Chateau Grand Barrail Lamarzelle Figeac 2015
Very deep, ruby-red in appearance, with intense, complex aromas of violets and red berry fruits, combined with a hint of spice and liquorice. The wine gains in volume, the fine-grained, silky tannins add lovely structure to the wine. With the mouthfeel, fruit and intensity in perfect balance, this superb Grand Barrail Lamarzelle Figeac shows great potential.
Blend: 71% Merlot, 29% Cabernet Franc
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Rich and now smoothly textured, this elegant wine is generous. Tannins still come through the perfumed black-currant fruits, giving a wine that is structured and full while still attractively shot through with acidity. Drink from 2022.
The cross featuring on the wine label is a reference to Saint-Emilion’s religious background. This medieval town founded by a monk in the 7th century is famous for its monuments constructed over the centuries by various religious orders. The cross also symbolises the property’s complex history. Known at the end of the 19th century as Chateau Lamarzelle Figeac, the estate was rebuilt entirely in 1895, by a manufacturer from the North of France, a certain Mr. Bouchard. The chateau is the fusion of the ancient small holdings of Clos Lamarzelle Grand Barrail and Lamarzelle-Figeac, which were separated from Chateau Figeac in the second half of the 19th century. The adjacent estate of Clos Lamarzelle was integrated in 1906. From the earliest records of the famous Feret wine guide, the estate was regarded as one of the finest wines in Saint-Emilion, and was included in the Saint-Emilion classification system between 1959 and 1996. The Carrere family, who succeeded Mr. Bouchard, the owner at the time, awarded the wines the motto “To taste me is to love me, and me alone”.
Marked by its historic fortified village—perhaps the prettiest in all of Bordeaux, the St-Émilion appellation, along with its neighboring village of Pomerol, are leaders in quality on the Right Bank of Bordeaux. These Merlot-dominant red wines (complemented by various amounts of Cabernet Franc and/or Cabernet Sauvignon) remain some of the most admired and collected wines of the world.
St-Émilion has the longest history in wine production in Bordeaux—longer than the Left Bank—dating back to an 8th century monk named Saint Émilion who became a hermit in one of the many limestone caves scattered throughout the area.
Today St-Émilion is made up of hundreds of independent farmers dedicated to the same thing: growing Merlot and Cabernet Franc (and tiny amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon). While always roughly the same blend, the wines of St-Émilion vary considerably depending on the soil upon which they are grown—and the soils do vary considerably throughout the region.
The chateaux with the highest classification (Premier Grand Cru Classés) are on gravel-rich soils or steep, clay-limestone hillsides. There are only four given the highest rank, called Premier Grand Cru Classés A (Chateau Cheval Blanc, Ausone, Angélus, Pavie) and 14 are Premier Grand Cru Classés B. Much of the rest of the vineyards in the appellation are on flatter land where the soils are a mix of gravel, sand and alluvial matter.
Great wines from St-Émilion will be deep in color, and might have characteristics of blackberry liqueur, black raspberry, licorice, chocolate, grilled meat, earth or truffles. They will be bold, layered and lush.
One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.