Chateau Alcee 2017
Nicolas Thienpont acquired three hectares in the Côtes de Castillon in July 2011. The vines are located on the top of the limestone plateau, with rock beneath red clay. In January 2014, the vineyard grew to 6.5 hectares with new plots not far from Saint-Philippe-d’Aiguille, on a limestone plateau alternating between compact clay and very shallow soils. The wine has become more rounded with a denser texture, supplementing the finesse, sophistication and minerality of this new cru.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2017 Alcee rolls out of the glass with expressive notions of baked plums, Black Forest cake and black raspberries plus hints of lavender, baking spices and fragrant earth. Medium-bodied, the palate has lovely poise with plush tannins and plenty of juicy black fruits, finishing on a spicy note.
Fresh and pure, with a beam of cassis and cherry puree flavors, gilded with light floral and mineral hints. Sleek in feel. Drink now through 2027.
A pretty expression of Castillon with plum, walnut and volcanic-salt character. Medium to full body. Firm, chewy tannins and a fresh, flavorful finish. Needs a little time to soften. Better after 2020.
Although it is a small 6.5 hectare vineyard, it is planted to a vine density of 6,500 vines per hectare (86% Merlot and 14% Cabernet Franc). The vines have an average age of 40 years and are planted on red clay and limestone soils.
Chateau Alcee's production is small, close to 700 cases per vintage.
Though the region is larger than many of its Right Bank neighbors, it is one that consistently produces high quality, well-valued red wines. In fact, Cotes de Castillon can almost be considered a geographical eastern extension of St. Emilion, producing similarly-fashioned reds based on Merlot.
Vineyards in the region’s clay, limestone and sandstone soils produce sturdy red wines. On alluvial terraces, in vineyards closer to the Dordogne River, wines tend to be more supple and fruity. In either case, a great Cotes de Castillon red will be bursting with raspberry, plum and blueberry, have an enticing bouquet of dried flowers and a finish that is plush and opulent.
One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.