Sunday, 14 August 2011

TN : Chateau Larmande 2001, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, Bordeaux, France

This wine is a blend of 65% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Larmande is a place-name which can be found in archives dating from 1585. These mention a visit by the Jurade to inspect the wine there. A stone in the cellar bears the date 1640. The owner at the beginning of the 18th century was called Champagne. After he died, his widow continued production at the vineyard for a few years before it was taken over, first by the Pion de Case family, and then in about 1850 by the Saint Genis, who came from the Charente Maritime. This family kept the estate for around 50 years, leaving the management of it to Germain Meneret.

At the beginning of the 20th century, for partition and inheritance reasons, the Saint Genis offered to sell the estate to Germain Meneret. Not having a large enough fortune to buy it outright, he went into partnership with one of his friends, Amédée Capdemourlin, who also came from a very old Saint Emilion family, in order to acquire the property. In the following generation, Fernand Meneret married Alice Capdemourlin. Both of them inherited the estate just before the second world war. Their sons and grandsons then ran the estate, bringing the surface area of the vineyard to 22.5 hectares (55 acres).

At the end of 1990, Jean Meneret ­the President and founder of the Association des Grands Crus Classés de Saint Emilion, a well-known figure in the Bordeaux vineyard and who had taken the estate to the highest level, sold Château Larmande to the La Mondiale insurance group. From this time, the onus was put on bringing the wines of Château Larmande to the forefront of the international stage. The acquisition of a new plot of vines took the surface area of the vineyard to 25 hectares (62 acres), making this estate one of the largest in Saint Emilion. The cellars were renovated, a tasting room built in stone and glass was created, and a reception room capable of holding one hundred people was built.

The chateau is situated 1,200 metres from Saint Emilion. Château Larmande possesses a great diversity of soil types : 15% is clay-limestone, 15% is siliceous clay and 70% is made up of ancient sands. The 25 hectare estate includes 19 hectares of vines planted in one block close to the château, the rest of the plots being no more than 6 kilometres away. The average age of the vines is 30 years.

Colour : Dark red, brown

Aroma : Plums, oak, herbs, milk chocolate

Taste : Plums, raspberry, herbs, cedar, aged, milk chocolate, tobacco

Alcohol : 13.5%

Price : 399 SEK

Mark : B

Website : Chateau Larmande

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