James Suckling 92-93
"This is very chewy and structured with lots of ripe tannins and rich fruit. Full and round. A new wine for me. Pure merlot. Check it out."
The 2015 Domaine Simon Blanchard Montagne-St.-Emilion Au Champ de la Fentre comes from just a 1.4-acre parcel of pure Merlot. It's gorgeously pure and expressive, with a lovely racy feel to its unadulterated raspberry and boysenberry fruit.
While the label dearly reads Montagne-St. Emilion, Domaine Simon Blanchard was founded with an aspiration slightly more Burgundian. The objective? Make the Bordeaux with an emphasis on parcel selections, and by soil type-recording a pure, site-specific, un-blended vintage of each block, year by year.
Simon Blanchard was born ten years after the.57 hectare vineyard known as 'Au Champ de fa Fenetre' was planted. He was 39 years old when he bought it in 2015. Millesime 2015 marks Simon's first wine, made entirely from grapes grown on his own estate.
With a density of 6500 vines per hectare in the vineyard, Simon harvested by hand on September 28th, 2015-a yield of 39 hl/ha. The vines are planted on a western-exposure, clay-limestone slope. Winter wheat aerates the rows November through spring, and a natural grass cover crop remains, increasingly trimmed, as harvest approaches.
Whole-berry maceration is followed by a natural extraction via punch downs with a wooden paddle. Only wild yeasts are employed for fermentation. Malolactic fermentation is allowed to occur in barrel. Further aging in French oak takes place over 14 months, with three amounts of use: 40 are new, 40 one wine and 20 two wines. Harmony, balance, and respect for the fruit is the result.
Simon Blanchard is among the brighter lights of Bordeaux's New Wave. Collectors take note: Incredibly small quantities are produced, and fewer still imported to the United States.
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