Château Clos de Sarpe 2020
• Domaine: Clos de Sarpe
• Appellation: Saint-Emilion
• Classification: Grand Cru
• Origin: Right Bank, Bordeaux, France
Château Clos de Sarpe is a Grand Cru Classé producer that is having a bit of a Cinderella moment. This small, Saint-Émilion estate with a production of under 1,000 cases yields grand vin that is a mineral-laced, intense, age worthy wine. Their grand vin is considered a throwback to the ancient days of Bordeaux winemaking. The striking style is unique to Château Clos de Sarpe alone, and critics are undoubtably beginning to take notice. The 2020 vintage was ranked in the mid 90s by some of the toughest critics in the wine world, and bottles of Château Clos de Sarpe are getting snatched up left and right. For curious oenophiles who want to experience a producer that creates a ravishing and impressive expression of what Saint-Émilion terroir used to produce during a bygone era, look no further than Château Clos de Sarpe.
Château Clos de Sarpe is a small, family run operation that is run by husband and wife team, Jean-Guy Beyney and Christine Beyney. Château Clos de Sarpe is nestled in the hilly appellation of Saint-Émilion, which is also known as the “land of 1,000 crus.” The property was initially owned by the Baron du Foussat de Bogeron. Eventually, the property was purchased by the Beyneys in 1923 and has been overseen by three generations of the Beyney family ever since. Since Jean-Guy and Christine became in charge of the estate, quality and demand have skyrocketed. Part of that is due to their vineyard management techniques and part of that is due to their smart hiring decisions, like bringing on top notch talent, such as the incomparable Michel Rolland to consult.
There is a truly intimate, humble approach to running the vineyard at Château Clos de Sarpe. Though Château Clos de Sarpe implements biodynamic farming techniques, such as using a combination of teas to protect the vines, harvesting according to the lunar calendar, and a simple tilling process for the vines, they chose not to receive their biodynamic certification. For the humble vignerons at the estate, the importance is creating the best wine possible. The vines are significantly older at Château Clos de Sarpe, coming in at approximately 55 to 80 years old on average. Both Merlot and Cabernet Franc are planted here, and they thrive in the iron rich, clay and limestone soil. Château Clos de Sarpe harvests late, and at extremely low yields, as they believe in waiting until the vines reach maximum ripeness to achieve a fruity, concentrated wine. The wine is then vinified in New Oak to give it multidimensionality and structure.
The most compelling producers have a very distinct style, and Château Clos de Sarpe is without a doubt a producer of that caliber. With such a distinctive, tannic and mineral-driven style, the concentrated wines from this estate are meant to be taken seriously. They demand time in the cellar for their tannins to soften and other unique aromas to reveal themselves. Given the complexity of this beguiling wine, it is clearly worth the wait.
"Opaque purple-black in color, the 2020 Clos de Sarpe rolls seductively out of the glass with opulent scents of Chinese five spice, rose oil, sandalwood and camphor, leading to a core of plum preserves, blueberry pie and fragrant soil, with a touch of woodsmoke. The rich, full-bodied palate is, as always, not lacking in freshness, delivering layer upon layer of spicy black fruit preserves and a velvety texture, finishing very long and beautifully perfumed. The blend this year is 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, aging for an estimated 13 months in French oak barrels, 70% new. The alcohol weighs-in at 15%." - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Advocate (June, 2020), Rating: (94-96)+, Drink: 2026-2051
"I continue to love the wines from this estate, and certainly today, they show a more pure, polished style than wines from just a decade ago. Their 2020 Château Clos De Sarpe boasts a vivid purple hue as well as gorgeous notes of blue fruits, black cherries, toasty oak, violets, white truffle, and tobacco. Playing in the medium to full-bodied end of the spectrum, it has ripe tannins, a balanced, layered texture, and that rare mix of richness and freshness. This tiny, cooler terroir on the upper plateau has produced a thrilling 2020 readers will love. It will have 30+ years of longevity. Tasted twice." Jeb Dunnuck, Bordeaux 2020: En Primeur, (05/23/2021) Rating: 94-96+
"The 2020 Clos de Sarpe is one of the most intense, primary wines I tasted for this report. Inky and exotic to the core. Clos de Sarpe possesses tremendous unctuousness from start to finish. Inky red berry fruit, spice, new oak and soaring floral notes all meld together. I imagine it will be many years before the 2020 is ready to drink, but even today, it is quite beautiful and wonderfully expressive. Tasted two times." Antonio Galloni, Vinous (June 2021) Rating: 94-96
|Brand||Clos de Sarpe|