than generic Saint-Emilion and make wines with a minimum 0.5% abv higher than the generic wines. There are two categories within the classification – Grand Cru and Premier Grand Cru, the latter of which is divided further into two camps – A and B. The 2012 classification embraced 82 Grand Crus, 18 of them Premiers.

Saint-Emilion Satellites
Saint George Saint-Emilion is the smallest of the appellations at around 180 hectares and used to be bottled as Montagne. Evidence of very early Roman vineyards means it may be one of the oldest vineyard areas of France but it is certainly the smallest appellation in the Bordeaux region with an unusually uniform soil composition among the four communes, being almost all clay-limestone underpinned by a fossil rich limestone that makes a perfect spot for vines to put down deep roots.

Lussac Saint-Emilion, rich with the evidence of ancient Roman occupation including its name taken from a local Roman villa supposed to have been owned by one Lucius. The best properties are based in the north of the appellation where the clay is purer.

Puisseguin also takes its name from an ancient root, this time Celtic, derived from a word meaning ‘hill of strong wine’. Its 990 hectares make up the most easterly of the communes and it is beginning to earn a particular reputation for improvement in its wines in recent years.
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Bordeaux Vintage 2018

This is an exceptionally good vintage for Bordeaux, with the best reds probably eclipsing those of any vintage in recent memory.

In our visits to Bordeaux in early April 2019 we tasted some of the finest clarets we have ever tasted en primeur. The wines are intense, powerful and most have excellent ageing potential. Colours are deep, alcohol levels are between half a degree and a full degree higher than recent averages, and tannins are ripe. Yet the best wines have maintained freshness, energy and most importantly balance.

And it’s not just the top wines that shone in 2018; many super wines were made at the more affordable end of the price spectrum, and this offer includes plenty of examples.
But whilst all the top communes and appellations made a number of truly remarkable wines, 2018 is not a universally fabulous vintage. It is much less consistent than 2016, 2010 and 2009, and considerable care was needed in selecting the wines we wanted to offer our members.

The keys to making...
This is an exceptionally good vintage for Bordeaux, with the best reds probably eclipsing those of any vintage in recent memory.

In our visits to Bordeaux in early April 2019 we tasted some of the finest clarets we have ever tasted en primeur. The wines are intense, powerful and most have excellent ageing potential. Colours are deep, alcohol levels are between half a degree and a full degree higher than recent averages, and tannins are ripe. Yet the best wines have maintained freshness, energy and most importantly balance.

And it’s not just the top wines that shone in 2018; many super wines were made at the more affordable end of the price spectrum, and this offer includes plenty of examples.
But whilst all the top communes and appellations made a number of truly remarkable wines, 2018 is not a universally fabulous vintage. It is much less consistent than 2016, 2010 and 2009, and considerable care was needed in selecting the wines we wanted to offer our members.

The keys to making excellent wines in 2018 were firstly choosing the right time to harvest, and secondly ensuring gentle handling of the grapes during the winemaking process. Picking too early meant good acidity in the wines but a lack of phenolic ripeness, whereas harvesting too late led to over-alcoholic wines lacking freshness. The grapes at harvest were tiny in 2018, and the skins were packed with tannin. Only the gentlest of extractions was necessary in the winery.

In addition to the many red wines there were many excellent dry whites, which despite the heat and dryness of the vintage also maintained admirable freshness.

2018 was another vintage of extremes. One of the wettest early seasons on record was followed by one of the driest and sunniest summers. The mild, damp spring encouraged a widespread and aggressive mildew attack. This had a devastating effect on some châteaux’s yields, with those producers employing organic and biodynamic practices particularly badly affected. Hail also struck in parts of the southern Médoc, Sauternes and the Côtes de Bourg.
But then the clouds parted and the sun shone… and shone. Between the beginning of July and the harvest there was 25% more sun than the 30-year average, and rainfall was tiny – just 46mm fell throughout the entire summer at Château Margaux. The harvest was very long and unhurried, with growers able to decide exactly when each plot of vines should be picked.

In conclusion, it was possible in 2018 to make superlative wines, as long as you were vigilant in the vineyards during the growing season, when choosing the optimum harvest date, and then in managing the vinifications in the cellar. Not everyone got these three vital elements right, and so careful selection has been key for us.
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