Château Dauzac 2016
• Domaine: Château Dauzac
• Appellation: Margaux
• Classification: Fifth Growth, 5ème Grand Cru Classé
• Origin: Left Bank, Bordeaux, France
Château Dauzac is a Margaux Fifth Growth estate that holds great promise. With a long history that dates back to 1622, Château Dauzac has changed hands many times. Yet with the present ownership and influence of Laurent Fourtin, one cannot help but be optimistic about what the future holds for this Left Bank estate. The grand vin from Château Dauzac has a purity to it and a gentle freshness that encapsulates the nuance so often associated with great Margaux terroir. With the increasing investments that have been put into the property, quality continues to increase yet prices remain affordable. To all buyers who love the elegant finesse of a great Margaux for a reasonable price, consider the offerings of Château Dauzac.
Château Dauzac was originally owned by Jean Cousseau and sold to Carmelite Nuns in the early 1600s. Fifteen years later, Pierre Drouillard purchased the property and partnered with the Jean Baptiste Lynch, the mayor of Bordeaux. The Lynch family was a well-known name in the wine trade, famous for their ownership of Château Lynch Bages and Château Lynch-Moussas. Shortly after it was classified as a Fifth Growth estate in 1855, Château Dauzac was acquired by the Johnston family who were proud owners of the Saint Julien powerhouse, Château Ducru-Beaucaillou.
Throughout the 19th and 20th Centuries, Château Dauzac passed through the hands of several owners. One of which was Jean-Jacques Bernat, a well-known ice cream manufacturer who used blocks of ice to regulate the temperature in his stainless-steel vats during fermentation. This paved the way for a viticultural practice called thermoregulation in winemaking. The current CEO is Laurent Fourtin, who joined Château Dauzac in 2013. Fourtin was moved by the uniqueness of the terroir at Château Dauzac, and the Fifth Growth producer affects him on a very strong emotional level. His goal is to restore Château Dauzac to its rightful place as one of the best Margaux Fifth Growth estates and it is clear he is well on his way. Château Dauzac is presently owned by Christian Roulleau, the head of the Samsic Group.
In 2004, the facilities at Château Dauzac were upgraded and a modern gravity flow winery was introduced. Their vineyards are planted in one single block – quite a rare occurance in the Margaux appellation. Of their 120 hectares of farmland, 49 are planted with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot vines. The vines are a bit older here, and some of the oldest vines are 80 years old. It is a bit warmer at this property, and harvest usually begins a bit earlier than in other parts of Margaux. Château Dauzac is experimenting with biodynamic farming on a tiny, .6-hectare parcel of Cabernet Sauvignon in their vineyard. All the vines are harvested by hand here and in 2016 the property invited everybody who was friends with them on Facebook to join their harvest, making them a true estate of the modern age. Given the recent changes implemented at the estate, one can only imagine what excitement the future holds.
"The 2016 Dauzac is a blend of 71% Cabernet Sauvignon and 29% Merlot picked at 45 hectoliters per hectare, picked 13 September and over the next 21 days, which is the longest ever at the property according to estate manager Laurent Fortin. The bouquet is tightly wound at first, then gently unfolds to reveal blackberry, briary, pressed flowers and light minty aromas. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp tannin on the entry, quite firm in the mouth at first, but there is plenty of fresh, predominantly black fruit locked into this Margaux. It is taut and linear with a grippy finish. This is a strong follow-up to the 2015, perhaps without the same flair as the previous vintage, but I am certain that it will "loosen its tie" during élevage." - Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate (4/28/2017, Issue 230), Ratings: 90-92, Drink: 2023-2040
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