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This is a fully mature 'old-school' claret displaying mellow complexity, medium-bodied fruit and a savoury finish. It's a wine that cries out for beef, game, a festive bird, roasted vegetables and all the traditionally hearty dishes that come into their own at this time of year.
Product Code: CM23161
View all products by Château Coufran
Château Coufran, just north of the commune of Saint-Estèphe, has been owned by the Miailhe family since the 1920s. Though it is in an appellation whose wines are commonly dominated by cabernet sauvignon, the Mailhes decided very early to plant mostly merlot, a decision that led one journalist to describe the estate as 'the Pomerol of the Médoc'. Today merlot can make up to 85% of the blend, with cabernet sauvignon making up the balance. The vineyard is in a single 76 hectare block, the north of Saint-Seurin-de-Cadourne, stretching across a hillside that reaches only 21 metres above sea level at its highest point. Soils on the site are rocky gravel and clay, quite typical of the area.Winemaking is traditional, fermenting in stainless steel and ageing for 12 months in oak, 25% of the barrels new.
Médoc, Graves and Pessac-Léognan areas, located on the left bank of the Garonne, are synonymous with well-structured, full-bodied but elegant red wines dominated by cabernet sauvignon which grows well in the predominantly gravelly soil of the area. As cabernet grapes are high in tannins, the wines usually have excellent ageing potential and are usually blended, principally with merlot as well as petit verdot, cabernet franc and malbec in much smaller quantities. When young, the wines can have a mulberry-purple colour, aromas of blackcurrant, cedar and cigar box, and a dry, tannic finish. The MédocThe Médoc is the 40 kilometre long tongue of land north of the city of Bordeaux jutting out to sea to form the southern shore of the estuary. It comprises two parts divided along a line just north of the St-Estèphe commune. To the north of this line lies the area called Bas Médoc (though more commonly simply Médoc), while south of the line is the Haut-Médoc. All the wines, north and south, are made within a band no more than 10 kilometres wide at its broadest. The Bas Médoc, centred on the town of Lesparre, is made up of more clay and sand than its southern neighbour, interspersed with outcrops of the gravel for which the Haut-Médoc is famous. The climate in the peninsula, moderated by the estuary and sheltered by the great Landes forest to the west, is the mildest of any in Bordeaux though also the wettest after Graves.In the north many estimable red wines are made and there are numerous properties classed as cru bourgeois, a malleable classification which places properties just below the Grand Cru level, using the classic blend of merlot and cabernet, but it is to the south in the Haut-Médoc that the most prestigious wines are made.The communes of St-Estèphe, Pauillac, St-Julien, Margaux, Listrac and Moulis are contained within the Haut-Médoc, and wines that are not fortunate enough to find themselves within one of these communes may label themselves Haut-Médoc AC. However, any student of Bordeaux knows that some of the most famous wines in the world are produced in the communes named above. All but one of the five Premier Grand Cru Classé wines of the almost mythical 1855 classification are located here, with three alone sitting in Pauillac. The soils of the Haut-Médoc are often characterised as gravelly, and indeed there is a significant amount of gravel throughout, in outcrops known as croupes, and much of the success of the great classified estate is attributed to this terroir even though the story of the soil types hereabouts is rather more complex. Gravel is free draining as well as warm in the summer and it is this, in an alliance with the influence of the estuary, that allows cabernet sauvignon to ripen sufficiently. The closer the estate to the estuary the sooner the grapes can ripen, sometimes as much as five or six days earlier than those eight to nine kilometres inland. Though the soils drain freely this causes the vine roots to delve deeply in search of water. This is an asset in regulating the supply of water to the vines which is now regarded as the key to producing high quality fruit.The land of the Médoc and Haut-Médoc is less fragmented than that of its main rival for the affections of lovers of the finest wines, Burgundy, and estates boundaries can be somewhat more fluid as the reputation of the property is not so bound up in the precise area of terroir it occupies. For example, if Château Margaux were to acquire some vines from a neighbouring property within the commune it could quite legally add those vines to those that supply grapes for their grand vin without it affecting its classification status. As such estates here can occupy quite large tracts of land in comparison with most Burgundy producers.Graves & Pessac-LéognanThe Graves region lies around the west and south of the city of Bordeaux, and as the name suggests, is famous for the gravelly nature of the soils. Actually there is sandy soil here too but the same free draining, warming characteristics apply as further north. Since 1987 the area has been split , with the creation of the Pessac-Léognan appellation removing the estates north of the town of La Brède and up to Bordeaux itself. This split left Graves without nearly all of its most prestigious properties, including its only Premier Grand Cru Classé in Château Haut-Brion, and a somewhat reduced reputation in the eyes of the public. Much excellent red and white wine is made here on estates that often lie in clearings among the almost ubiquitous pine forests of the area.Pessac-Léognan is blessed with deeper, more gravelly terroir than its erstwhile compatriot appellation to the south, and has a cru classé system introduced in 1955 that, while younger and less regarded by some than the 1855 version, is at least reviewed occasionally and allows for the recognition of new quality and the demotion of the lacklustre. The classification recognises both red and white wines. Classified Red Wines of Graves - Château Bouscaut, Château Haut-Bailly, Château Carbonnieux, Domaine de Chevalier, Château de Fieuzal, Château Olivier, Château Malartic-Lagravière, Château La Tour-Martillac, Château Smith-Haute-Lafitte, Château Haut-Brion, Château La Mission-Haut-Brion, Château Pape-Clément, Château Latour-Haut-Brion.Classified White Wines of Graves - Château Bouscaut, Château Carbonnieux, Domaine de Chevalier, Château Olivier, Château Malartic-Lagravière, Château La Tour-Martillac, Château Laville-Haut Brion, Château Couhins-Lurton, Château Couhins, Château Haut-Brion.As mentioned above, the brightest star in the Pessac constellation is Haut-Brion, with a reputation as one of the first Bordeaux châteaux to successfully emerge as what might these days be called a Brand, and is mentioned with pleasure by Samuel Pepys in his diary in 1660. The encroachment of the city has surrounded Haut-Brion, La Mission Haut-Brion and Pape-Clément and a good deal of prime vineyard area has been devoured by this relentless urban creep. Though mostly red wine is made there, the white wines of Pessac-Léognan have a very fine reputation, as intimated by the classification above, and are made from a blend of sauvignon and semillon with occasional additions of muscadelle, usually aged in oak and with great potential for ageing.
