Wednesday, 6 July 2016

HV Wines: La Closerie de Fourtet 2012 St Emilion

June has been quite a busy time for me with my degree in scultping year two, that there was absolutely little time for me to sit and write a blog. Frustrating to say nonetheless, but this month should be better. I had this wine in mind for quite some time as I tasted the first wine of this house some years ago and was truly impressed but prise wise it begins already to sit amongst the heavyweights (its overall average price is around €95 £80 $106 a bottle).

So when I encountered the "La Closerie de Fourtet" ( average overall price €26 $29 £22) at a very affordable prices I had my attention immediately switched on as more and more those second wines from many Bordeaux estates have shown some remarkably improvement.

La Closerie de Fourtet is a St Emilion wine so left-bank Bordeaux neighbour to Pomerol and also where Merlot is the king grape, it is here on these terroirs that this grape shows its most amazing assets.

St Emilion

The village of St Emilion dates back to the 8th Century, where a Breton monk, Emilianus sets his hermitage, soon disciples surrounded him hence the village. St Emilion has two A.O.C St Emilion and St Emilion Grand Cru, the latter is characterized by the qualitative selection. regularly revised which is the guarantee of production quality. 

St Emilion is also a world heritage site and with is huge limestone plateaus it is sure worth a visit if you should go to that part of France. The wines from St Emilion are made predominately of the Merlot grape, producing a robust and elegant style of wine. There will almost always be a touch of Cabernet franc (for most some use Caberent sauvignon as well). St Emilion is 2,200 hectares of planted vines and 3,300 of St Emilion Grand Cru.  An average annual production is around 30,500,000 bottles. 

Clos Fourtet St Emilion Grand Cru Classe

Clos Fourtet was called camp Fourtet in the middle ages as it was once a fort design to protect the town of St Emilion, and today the wall is still present. The chateau was build in the 18th Century and still embodies the splendour of the architecture of that time.
Clos Fourtet is a St Emilion Grand Cru Classe B, which means almost (according the the judging panel) the pinnacle of what a St Emilion wine should be all about. As we know since recent two have joint the A group, Pavie and Angelus the newbies Ausone and Cheval Blanc established. 

So the modern era for Clos Fourtet starts actually in 1919, when it was purchased by a certain Fernand Ginestet. He did sell it in 1949 to raise money to buy Chateau Margaux as you do. It was in the hands of the Lurton family to end up in 2001 to the current owners the Cuvelier family. 

The Chateau holds 20 hectares of vines which is a stone throw away from the historic village itself. Clos fourtet aged for 18 months between 60% and 80% on new oak. Merlot dominates with 85% then comes Cabernet Franc with 10% and Caberent Sauvignon with 5%.

This Chateau has especially improved in the last 15 years. the best vintages are, 2003,2005,2008,2009,2010,2012,2014,2015. 
The Chateau is consulted by Stephane Derenoncourt and  Jean Claude Berrouet who is the wine maker at Petrus. 

But today we have a look at Closerie de Fourtet 2012. 
As already mentioned in several blogs, for those who can not dig that deep into the pocket, these second wines from the big estates are truly worth looking into and that does not mean that they are weaker wines not at all on the contrary. For the first wine lays a high controlled quota and quality of the grape required. The aim of the wine makers is to get 100% of the grapes into the first wine. But that is almost and surely impossible as nature has a big role to play. So all the grapes that are in super great health and condition but have just that tiny short of sugars, acidities and size (too big or too small) end up in the production of the second wine. Since recent as much attention is invested into the second wine as into the first. If you look at some Medoc second wines they are reaching prices that many first wines of some other estates could only dream off.

Closerie de Fourtet 2012

Here Merlot is naturally the top grape with 85% Cabernet sauvignon 10% en Cabernet franc 5%
Here the wine has been ageing on 80% new oak and for a period of 18 months, so much attention spend to get it right.

Price: €23 €26 £20

Alcohol: 13%

Visual:  It has a very dark ruby red colour almost ink black you could say. Holds a very masculine persona and gives the impression of muscle and power. stands beautiful in the glass and passes certainly not unnoticed. The legs are creamy and thick, good alcohol indication, the transparency is very good and the brilliance is in good supply.

Nose: The nose is pretty powerful with hints of dark and red fruits, (berries, black cherries, plums...) a good balanced oak appearance not to invasive, spices and the juiciness of the fruits stays remarkable present on the nose. Little cedar and tobacco appears amongst the fruits.

Palate: A warm juicy smooth feel, with hits of black and red fruits, interlinks of spice, soft and some warm feel to it, tannins that are well round and a linger that last for some time. The wine feels full but controlled the year 2012 feels a fast evolving one as the wine has grown pretty fast but seems to be holding well for some time. I think that you have a window from now 2016 to about 2022 where it will perform its best.

Conclusion: Once again happy to see that so many Chateaux work hard to bring a second wine to the market with a price tag pretty affordable and with a quality of wine pretty impressive. Of course it begs the question of how long it will stay at this price, knowing the talent behind these wines. So for now to all of you who can pay a couple of hundred euros, pounds or dollars. go and get a case or so as it is a wine worthy of its money.

Score: I rate this wine 19/20 90/100 (excellent wine)

my rating system
14-14.9/ 40-49 =acceptable
15-15.9/50-59 = drinkable
16-16.9/60-69 = fair
17-17.9/ 70-79 = good
18-18.9/ 80-89 = very good
19-19.5/ 90-95 = excellent
19.5-20/ 96-100 = exceptional

Until next time please do drink responsibly.