Château Haut-Maurac (Médoc 2012)
Special Price for 12 bottles in wooden crate: $240 ($20/bottle)
The general consensus of the 2012 vintage in Bordeaux was that the Merlot variety did a bit better than Cabernet Sauvignon. While this won’t be an issue with the top Châteaux, having plenty invested in their vineyards to be highly selective at harvest time, it can make a big difference with the more financially accessible Cru Bourgeois. From 60 acres of 35 year old vines on gravel and clay soils, 2012 Château Haut-Maurac is a blend of 60% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Malbec. Aging takes place for 18 months, 20% in vats, 80% in oak barrels (25% new).
The result is a wine of great value, showcasing the strength of Merlot in a somewhat challenging vintage. It’s drinking in its prime now and over the next couple of years, clearly expressing its place with aromas of mocha, blackberry sap, autumn leaves, and a whiff of black pepper spice. A sip is rounded, generous with fruit but not fruity, and finishing with soft and chewy tannins. It’s a versatile wine that will make a nice complement to a quick appetizer spread of olives and cheese or just about anything off the grill.
Château Haut-Maurac is located on the left bank of the Gironde estuary, in the municipality of Saint-Yzans-de-Médoc. It’s a project owned and led by Olivier Decelle, who’s perhaps best known for rebuilding Mas Amiel, one of the leading and most respected wineries in the Roussillon, and also for bringing Château Jean Faure (neighbor to Château Cheval Blanc in Saint-Émilion) back to prominence. Because of the quality of production under Olivier Decelle, Château Jean Faure’s Grand Cru Classé status was recently restored.
So it comes as no surprise that Olivier Decelle is taking great lengths to ensure this Cru Bourgeois is of the highest quality. Aspects of organic and biodynamic cultivation are used alongside the more conventional lutte raisonée (reasoned fight), all with the aim of producing the best fruit possible.
With a vast international market for the wines of Bordeaux, pricing is always subject to the whims of millionaires and those aspiring to be millionaires. Elie Wine Co. is always striving to bring the best wine at the best price no matter what the region.