Stephane Derenoncourt - 2006 Bordeaux
For the last three years, we’ve been spoiled by the brilliant selections that Stephane Derenoncourt has sourced for us from all over the world. When we first began our work together, Stephane assembled a legendary collection of his leading 2002 Right Bank Bordeaux, just to set the tone for our growing relationship. Stephane has since then brought us incredible wines from Italy’s Tuscan Coast, Argentina’s Mendoza, Spain’s Ribera del Duero, and our Napa Valley backyard, just to name a few.
The 2006 Bordeaux vintage gave us the perfect opportunity to work with Stephane directly on his favorite Right Bank projects. With over 30 projects throughout the region under his guidance, no one has better access to the best Right Bank’s properties than Stephane. We all know 2005 was legendary, a vintage where even simple terroirs thrived, but 2006, with its labor-intensive growing season and accelerated harvest, became the perfect canvas for Stephane to deliver the fresh, precise style he prefers. Stephane has always focused on drinkable wine, a wine that offers a balance and delicacy to go back to again and again rather than producing a bulky wine that shows off at a tasting only to wear you out at the dinner table.
Here are Stephane’s personal notes on the six wines he produced for this stunning collection:
Estelle - Fronsac 65% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Franc -A Fronsac hilltop property situated as a vineyard amphitheatre on a shallow sand and clay topsoil. The vines dive deep into a permeable chalk that gives the wine minerality. It will develop black truffle with hints of violet and cherry. The mouthfeel is marked by the chalky tannin, extremely fresh and silky.
Chemin des Ayres - St. Emilion Grand Cru 75% Merlot, 15% Cabernet, 10% Cabernet Franc- Grown on a gentle hillside with southern exposure overlooking St. Emilion. The warm, sandy clay soils allow early ripening. The wine is plush, spherical, with a delicate lacy structure that enters the mouth with a sensation of sweetness.
Soixante ans - St. Emilion Grand Cru 80% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc - This comes from one of St. Emilion’s finest terroirs with 60 year-old vines. The low yields produce concentrated fruit and refined tannin, expressing the famous ‘Asterie limestone.’ The complex nose prepares you for a massive, yet elegant mouthfeel with silky, melting tannin and a mix of black fruits, flowers, and black truffles.
Mivida - Bordeaux Superior 90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc - This low-yielding parcel is located on a limestone plateau in Merignas. The wine is aged 50% in new French Oak and 50% in once used barrels. The wine is fresh with acidity and black cherry and Cabernet Franc spice aromas. The wine evolves nicely with notes of fresh peat and very fine, chalky tannin.
Moulin du Paradis - Montagne 82% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc - This southern exposed old-vine parcel sits on a chalky table with a fine clay topsoil. The warm soil lets the vines grow deep. Rich in Merlot, the wine is full of ripe black fruit, spherical in form with a sensual style that you enjoy like a delicacy.
Iris - Cotes de Castillon 88% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc - From a vineyard very close to Domaine de l’A, these 45 year-old vines give a beautiful expression of floral aromas. Its structure is powerful with firm tannins. It’s enjoyable young, on the fruit, but also has nice ageing potential.