Wine Words & Video Tape

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Château du Tertre


Address: Chemin de Ligondras, 33460 Arsac

Telephone: +33 (0)5 57 97 09 09



Château du Tertre estate produces fine Margaux with increasing class and sophistication since its acquisition in 1997 by Dutch businessman Eric Albada Jelgersma. This 80 hectare property, 52 planted with vines, lies on the top of the small Tertre hill and has origins that date back to the twelfth century. Second wine is Les Hauts du Tertre. The 2009 was wonderful early on [some are reporting a little bottle variation, not that I’ve discovered on a recent 2009 tasting]. 2010 looks good and 2012 and 2013 are successes for the vintages.

Vineyard/Terrior: 52 hectares planted on gravelly knolls consisting of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot.

Winemaking/Elevage: 15 to 18 months barrel age with up to 50% new oak each vintage.

Tasting notes:

  • 2015 Attractive colour; purple at edge; fresh looking; creamy blackcurrant and black cherry aromatics; nice purity as usual here; beautiful palate with lovely purity; blackcurrant tones; harmonious finish. Very good length too. Excellent du Tertre. Amongst my favourite affordable Margaux properties. [70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 10% Petit Verdot]. Drink 2022-2035. 91-93+
  • 2014 Glossy black colour in glass; earthy purple at the rim; spicy blackcurrants; pure; some stalky Cabernet fruit; fresh; clean and pure palate with blackcurrant tones; balanced and round with freshness; freshness and length on the finish. Fairly classic du Tertre. Nicely proportioned. [58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Petit Verdot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 10% Merlot. 13% alc. 3.7TA. Harvest 26/9 onwards for Merlot, Cabernet finished 16/10, Petit Verdot 13-15/10]. Drink 2020-2030. Tasted 31 March, 2015 at UGC. 89-91+
  • 2013 Deep and healthy looking; purple at edge; some purity and blackcurrant tones; attractive and pure [nicely unadorned]; palate quite creamy; good-ish effort with [remarkably] even some generosity and polish here; overall nicely balance with good length and sap on the finish. Surprisingly generous for the vintage. [80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, Cabernet Franc 5%, Petit Verdot 5%]. Drink 2018-2028. Tasted UGCB April 2014. 87-89
  • 2012 Mid depth; light at centre; attractive purity; blackcurrant tones and spices; quite forward; some depth on the palate with an attractive undergrowth/green streak; blackcurrants and fresh coffee beans; elegance and freshness; reasonably sappy and vigorous on the finish. Drink 2017-2025. 89+ UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and healthy looking; vibrant edge; fresh, stalky Cabernet; some black cherry [Angludet-like]; layers beneath; fresh Cab on the palate but with some weight behind; works very well; elegant yet more-ish. Very nicely handled and balanced. 90-91+ Tasted UGC Thursday April 11, 2013 [Earlier note] Mid depth, vibrant edge; very cool and fresh; with delicacy, perfume and life; very balanced palate and nicely harmonious. Very good effort and classical Margaux. 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc and 7% Petit Verdot. 90-91+ Tasted UGC Tuesday April 9, 2013. Drink 2018-2030
  • 2011 Mid depth; earthy, slightly feral note; blackcurrants on the palate, some plushness and succulence; gutsy finish with a bite of acid. Lively and vigorous. Aromatics and palate disjointed currently. Little disappointing. Greater purity evident during primeurs. Drink 2016-2023. 86? UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Healthy density, purple at edge; fresh cabernet nose, nice fruit, some cassis and blackcurrant with fruit compote/summer pudding notes; sweetish entry but nice cool, plummy fruit alongside stalky Cab freshness. This is appetizing and moreish. Good acid balance. Little sappy but pretty good effort here and feels like Margaux. 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 10% Petit Verdot. 89-91 Drink 2020-2030
