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Best of Show & Double Gold
2015 Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America Tasting Competition
Color: Deep purple with a garnet shade.
Nose: Silky, fresh and intense fruity flavor with remarkable richness.
Mouth: Opulent extract of ripe fruits with elegant tannins and freshness in the aftertaste.
Tasting Notes: This is a dark red, tending toward ruby, and brilliant. The nose is rich, with a core of berry fruit nuanced with chocolate and vanilla. On the palate the berries are wonderful, and the wine is surprisingly full bodied and rich. It’s very long. Tannins build slowly throughout, and are well integrated. This is really delicious, will last another 5-8 years easily and is drinking very well right now. You could easily believe this is from a highly rated Chateau, or from one of the “great” Bordeaux vintages (e.g. 2000, 2005, 2009, 2010).
Montagne-Saint-Émilion is the largest 'satellite' title of the Saint-Émilion appellation in the 'right bank' Libournais sub-region of Bordeaux. The appellation applies to red wine only.
The grape varieties permitted within the appellation are Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Merlot is the dominant variety by far (75 percent of plantings), most often partnered with Cabernet Franc (15 percent, known here as 'Bouchet'). Cabernet Sauvignon (eight percent) is much less common in the cooler soils of the Saint-Émilion area in general. there are also small amounts of Malbec and Petit Verdot. The prevalence of Merlot (an early flowering variety) means that Montagne-Saint-Émilion is susceptible to spring frosts and can lose the majority of its output in a cold year.
The zone surrounds the village of Montagne, five kilometers (three miles) to the north of the town of Saint-Émilion. In total there are around 1,500 hectares (3,700 acres) under vine. The appellation laws state that wines made from the Saint-Georges commune, though recognized as an independent appellation in its own right, may also be labeled as Montagne-Saint-Émilion.
The village of Montagne translates as "mountain", though the topography consists of mostly rolling hills. Soils are unusually homogenous for the area, with clay and limestone. There are a couple of areas of sandy clay in the west towards Néac, and an area of gravel along the former Route Nationale 89.
The terroir here is regarded as closely resembling that of Saint-Émilion, being separated only by a small river, La Barbanne. This may partly explain why the appellation has a reputation for producing some of the best wines from the Saint-Émilion satellites.
To qualify for the Montagne-Saint-Émilion appellation, wines must contain a minimum of 11 percent alcohol and come from vineyards planted to a density of less than 5500 vines per hectare. There are 220 growers, of whom 23 are members of the local Cave Coopérative.