Château d’Aiguilhe 2015
Chateau d'Aiguilhe is a castle located in the Côtes de Castillon wine appellation on the right bank of the Bordeaux region in France. The castle dates back to the 13th century and has been owned by a number of different families over the years. The castle is situated on a rocky outcrop and offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside. The vineyards surrounding the castle are planted with predominantly Merlot grapes, with smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Château d’Aiguilhe always had promising terroir, and this producer was making wine during the 1700s. Though the estate was primarily used for agriculture back in the day, the family that oversaw the operations at the estate, the Leberthon family, knew there was something special here. Eventually, Etienne Martineau purchased the land in 1920 and created the vineyards that are on the property today. At the time, the property was known as Château La Fleur d’Aiguilhe. He owned the estate for several generations, yet this jewel of Côtes de Castillon was relatively obscure. All that was to change in 1998, when the legendary Stephen von Neipperg set his sights on the property. The Von Neippergs are a prominent family within the Saint-Émilion appellation, famous for owning illustrious estates such as Château Canon La Gafféliere, Château Clos de l'Oratoire, and Château La Mondotte, to name a few. Once Stephan von Neipperg purchased Château La Fleur d’Aiguilhe, he renamed the estate Château d’Aiguilhe. The reason it is named, “l’Aiguilhe,” is because of the estate’s unique terroir. The property is bored on one side by a plateau and the other by a small valley. This overlooks l’Aiguilhe, which is a French term meaning, “needle.”
After purchasing Château d’Aiguilhe, much work needed to be done both in the vat room and the vineyards. The vineyards were completely replanted and the von Neippergs spared no expense in creating a brand-new, circular-shaped winery. The winemaking facilities were upgraded to the latest technology. As of 2014, Château d’Aiguilhe began to make a white Bordeaux wine, d’Aiguilhe Blanc. This wine is made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc. The terroir is a mixture of limestone and clay soils with an impressive elevation of 110 meters at its peak. This property sits on the choicest parcels within the entire Côtes de Castillon appellation. There is excellent drainage, and the vines have a southern-facing exposure, which gives them the perfect amount of sunlight. At the time of purchase by the Von Neippergs, there was a hefty portion of Cabernet Sauvignon. That was pulled in favor of more Merlot – the star of this region. This 140-hectare estate has 90 hectares planted with Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Château d’Aiguilhe practices sustainable viticulture, and all the vines are diligently tended to. Everything is harvested by hand, and the wine is vinified in a mixture of concrete and wooden vats. The wine is subsequently aged in French Oak for approximately 15-18 months to give it plenty of backbone and structure.
"The 2015 Château d'Aguilhe is a blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, picked between September 23 and October 8 at 30 hectoliters per hectare, and matured in 30% new oak barrels. It has a very ripe and opulent, quite showing bouquet with fig and date-tinged red berry fruit. The palate is very well balanced, a supple ball of red cherry and strawberry fruit, with a touch of Christmas cake and allspice towards the finish; the Cabernet Franc imparts a little edginess, with a saline tincture lingering on the aftertaste. This is a very fine Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux from Comtes Von Neipperg." - Neal Martin, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (4/27/2016, Issue 224), Ratings: 90-92, Drink: 2018-2028
"A swath of toasty, singed vanilla starts off, quickly backed by waves of currant and plum preserves. As the flavors knit, a graphite spine emerges and drives the anise- and apple wood-tinged finish. Let this settle in with a little cellaring. Very solid." - James Molesworth, Wine Spectator (3/2018), Ratings: 92, Drink: 2020-2027
"Moving to the red and made from 80% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc, the 2015 Château D'Aiguilhe is also brilliant and well worth seeking out. Sporting a vibrant ruby/purple color as well as gorgeous notes of black raspberries and blue fruits, violates, bouquet garni, and spring flowers, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, bright acidity, and firm tannin, all of which give it a masculine feel, despite having plenty of upfront fruit. This is a beautiful Côtes de Castillon that will benefit from 2-3 years of cellaring and keep for a decade or more." -Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com, Rating: 92, Maturity: 2020-2030
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|Castillon - Côtes de Bordeaux
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