Clos Cantenac 2016
Clos & Petit Cantenac, Grand Cru St Emilion
“Elegance, harmony and balance. Impeccably knit fruit from an unmissable vintage that belongs in your collection!” Olly Smith
Please note that this campaign has now closed. We will leave our prices up for reference only. If you are looking for wines from this or any other Bordeaux vintage, please don't hesitate to call us on 01353 721 999.
As I was halfway through writing this offer, the news came through that Bordeaux had been, like many other wine regions across Europe, devastated by two consecutive nights of frost. It will take more than a few days to quantify the exact damage and prospects for the 2017 vintage, but at present Martin Krajewski of Clos Cantenac estimates that they have lost up to 50% of the crop at their St Emilion site. A rough call for any farmer, to lose half their potential harvest, but when your vineyard is just six hectares it makes the challenge all the greater.
Thankfully, 2016 was an excellent, even abundant vintage with fabulous levels of ripeness at Clos Cantenac. A cool, wet spring meant that the vines were initially slow to develop, but once the sun came out in late June, it stayed for the duration, right through until harvest in October and beyond. There was just one bout of rain, in mid-September, which refreshed the vines and allowed them to carry on maturing their fruit; the timing of the harvest was dictated entirely by levels of ripeness rather than by the weather, as can often be the case. During the summer, despite the full-on sun, temperatures remained modest, with no heatwaves to upset the vines’ equilibrium; cool evenings throughout meant that the vines rested at night before the next day’s sun, leading to vivacious acidity and deliciously fresh fruit flavours.
In 2016, Clos Cantenac used a new system called ‘vinification intégrale’ for some of their fruit from their top ‘La Devine’ parcel. This sees the grapes destemmed and then run straight into barrel rather than going into a large stainless steel or cement tank for fermentation; instead of punching down or spraying over, the barrel is rotated on a daily basis to keep the skins in contact with the juice almost permanently, giving plumper wines with better integrated oak characteristics.
In many properties, second wines are no longer really that, with particular plots always set aside for the second wine; not so Petit Cantenac, which is a true second wine, with the selection of parcels and barrels going into Petit Cantenac only decided at the moment of blending; until that time, each parcel is treated as if it were going to be part of the grand vin. Once the selection is made, the wines for Petit Cantenac receive 30% new oak whilst those for Clos Cantenac receive 45% new oak.
Nicola Arcedeckne-Butler MW, May 2017
Petit Cantenac, Grand Cru St Emilion 2016 - £185 per case in bond order here
12 bottles: £185; 6 magnums: £190; 1 double magnum: £80; 1 imperial: £160
90% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon
Deep purple black with a nose of perfumed, crushed black fruit, sweet and rich with some blackcurrant notes. On the palate, the sensation is of immensely sweet black berries (although the residual sugar is less than 2 g/l), with lovely crunchy fruit, tarry and ripe, supple and very easy going with ripe tannins behind and a lovely crisp freshness too, leading to a bright, sweet black fruit finish. Drink 2020-2034
Clos Cantenac, Grand Cru St Emilion 2016 - £300 per case in bond order here
12 bottles: £300; 6 magnums: £310; 1 double magnum: £120; 1 imperial: £245
Very perfumed on the nose, reminiscent of Petit Verdot, although this is 100% Merlot, sweet and floral with vibrant, crushed black fruit. Rich on the palate with sweet black fruits, ripe, tarry and spiced with substantial but very supple and well-integrated tannins behind, lifted by a racy acidity to a toasty, rich and long finish. Drink 2024-2036
Please see our en primeur terms and conditions of sale, which apply to this offer.