|Subregion||France > Bordeaux > Right Bank > St Emilion|
Situated in the heart of Saint Emilion, close to Canon, this is one of the great vineyards of the appellation. The 20 hectares of vines are planted with 84% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Cabernet Franc. 70% new oak is used.
A bend of 90% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Cabernet Franc, the 2021 Clos Fourtet offers up inviting aromas of wild berries and plums mingled with hints of black truffle, violets, potpourri and dark chocolate. Medium to full-bodied, supple and enveloping, it's lively and layered, with beautifully refined tannins, bright acids and a long, sapid finish. Harvest lasted until October 15, which shows in unusual depth and plenitude for the vintage. Tasted three times.
The 2021 Clos Fourtet was picked September 28 to October 15 and matured in 50% new oak. Around 20% of the vats underwent saignée. This has a powerful bouquet of dark cherries, red plum, mint and violets. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins. A less concentrated Clos Fourtet, even with the bleeding, but it retains balance and displays salinity and precision on the finish. This is promising, though it might be eclipsed by the 2019 and the 2020 in the long term. Still, I can see this maturing in style. (13.5% alcohol)
The 2021 is a blend of 90% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Cabernt Franc. Deep ruby colour. Immediately sweet, smoky wood sits on the nose, which slowly reveals roasted plum and cherry jam. The palate has a peppery, herbal tone to mitigate the riper fruit. Chewy, grippy tannins are full but not over extracted. Spicy and lined with increasingly chewy structure on the finish. This is tight and will need time to soften.
Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2021 Clos Fourtet needs a lot of swirling to unlock notes of black cherry preserves, ripe blueberries, and violets, followed by hints of cracked black pepper and star anise. Medium-bodied, the palate is tightly wound with loads of delicate black fruit and spicy nuances, framed by ripe, rounded tannins, finishing long and fragrant. Yields were 34 hl/ha and the blend is 90% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 3% Cabernet Franc. It is aging in French oak barriques, 60% new.
In years like 2021, you look to estates at the level of Clos Fourtet as ports in a storm, and this delivers, if not entirely escaping the influence of the vintage - a real sign of the issues, as this is such a brilliant wine, able to circumnavigate so many obstacles. You are going to find finesse and mouth watering salinity, marks of limestone and skill in the cellar, along with cool blue fruits and pumice-scrape salinity. It will fill out further during ageing, and will go the distance, but there is austerity here, and not the smile-inducing brilliance of a usual Clos Fourtet vintage. Tasted three times. A reasonable yield of 40hl/h (normal for the property) as its location again protected from frost. Clay-limestone soils. 50% new oak, 2% amphoras, saignée (for added concentration) on 20% of the vats.
90% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample.
Quite a bit of charm aromatically. Floral notes – iris and dried rose. Fleshy but polished, the tannins very fine. Freshness and grip on the finish so some persistence. Elegance over power. (JL)
Drink 2028 – 2040