2001 was a year when the top vineyards of Bordeaux emphatically proved their worth. The best exposed sites of Pauillac, Saint Julien, Margaux and Pessac-Léognan, the great Pomerol vineyards of the central plateau and the premier grand crus Saint Emilions on the Côtes made wines of wonderful individuality and class. They have are proven to be delicious bottles of claret as time passes.2001 was more complicated than 2000, not just because it did not have the magical three noughts, but also because the summer was marginally cooler and the growing season therefore longer. This gave advantage to the best-placed, sunniest sites, where grapes always ripen a fortnight ahead, and to the growing band of dedicated vignerons all over Bordeaux who, by tight pruning and crop thinning, achieved exceptional ripeness.
"This stunning and works wonderfully with beef dishes.A great value red and staggered at how well it drinks!! Try it"
I would recommend this wine
"I do ,on balance, often agree and take into account what my fellow Wine Society members say about various wines; but on this occasion I could not have disagreed more or been more disappointed. After wrestling with a fragile cork to open the bottle and leaving the wine to breath (no decanter available alas) this wine was as flat as a pancake and as about as interesting. No fruit whatsoever and some very strange smells from the glass, 40 minutes after opening, reminiscent of the farmyard when opening a "good" claret. Matched with roast lamb and my guest was polite but failed to drink any at all.
This is the second failure of these so called "special finds" from the Society in my experience (a previous 1998 Claret) but the first time in 21 years of membership that I have written a poor review . I will take a philosophical view and count my blessings.
S.M. Isle of Wight"
"Gosh such controversy ! For my own part; the cork was fine - no sieving etc required, decanted for a couple of hours and … soo nice !! Soft tannins, lovely colour with the age gracefully showing through, not a lot of bouquet but good flavours and length. Will be buying again while still in stock ??"
I would recommend this wine
"As it says on the tin; 'old-school' claret. Personally I love it and would recommend this wine to anyone else who does. If you're looking for something fruit driven and modern then you are likely to be disappointed."
"Lovely little wine. Pleasant bouquet: mostly graphite to me with a hint of red fruits. Slippery body with just enough grip and light in the mouth. Overall a very convivial wine "
"Drank the last bottle on Boxing Day with cold lunch and though the wine is now an old lady, it gave a lot of pleasure. The fruit is drying out, but the character of a property which we have always liked was evident. Also had a problem with the cork, but the older "full-long Bordeaux" corks do need a corkscrew with a long spiral."
"An absolutely lovely wine. (I'd said to my wife it might be my wine of the year. She pointed out we were drinking it on January 1st.) Lovely complex aromas of mellow fruits and spice. It was delicious, with sweet tannins, and fresh acidity and currants and plum duff and possibly even hints of orange and powdered ginger?"
"Really disappointed in this wine, no complexity, no body have tasted better £4 wines. Very disappointed..."
"I feel foolish for not reading the reviews before buying this wine. It looked like such a good deal...too good to be true...it was.
Like several other reviewers, I had a crumbly, disintegrating cork and a thin, tired wine. Oxidised. I managed half a glass before getting a stomach ache.
"This wine gave me considerable enjoyment. Good flavour, although I had hoped for a fuller body. However I have ordered more. On opening I was a bit suspicious of the cork and thought that it had flavoured the wine, but as I have never encountered a 'corked' wine I couldn't be sure. I should have allowed the bottle to stand for a few hours, after standing it upright, before what I thought was careful decanting. I did have to resort to sieving to remove some lees and so it was decanted twice! "
"I should have read the reviews before opening - ahhh! Cork disintegrated in front of me, leaving no option but to sieve the contents into a decanter. Contents were good enough, particularly when finished off with a rib of beef and Yorkshires on a damp winter's evening following some excellent international rugby. Pretty label too.
"Posting this review because I read earlier reviews all of which I found useful. I found I had two of these bottles remaining so tried one at the weekend. I would report that as of this month it remains in good shape, albeit requires careful opening (my cork was ok) and a decent period in the decanter (4 or 5 hours). Hope the second bottle keeps this up - I won’t leave it tong. Thanks to fellow members for their notes."
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