Of the 1,199 valuable hectares planted to grapes in Pauillac, most are owned by the numerous cru classé chateaux that call the region home. Yet, within the formidable triangle formed by Chateau Mouton Rothschild, Chateau Lafite Rothschild, and Chateau Pontet-Canet, a single hectare remains in the hands of grower-producer Yannick Mirande. We are thrilled to bring Monsieur MIrande’s wines to the US market under his label Chateau Chantecler, beginning with the 2010 and 2011 vintages.
The Mirande family has owned vineyards in Pauillac for several generations, but in the spring of 2004 an aunt sold most of the land to Mouton Rothschild. Yannick Mirande secured control over the remaining hectare and has been making wines from his own vines ever since. Thus, he has enlisted himself in the declining number of small-scale grower producers in Bordeaux, and we have found a suitable partner from this elite region for the first time in many years.
The vines on the property have an average age of 45 years; their roots are dug deep in the layers of Pauillac’s gravelly terrain, specifically situated in the lieu-dit known as “Plateau de Padarnac”. The estate produces only one cuvée, a robust wine that is composed of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot. Monsieur Mirande takes a scrupulous approach to his work in the vineyard as well as in the cellar: he is moving towards organic vineyard management, harvests his grapes manually, and employs indigenous yeasts in fermentation. The end result is a special wine, a classic Pauillac marked by the hand and place that crafted it.
|Chateau Chantecler AOC Pauillac: 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot from 45 year old vines grown on one hectare in the gravelly hillsides of Pauillac. The two types of grapes are harvested by hand and vinified separately before blending. Monsieur Mirande harvests in a single day or perhaps two, waiting for the Cabernet to ripen before picking. The Merlot, maturing earlier, is thus left on the vine to achieve a level of “surmaturité” which adds to Chantecler’s unique and compelling character. The wine undergoes malolactic fermentation in barrel. Elevage takes place in a mix of new (60%) and one-year-old (40%) French barriques over the course of 16 to 18 months before being bottled unfiltered. Approximately 3500 bottles are produced annually, with approximately one-third of the production now dedicated to the US market.|
A Bordeaux Moment – Pauillac front and center
Just finished drinking a bottle of Chateau Chantecler, Pauillac, 2010 (while listening to the Brad Mehldau Trio) which experience drove our memories to the earliest days of our career in wine when we had the pleasure of indulging in another Pauillac by the name of Château Latour in vintages like ’61, ’62 and ’64, wines of consummate class and breed – truly great wines that justified the rarefied and elite status of the best of Bordeaux. This Chantecler is damn good but is a mere baby needing a good 10 years to grow and expand and lay out its character for all to see. We must set aside small lots of our Bordeaux to age in order to show our world the exquisite pleasures that the finest artisans of Bordeaux can still provide.
By the way, for any of you who enjoy jazz piano and are not yet familiar with Brad Mehldau, I would suggest you access some of his work, particularly his collaboration in trio format with his colleagues, Jorge Rossy and Larry Grenadier. His work reminds me a bit of how we put together our portfolio, a subtle but profound exploration of the classics married to groundbreaking new combinations.