2016 Chateau Clos de Sarpe (750ml)

Merlot from Saint-Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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Review Score: 95V, 93WA
Alcohol By Volume: 15.0%

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The 2016 Clos de Sarpe is terrific. The opulent, full-throttle style remains intact, but the 2016 is a bit less extreme than some recent editions. Super-ripe red cherry, pomegranate, red plum and sweet spice race forward. Unctuous, sweet and unapologetically flamboyant, the wine possesses notable depth and richness from fruit that is picked on the late side. Clos de Sarpe is unlike any other wine being made in Bordeaux today. The unctuous, port-like style will not appeal to every palate. Even so, in my view, the 2016 is superb and a step up from the wines I have tasted here of late. I can't wait to see how it ages. Jean-Philippe Fort is the consultant. Tasted two times.

92-95 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous (Apr 2017)

The 2016 Clos de Sarpe is a blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, tucked just behind Haut Sarpe, cropped at 25 hectoliters per hectare. I actually tasted this wine from individual barrels in March with proprietor and avid rugby fan (though perhaps not supporting the team you expect) Maylis Marcenet and her father, subsequently via three or four samples. It has a rich bouquet with small macerated black cherries and blueberry, just a touch of warmth coming through, but demonstrating much more precision and detail than vintages in the past. The palate is sweet and candied on the entry, rounded tannin with a licorice tinged fruit, the acidity counterbalancing the intensity of this Saint Emilion with a caressing finish. It will still please those who like opulent Saint-Emilion and yet there is more terroir and precision in this vintage than previously, a path that Maylis told me that they are pursuing.

91-93 points, Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (Issue # 230 - Apr 2017)