Saturday, January 24, 2009

2005 Chateau Rocher Calon

Country: France
Region: Montagne-Saint-Emilion
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Cork

This wine was picked up for a bargain price of 5 euro in the bargain bin of one of my local wine stores. I love a bargain as much as anyone, especially when it comes to wine, and will often take a punt on a wine that I don't know. This one being a 2005 from St. Emilion I was more than willing to give it a go at that price. Rightly, or wrongly, 2005 is considered by many as one of the best vintages of the decade in Bordeaux.

Chateau Rocher-Calon is located in Montagne-Saint-Emilion, the largest satelite region surrounding Saint Emilion. The region characterized by it's production of exclusively red wines, produced from the grape varieties Merlot (75% of vines grown), Cabernet Franc (20% of vines grown) and Cabernet Sauvigon (10% of vines grown). Two other grape varieties allowed in the region, but very rarely used, are Malbec and Carménère.

Clay and limestone along with some sand over a calcious limestone base (also known as roche calcaire, or asteries) make up the ground in which the vines are grown. The summer drought is softened by the inflow of water that rises through the porous limestone allowing the growing of high quality grapes.

Chateau Rocher Calon is an estate 12 hectares in size from which 80,000 bottles are produced with traditional winemaking methods in stainless steel vats with a long maceration of 20 to 25 days and ageing over 18 months. Michel Rolland and his team are used as consultants during the winemaking process.

This wine is typically a Merlot based red (95%) along with a small percentage of Cabernet Franc (5%). Here's what I thought of it:

Dark, deep and purple/red in colour. Nose is very clean; dark plum and current. Some evidence of oak there too. The palate is very closed at time of opening and needed quite some time to even begin opening up. Still it reveals some punchy, juicy black berry fruit on the palate. Quite big and powerful. Quite a lot of acidity in there too. Tannins are evident but not overpowering for a wine this youthful. This one really needs a lot more time in the cellar. A good effort that is value for the normal 12 let alone 5.

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