  • 2010 Deepish; elegant blackcurrant aromatics; depth; with some spicy Cabernet characters; quite concentrated crunchy fruit but with nice acidity; crispness here alongside the blackcurrant fruit which makes this nicely vibrant and appetizing; textured and elegant Margaux. Drink 2016-2030. 91 MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier note] Good depth; glossy looking; earth, some redcurrant, some resin, deep; fresh palate with blackcurrant and acid grip; lots of extract and material, inky with grip and chew. Classic and fresh. Needs a bit of time. 89+/100 UGC Oct ’12 [Earlier] Deep and saturated; very attractive, perfumed nose; violets and blackcurrants; seductive; some coffee and char at the end; nicely judged palate; full of flavour and ripeness; very digestible; clean and with real depth. Nice freshness, some warmth a very end. 91-93 [70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, alc 13.8%] Tasted 5 April 2011. [Second tasting] Mid depth; purple at edge; fresh, some fragrance, feels quite full [Cabernet?], freshness here; palate similarly cool and fresh, some tannin and extract too; quite chewy but tannins ripe and should settle down. Strong wine, nice Cab freshness. 88-90+/100 Tasted 7 April 2011 at UGC Drink 2018-2030+
  • 2009 Deep at centre; ripe blackcurrant tones; some mineral and wet rocks; freshness; cool blackcurrant fruit, quite plush and very clean and pure. Very nice balance between freshness and fruit in a very measured and polished style. No trace of anything strange going on in this sample. Drink 2016-2030 91+ MW Institute, Nov ’13 [Earlier note] Mid red; legs; pure perfumed nose; like this; lifted blackcurrant and violets; lots of fruit and delicacy on the palate; perfume again; silk and satin feel; not too dense or extracted; fleet of foot and wonderful modern take on the Margaux perfume and purity we seek but rarely taste. 93+/100 UGC Oct ’11 [Earlier] Less inky; still vibrant; fragrance here; some rose petal with violets; little reductive ‘gout du chais’ notes; palate quite fine and elegant with structure and grip; lacks a little flesh but should put on weight. 90+. [Second] Perfume and violets with lots of blackcurrants beneath; quite elegant in style but with obvious power under the bonnet; soft palate; silky, very good; fine and harmonious not over extracted; much better sample than before; good length and a long finish. Excellent. The Dutch owners think this is the best wine made here since they took over. 92-94+ [55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 8% Petit Verdot].Tasted 30th March & 1st April ’10 UGC Primeurs tasting. Drink now – 2030
  • 2008 Mid depth; some red at edge; some chalk, some stalks; not over engaging; spice and some life on the palate; freshness with elegance and firmish tannins. 87 MW Institute Nov 12 [Earlier] Mid red; some earthy notes on the nose; mocha and chocolate too; not as pretty and appealing as their wonderful 2009; palate feels a bit hard here; bit elegant and lacking interest. Bit disappointing for this usually superb estate. 84-86/100 Drink now – 2020. UGC Oct ’10
  • 2007 Deepish, earthy red at edge; some leafy Cabernet; very light palate which lacks depth; feels thin; some chew on the finish and grip but overall feels light and dilute. 84?/100 MW Institute Nov ’11 [Earlier] Mid red; attractive, slightly stalky note; blackcurrants; palate some silky notes along with strawberries and red fruits; well balanced palate. Nice. Slightly old fashioned style. Good. 86+ Oct ’09 UGC London tastings Drink now – 2017. UGC Oct ’09
  • 2006 Some depth, bit looser at the edge than some; earthy, chocolate, some undergrowth, definitely earthy; also some blackcurrant and a whiff of tobacco leaf; palate quite earthy, not unattractive and mature notes creeping in; tannins quite round and agglomerated, not that bad. Mature but will improve over the next five years. 87/100 Drink n0w to 2020. MW Institute Nov ’10
  • 1996 Mid red; fragrant and fine Margaux; wonderfully mature and well developed nose; palate well balanced; tobacco, blackcurrants; nicely balanced with rounded tannins. Very good. 89+ July ’06 Aug Drink now.

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