As readers of these pages may know, I've spent a lot of time over the past couple years making my way through the smaller towns in Bordeaux in search of well-priced treasures. My favorite negociants have been organizing some intriguing tastings, and I've found a lot to love in the village of Saint-Christophe des Bardes in particular. Home to Chateau Tour Saint-Christophe, Chateau Barde-Haut, Chateau Fombrauge and other favorites of mine (yours too, especially for the value), this village is a gold mine for frugal-minded Bordeaux lovers who are serious about quality.
One of my latest discoveries came by way of a chance encounter with a new negociant recently added to my circle. Serious players in the game, they own fifteen estates in Bordeaux and boast exclusive rights of distribution worldwide for more than 100 Cru Classe Bordeaux estates. When I told them of my need for high quality Bordeaux – that won't break the bank – and my successes in Saint-Christophe des Bardes, they knew exactly what to show me.
Tasting the selections from the 2015 vintage, I was immediately impressed by the bang for the buck in Ms. Gaullier's "Bienfaisance de Sanctus." The parcel utilized for this cuvee is grown on the steep hillside slopes of Saint-Christophe des Bardes Saint Emilion. Deep clay in composition, the parcel was identified as a unique plot; this is not a "second label" of Sanctus, it is another wine from the estate's holdings. Towards early drinkability, the team vinifies in French oak – but never more than 1/3 new.
Tasting this back in September, it was absolutely delicious. This is one you will easily consume a case of and ask yourself why you didn't buy two. Lip-smacking stuff!
Attractive violets, earthy dark plums and mulberries here lead to a palate with very plush yet supple raspberry and blackberry flavors, smooth, chocolatey tannins and a nicely focused finish. Try from 2021.
93 points, James Suckling (Feb 2018)