Château Montlabert Saint-Émilion Grand Cru 2016, Bordeaux, France

Château Montlabert lies on the Route de Libourne, and shares the Saint-Emilion Grand Cru appellation with a number of its prestigious neighbors: Cheval Blanc, Clos des Jacobins and Château Figeac are just a stone’s throw away. Château Montlabert is an associate of the Jurade de Saint Emilion, an ancient brotherhood of wine, where it has been represented by Sophie Castel (3rd generation of the Castel family) since September 2016. Membership of the Jurade highlights Montlabert’s commitment to promoting its vineyards, and confirms its position as one of the Saint-Emilion Grand Cru appellation’s most prestigious properties. Montlabert has only 13 hectares of vines – planted as a single unit – making vineyard management an exercise in precision.The approach is plot-specific, the techniques modern; they include soil management, pruning and harvesting. Every activity is meticulously managed, just like an English country garden! Montlabert’s attention to detail knows no bounds – and neither do its aspirations. By working with 5 cooperage companies each offering three toast levels, the Château has 15 possible choices for barrel-ageing its wines. Château Montlabert, the property’s first wine, needs a little patience… This is a wine made for laying down, with a beautifully dense structure, powerful flavors and excellent length. This Merlot/Cabernet Franc blend is aged for 14 months in French oak barrels and expresses the full elegance and personality of these two famous varietals. Bâtonnage (lees stirring) leads the wine to take on an elegant edge of oak, along with volume and body.