Château Clos St. Martin Château Clos St. Martin
The Wine Advocate
November 30, 2018, Lisa Perrotti-Brown
“The 2016 Clos St. Martin is made up of 70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, it leaps from the glass with bold blackberries, warm plums and red cherries notes plus hints of baking spices, cedar chest, chocolate mint, forest floor and smoked meats. Medium to full-bodied and jam-packed with generous black and red fruits, it has a solid frame of grainy tannins and wonderful freshness, finishing long and spicy.”
October 11, 2018, Jane Anson
“Here there's some clear opulence on display: a silky texture to the fruit, with hints of smoky grilled almonds and a salty lick on the finish. The oak is evident but gives a lovely spiraling sense of enjoyment to this generous, well balanced wine, and it will please both old and new fans of St-Emilion. Classicists as well as hedonists can find something to enjoy. 30% aged in clay amphora.”
Established in 1850, this jewel-like estate is situated on Saint-Émilion’s limestone plateau, adjacent to Château Canon. Named after the neighboring church of Saint-Martin, Clos St. Martin is owned and managed by Sophie Fourcade, a descendant of the Reiffers family, established wine producers in Saint-Émilion since the 17th century.
At just 3.2 acres, Clos St Martin is the smallest classified growth in Saint-Émilion. The vines, averaging 35 years of age, are planted on clay and limestone soils, typical of the appellation’s limestone plateau, with southwestern exposure.
After the manual harvest, the grapes undergo an eight-day pre-fermentation cold maceration at 46°F. The must is fermented in new oak barrels for 48 days; malolactic fermentation also takes place in new oak barrels. The first four months of aging are spent on the lees, stirred twice every week, allowing the wine to develop volume and body. The wine is generally aged for 20 months in new oak barrels.
The 2016 climatic year was composed of two distinct parts. First, a cool and wet spring with record rainfall (259 mm from April to June, compared to 108 mm during the same period in 2015). A short break from the rain in May allowed for a quick and even flowering. The weather shifted in mid-June, giving way to clear skies and warm temperatures through mid-september.
The warm, dry weather that set in over the summer resulted in drought conditions, but vineyards planted on water-retentive soils, such as the limestone of Saint-Émilion, fared well. The vegetative cycle slowed over the summer months, but rain in mid-september allowed the grapes to reach full maturity.
At harvest, the berries were crunchy, gorged with sugar yet fresh at the same time, with intense notes of black fruit, the skins redolent with mild tannins, the seeds crisp.
Varietals: 70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon