Chateau du Retout - Haut-Medoc 2018
95 pts Decanter
Yep… you read that right… 95 pts Decanter.
Ok… a few things at work here. Other critics have also enjoyed this wine, rating it 91-92 pts during barrel tastings or just at release in early 2020. But any rating is a snapshot. It relates how a wine is tasting on that particular day. This gem is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, a grape that is known for needing years to come together in bottle. The 95 pt rating here is from March of this year. What a difference three years can make!
Additionally, this wine was tasted blind along with 88 other wines from the Medoc, including the more famed regions of St. Estephe, Pauillac, Margaux and St. Julien. BLIND being the important word. Most tastings of Bordeaux are anything but. In this case, the judges didn’t know what they were tasting or from whom it came. Blind tastings have been known to stun the world. (eg The Judgement of Paris). Which is why you don’t see the most expensive wines being tasted blind.
Finally… location, location, location. Ch. Du Retout is located just south of CussacFort-Medoc, a quaint commune, population 2,363. The winery lies smack in the middle between the famed St. Julien and Margaux. Same soil makeup. Same exposition, elevation and overall terroir. Now, I’m not going to tell you this is Chateau Margaux. Some of what makes a wine great is the $$$ that goes into making it – hand-harvesting, the best oak barrels, the ability to toss less desirable fruit.
But the soil and terroir certainly play their part. And when the stars and moons align, a small winery can make a wine capable of competing with the best!
Decanter: 95 Points
“Located just south of Cussac Fort-Médoc, du Retout has 34ha of vineyards for red wines, sitting on clay/gravel and deep Garonne gravel-based soils; vines average 30 years old and some were planted in the 1950s. The 2018 blend was 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28.5% Merlot and 11.5% Petit Verdot, handpicked and sorted, fermented in stainless steel with twice-daily rack and return, then aged for 12 months in 33% new barriques.
Georgina Hindle: Aromatic and expressive, alive and upfront. A celebration of cherry fruit: ripe, fresh, potent, with cherry stones, liquorice and graphite. Nuance and texture, with lots to like.
Vincenzo Arnese: Elegant and perfumed yet powerful nose, notes of fresh fig, plum and blackcurrant, violet and lily. Poised, intense but refined. Stunning!
Daphne Teremetz: Ripe black cherry and blackcurrant cordial. Pure ripe black fruit with a floral violet lift. Plush tannins and a little coffee bean oak on the finish.” Decanter
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