In 1992, Jean-Claude Rouzaud, oenologist and Board Chairman of Champagne Louis Roederer, acquired and combined two Cru Bourgeois vineyards in the heart of the Medoc’s prestigious Saint-Estèphe appellation: Château Picard and Château Beauséjour. Together, these properties make up what is now called Château Haut-Beauséjour.
The 20 hectare Saint-Estèphe vineyard of Château Haut-Beauséjour is dominated by Merlot. The vineyard is planted to 50% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Malbec and 5% Petit Verdot. The terroir is gravel and clay with some limestone.
The wine of Château Haut-Beauséjour is vinified in traditional, large wood vats and aged in about 35% new, French oak barrels for about 12 months. On average, close to 8,500 cases of Château Haut-Beauséjour are produced every year. Vatting: 22-30 days.
2011 will remain a surprising vintage, marked by an inversion of the seasonal climate conditions. From the beginning of spring we observed temperatures notably over the average for that time of year, which promoted an early budding, followed by a fast start of the growth cycle. The month of August presented uneven climate. The ripeness of the berries was reached slowly but consistently, in good conditions, and the grape analysis revealed an already satisfying balance and an excellent polyphenol and aromatic potential. On the first of September, a hailstorm hit the south of the region of Saint-Estèphe. A few hectares of Merlot were hit. Thankfully, we were able to harvest all of it the following day. Subsequent weather conditions were more favourable.
Aromas of figs and prunes, with rich crimson, intense blackcurrant fruit on the nose. Then much lighter on the palate but also offering spiced sweetness. A touch of pleasant dryness on the finish.
Lamb, red meats, cheese, truffle, chocolate
Serve at room temperature
Tim Atkin – 89
CH’NG Poh Tiong – Chinese cuisine and wine – ***
The Wine Advocate – Robert Parker – 82-84
Jancis Robinson – 15.5/20
AOC Saint-Estèphe, Bordeaux
40% Cabernet Sauvignon