Côtes du Marmandais, Château de Beaulieu 2012 is no longer available

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Côtes du Marmandais, Château de Beaulieu 2012

Red Wine from France - SW France (excl. Bordeaux)
A treat for lovers of traditional claret, this is an elegant, poised red with a lot of depth and finesse for the money, with gravelly fruit and a touch of cedar. Côtes du Marmandais lies just on the fringes of Bordeaux, to the south-west.
is no longer available
Code: FC40121

Wine characteristics

  • Red Wine
  • Medium-bodied
  • Cabernet Merlot
  • 13% Alcohol
  • Oak used but not v. noticeable
  • Now to 2025
  • 75cl
  • Cork, natural

South-West France (ex Bordeaux)

Most of the wine regions representing the south-west of France are linked by river to Bordeaux and were once rivals of the Bordelais for trade. It was certainly not unknown for some of these wines to be brought to Bordeaux in order to stiffen the sinews of some of the thinner clarets in days gone by. However, there is more to the region than those appellations and the Vins de pays/ IGPs up-river of their erstwhile rival.

The south-west can be roughly compartmentalised in to four categories, as follows:

Bergeracois: running along both banks of the Dordogne River and including Bergerac, Monbazillac and other ACs where Bordeaux varieties proliferate, ably and interestingly supported by some local varieties.

Garonne: running along both banks of the River Garonne as far as Agen and featuring Côtes-de-Duras, Côtes-du-Marmandais, Buzet.

Haut-Pays: the area north and north-west of Toulouse including Gaillac, Cahors and the Côtes-du-Frontonnais.

Pyrenees: in the area between Adour and the Pyrenees. ...
Most of the wine regions representing the south-west of France are linked by river to Bordeaux and were once rivals of the Bordelais for trade. It was certainly not unknown for some of these wines to be brought to Bordeaux in order to stiffen the sinews of some of the thinner clarets in days gone by. However, there is more to the region than those appellations and the Vins de pays/ IGPs up-river of their erstwhile rival.

The south-west can be roughly compartmentalised in to four categories, as follows:

Bergeracois: running along both banks of the Dordogne River and including Bergerac, Monbazillac and other ACs where Bordeaux varieties proliferate, ably and interestingly supported by some local varieties.

Garonne: running along both banks of the River Garonne as far as Agen and featuring Côtes-de-Duras, Côtes-du-Marmandais, Buzet.

Haut-Pays: the area north and north-west of Toulouse including Gaillac, Cahors and the Côtes-du-Frontonnais.

Pyrenees: in the area between Adour and the Pyrenees. Here you will find Côtes de Gascogne, Madiran, Jurançon, Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh and Irouléguy, the latter of which is in real Basque country in the foothills of the Pyrennes, close to the Bay of Biscay.

The influence of the Atlantic Ocean is surprisingly strong even this deep inland and it merges with continental and alpine elements across such a large area to provide moist spring weather and wet winters counterbalanced by hot summers and long, sunny autumns just as the grapes are ripening. Naturally, the area is great enough in size for the soils to be incredibly varied across it. Alluvial and marine soils, often gravel and limestone respectively, are common factors in many areas, the former often on rising terraces above rivers or ancient watercourses.

In many appellations and IGPs it has taken the dynamism of forward thinking, passionate cooperatives and visionaries to save the vineyards and indigenous grape varieties of these regions from serious neglect or even extinction. The devastation of phylloxera around the end of the 19th century was particularly bad in these areas and it was not really until the 1970s, and even later in some cases, that a turnaround in fortunes occurred. The roll call of local varieites is impressive and promising – abouriou, arrufiac, baroque, duras, fer servadou, jurançon noir, len de l’el, petit manseng, gros manseng, mauzac, négrette, tannat and peiti courbu. It is a region that should make a curious wine lover’s mouth water.
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Château de Beaulieu

The story began in 1971 when Robert and Agnès Schulte bought a charming fortified farmhouse, ideally located with commanding views of the Garonne Valley. At first the family’s efforts were spent restoring the buildings before deciding to purchase the surrounding vineyards. Together with a well-chosen and dynamic team, they have created a fine estate, with wines that have considerable class and that are well worth discovering.

Marmandais is a curious appellation, cut in two by the river and straddling the two départements of Gironde and Lot-et-Garonne. Growers with vines in the Gironde often sell their wines as ‘Bordeaux’, but what makes the Marmandais so interesting is its mix of grape varieties that can only be realised in the Lot-et-Garonne. Here, as at Château de Beaulieu, syrah can be added to the full complement of red Bordeaux varietals and unquestionably adds complexity.

Much of the Marmandais produces wines of little pretention or ambition. Beaulieu however is different: location and geology are exceptional, and then there is the desire on the part of Robert and Agnès to make the best possible wines. Much of that work was done in the vineyards: low yields, largely harvesting by hand and picking fully ripe fruit. The wines are all aged in barrel and are then kept until ready to be enjoyed and, like a good claret, these are wines that repay patience.

2012 vintage reviews

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