Wine Advocate 91
"Arguably the bright, shining star of Fronsac these days, this blend of 75% Merlot, 22% Cabernet Franc and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon from vines averaging 25 years of age seems to go from strength to strength. The 2012 is a knock-out, with an inky purple color and sweet cassis and kirsch notes as well as some licorice, mocha and earth. It is medium to full-bodied and concentrated, with silky tannins and a long, long finish. This is outrageously fine wine that sells for a song. It is a major sleeper of the vintage. Drink it over the next 10-12 years."
Vinous Media 91
"The 2012 La Vieille Cure is once again a real overachiever. Round, succulent and deeply expressive, the 2012 hits all the right notes. A host of raspberry jam, iron, smoke, herb and spice notes meld together in this impressive, voluptuous Fronsac. This is a very strong showing. -- Antonio Galloni"
About the estate: With its twenty hectares in one single plot, Chateau La Vieille Cure appears on a famous map of the Guyenne region, known as the Belleyme map, dated 1780. The vines grow on plateaux and slopes that are lucky enough to be turned to the south west. The estate runs along the River Isle at a height of 65 metres and not only drinks up the sun, but also enjoys good drainage. This situation makes the grapes that grow here generously ripe and in perfect condition.
About the wine: It is a blend of 74% Merlot, 22% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon planted on a plateau of limestone and slopes of chalk and clay soils in Fronsac, on the right bank of Bordeaux.
The Vintage: How good was 2009 to Bordeaux? A number of vintners say that their wines are already so fantastic that they are enjoying them straight from the vat. Some are heralding the vintage as their best ever. The year started with unseasonably wet weather for most of winter and spring. Some areas, particularly Right Bank appellations such as Pomerol and St.-Emilion, as well as Margaux, were hard hit by hail in the spring. Yet the weather during the summer was impeccably warm, dry and sunny.
Some producers were concerned that the vintage could turn into a scorcher like 2003, which produced exciting but atypically fruity wines. But the water table in the soil was high enough to offset the dry summer, keeping the vines green and growing. A little rain the first week of September and a few weeks later revived the vines completely, helping them mature their fruit to near perfection.
Vintners in Bordeaux are already making comparisons to some of the modern legends of the region including 2005, 1989 and 1982. Many are saying this is their best vintage ever!
The Wine Spectator gave the vintage an overall score of 95-98 saying "The wines are rich and powerful yet round and friendly, with velvety texture and loads of fruit".
Robert Parker says "At the top end, there are a clutch of spectacular, dare I say legendary wines in the making. There were simply a joy to taste: pure, delineated, fresh, silky in texture, achieving that elusive combination of intensity and finesse. Perusing my notes, it is probably the Left Bank that provides the most pleasure, the Cabernets handling the alcohol far better than the more rapid ripening Merlots. I would not single out any particular Appellation, but I did see a distinct improvement with some of the Margaux wines. Do not dismiss the Right Bank, in particular a clutch of breathtaking Cabernet Franc and Merlot based Pomerols and Saint Emilions".
Chateau La Vieille CureView all from Chateau La Vieille Cure
With its twenty hectares in one single plot, Château La Vieille Cure already appears on a famous map of the Guyenne region, known as the Belleyme map, dated 1780. The vines grow on plateaux and slopes that are lucky enough to be turned to the south west. The estate runs along the River Isle at a height of 65 metres and not only drinks up the sun, but also enjoys good drainage. This situation makes the grapes that grow here generously ripe and in perfect condition.
The property has been greatly renovated since it was bought by American friends at the end of 1986, who are great Bordeaux lovers and who recognised the exceptional potential of the estate.
A large part of the vineyard was remodelled and replanted, without of course touching the very old vines of which one plot is a hundred years old. A new cellar was built with the latest equipment and aging in casks was begun. The overall objective of these investments was to make high quality wines capable of world-wide distribution.
The new owners launched a sales program for the wines that are exclusively château bottled. Château La Vielle Cure used to be little-known, but is now exported to more than 20 countries. However the main market remains France, with Britain and the United States in second and third positions respectively.
These improvements are still far from being complete. The owners are driven by perfectionism and intend to continue with their efforts to raise their wine to be amongst the highest ranking in the Libourne area.
Farming Practice:Practicing Organic