Chateau Ampelia Cotes de Castillon 2014

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A classy wine from a small, well-run estate close to Saint-Emilion. Mainly merlot, but with some excellent old-vine cabernet franc, which adds depth and complexity. Beautifully balanced Bordeaux.

Francois Despagne, of Grand Corbin Despagne, has owned this Côtes de Castillon property on the eastern edge of Bordeaux since 1999, and it has been one to follow since its first vintage in 2000.

The small 9 hectare estate is on the Saint-Philipe d'Aiguilh plateau of clay-limestone soil over limestone rock and lies next to the better-known Château d’Aiguilhe. The vines, which are farmed sustainably, comprise 80% merlot with 20% cabernet franc making up the remainder, and they average 30 years of age. They are carefully managed throughout the season before being hand harvested, and the fruit is then manually sorted before reaching the press. The property produces rich, fruity and spicy claret with a lovely touch.

Dark and deep purple in colour, this has violet edging and a good structure, starts out well although majors n cinnamon and spice rather than fruit in the mid-palate. A very enjoyable wine, with a sexy Castillon flourish from one-third new oak barrels. François Despagne's Castillon estate, taking his excellent vineyard-driven approach out of his home turf of Saint-Emilion. 80% merlot and 20% cabernet franc.

A classy wine from a small, well-run estate close to Saint-Emilion. Mainly merlot, but with some excellent old-vine cabernet franc, which adds depth and complexity. Beautifully balanced Bordeaux.

Francois Despagne, of Grand Corbin Despagne, has owned this Côtes de Castillon property on the eastern edge of Bordeaux since 1999, and it has been one to follow since its first vintage in 2000.

The small 9 hectare estate is on the Saint-Philipe d'Aiguilh plateau of clay-limestone soil over limestone rock and lies next to the better-known Château d’Aiguilhe. The vines, which are farmed sustainably, comprise 80% merlot with 20% cabernet franc making up the remainder, and they average 30 years of age. They are carefully managed throughout the season before being hand harvested, and the fruit is then manually sorted before reaching the press. The property produces rich, fruity and spicy claret with a lovely touch.

Dark and deep purple in colour, this has violet edging and a good structure, starts out well although majors n cinnamon and spice rather than fruit in the mid-palate. A very enjoyable wine, with a sexy Castillon flourish from one-third new oak barrels. François Despagne's Castillon estate, taking his excellent vineyard-driven approach out of his home turf of Saint-Emilion. 80% merlot and 20% cabernet franc.

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