Wine Words & Video Tape

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Fine Wine Review site

Château Croizet-Bages

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Address: 9 rue du Port de le Verrerie

Telephone: +33 (0)5 56 59 01 62

E-mail: jp.quie@domaines-quie.com

Website: www.domaines-quie.com

Another of Pauillac’s lesser known fifth growths, Château Croizet-Bages has a reputation in the past for being somewhat underperforming. It is owned by the Quie family who are slowly improving Château Rauzan-Gassies in Margaux, but the upturn in quality here is more fitful. The 2009 is the best vintage of recent years, and the 2010 is developing well, so there are signs of improvement in the wines [although these are two admittedly brilliant vintages], but there are still big questions about consistency at Croizet-Bages [2011-2013 looks to be a poor patch to me].

Vineyard/Terroir: 29 hectares on deep gravel planted with 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc.

Winemaking/Elévage: Fermented in stainless steel and aged in oak barriques.

Tastings notes:
  • 2015 Mid depth; healthy Cabernet tones; impressive purity here; ripe fruits on the palate with good middle; this is a harmonious effort from this property. Good Pauillac. Tasted 5/4/16 UGCB. Drink 2022-2030. 89-91+
  • 2014 Mid depth; lighter core; stalky and elegant palate with blackcurrant aromatics; reasonably clean; rather grippy and lacking in concentration on the palate. Lots of grip and sap. Austere and lacks depth of the best. Hopefully it will fill out. Drink 2020-2025. Tasted UGC 2 April, 2015. 84-86
  • 2013 Mid depth; some stalky Cabernet aromatics if a little dumb overall; coolish blackcurrant on the palate; some graphite; chewy finish with quite a bit of acid sap. Chewy. Not that bad an effort. Tasted 1/4/14 85-87 [second note] Mid depth; light at centre; soft and light; some blackcurrant and red fruit tones; acidity on the palate and quite structured and grippy; lacks flesh on the bones. [58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot]. Tasted UGC 3/4/14. Drink 2017-2023. 82-84
  • 2012 Lightish red; dusty red aromatics; easy palate; soft but lacking in concentration and a little hollow; easy-going nevertheless. Drink 2015-2022. 83 UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Mid depth; stalky Cabernet fruit; little awkward; lean on the mid-palate and tannic and grippy on the end. Tasted UGC Thursday April 11, 2013. 85-87 [Earlier note – better showinh] Deepish; healthy looking; lighter nose; some fruit. Blackcurrant notes and some depth and layers here; not unattractive; goodish palate, cassis little lean perhaps but should be good-ish. Tasted UGC Tuesday April 9, 2013. 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc. 50% new oak. 86-88
  • 2011 Deep and dark; creamy nose, blackcurrant, some leather; bitter chocolate note; lacks the shining purity of some; palate tannic, feels disjointed and very chewy. Over-extracted and rustic I’m afraid. Tasted 3/4/12 and 5/4/12 at UGCB. 83-85
  • 2010 Deepish; easy and open aromatics; blackcurrants, some spice; dust; open palate but of some saturation; good depth; nice chew to the fruit and sap; freshness too. Good effort from Croizet-Bages. Drink now-2025. 89+ MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated; legs; some coffee, brooding; feels like there is depth here; some cassis. Tannic palate and feels extracted and dry. Grippy too. Overall a bit chunky and disjointed at present. 84-86?/100 5th April 2011 UGCB. [Second tasting UGC] Not bad colour or depth; ripe and lifted, not bad effort, dense; clean and attractive lacks the depth of the best, some blackcurrant, quite fresh. Better sample than previous 86-88+/100 Tasted 7 April 2011 UGCB
  • 2009 Red; mid depth; some leaf and lift and as good as Lynch Moussas in my book; ripe palate; some leafy Cabernet tones with iron, menthol and cassis. A Croizet-Bages you can recommend. 88+/100 UGC Oct ’11 [Earlier note] 2009 Quite dark and extracted looking; more earth and mineral note; less fresh; palate less sophisticated and tannins tough. A little more rustic. OK. May settle down. 86?/100 Tasted 30th March & 1st April 2010.
  • 2008 Mid depth; little neutral at first, some sweetness, whiff of cider apple; grip on palate with some blackcurrant and plum tones and touch of black cherry; lacks richness on the palate; some chew at the end. Feels a little compact on this showing. 87 MW Institute Nov ‘12
  • 2007 Mid red; lacks depth; some tobacco and leaf; palate lean and lacking in fruit with dry tannins. Pretty unappealing. 78/100 MW Institute Nov ’11
  • 2006 Mid red, lacks depth, weak at rim; leafy, old fashioned nose, stalky, some strawberry, palate lacks concentration, more cru bourgeois than cru classe; some spice but lacks concentration and flesh. Empty and washed out on the palate. Not a great effort. 82/100 MW Institute Nov ‘10

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