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Château Chasse-Spleen


Address: 33480 Moulis-en-Medoc

Telephone: +33 (0)5 56 58 02 37



Famously referred to by Lord Byron for the wine’s ability to ‘chasser le spleen’, Château Chasse-Spleen, along with Château Poujeaux, makes the finest wine of Moulis. Although not classified in 1855 but in 1932 as a Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnel the wine is of classed growth quality. Fine, well structured Moulis, that is not always that fleshy, in top years Chasse-Spleen is always worth a flutter. Bernadette Villars took over managing the property in 1976, in turn her elder daughter Claire [1992-1999] and her younger daughter Celine [since 2000] have followed in her footsteps. 2009 and 2010 vintages are very good at Château Chasse-Spleen.

Vineyards/Terroir: 90 hectares on quaternary Garonne gravel on limestone sub-soil planted with 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot.

Winemaking/Elévage: Traditional with 16-18 barrel age with 40% new oak.

Tasting notes: 

  • 2015 Mid depth; earthy edge; bright fruit; higher toned; blackcurrants; some spice; elegant palate with blackcurrants and leady aspect; quite high in acidity and a little austere in style. Grippy finish. Will fill out to a degree but this is the Chasse-Spleen style. [50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 13%]. Drink 2022-2028. 85-87
  • 2014  Mid depth; purple at edge; fresh blackcurrants; certain modesty; some spice; hint of menthol; blackcurrant fruit beneath; fresh palate; some depth; slightly lighter toned; freshness; stalky; will settle. Fresh and elegant style. Hopefully will fill out further during elévage. [50% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot, 13.5%]. Tasted 31 March ’15. Drink 2010-2030. 85-87
  • 2013 Attractive depth; purple edge; some complexity on the nose; blackcurrants, spice; palate rather solid and a bit hard; has structure but lacks flesh. Will settle but likely an austere Chasse-Spleen. [65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% petit Verdot]. Tasted 3/4/14 UGCB. Drink 2018-2025. 84-86
  • 2012 Mid depth – dark core; fresh blackcurrant aromatics; clean with some spice and dust; mid weight palate [fraction light?] with elegance and fresh acid. Perhaps a fraction clipped at the end but not astringent. Drink 2016-2025. 86 UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Dense colour; glossy look; some bright fruit, black cherry, fresh. Purity on the nose. Fresh palate but oaky and feels very dry. Angular finish. 85-87 UGC Tuesday April 9 2013
  • 2011 Mid depth; very polished nose; creamy blackcurrant aromas; stalky blackcurrants on the palate but fresh and clean and not too grippy; still needs some time to settle further but nicely done for the vintage. Drink 2016-2026. 87 Tasted Oct ’13 UGCB London [Earlier note] Lacks the depth in the glass of some [not necessarily a problem given some of the saturation here]; backward, stalky Moulis on the nose; stalky Cabernet; whiff of the vegetal; blackcurrants, tannin and acid; bite to the palate; tannin nevertheless reasonably round. Angular and structured wine. Tasted UGC. 85-87
  • 2010 Deepish, quite dark at core; healthy glossy look in the glass; attractive spicy blackcurrant aromas with some undergrowth; enticing; lots of layers of fruit here, attractive and classic – an interesting companion piece to 2009. Sturdy blackcurrant fruit on the palate; quite clean and fresh acids; grippy and chewy finish of the vintage. This works well. 90/100 UGC Nov ’12 [Earlier primeurs note] 2010 Deep and reasonably saturated; some reductive notes and work-in-progress feel; blackcurrants too but suggestion of some hardness; palate concentrated but very grippy and tannic; feels dominated by the tannins. It should fill out though not certain. 86-88?/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 at UGC. [Second tasting] Deep, fresh looking; quite strong blackcurrant but also tannin and dust on the nose; palate quite grippy with tannin here dominating the fruit, this is not a patch on the ’09. Tannic, chewy and with lots of acid grip. Will come round but certainly not the winner 2009 was in my book. 84-86?/100 Tasted 7 April 2011 at UGC
  • 2009 Mid red; deep and dense; some strawberry and red fruits; quite open and sexy for Chasse-Spleen; some undergrowth; very full and pretty open. The first time this estate has reached 14% – but probably not the last. 90+/100 UGC Oct ’11 [Earlier Primeurs note] 2009 Black, inky; very ripe red fruits, little unsettled reductive cellar note, but blackcurrants beneath. Concentrated, layered palate lots of fruit and lots of tannin. Tannic but real length and precision. Quite taut, will need time but potentially very fine. 90+/100 Tasted 30th March 2010
  • 2008 Mid red; strawberry notes and some lift with earthy elements; quite fruit driven initially with extract on the palate; quite dry tannin at the end but good length. This a good wine but in a classic style and needs time. 87/100 UGC Oct ‘10
  • 2007 Mid red; quite serious red wine nose here; fresh palate, slightly angular and tannic at this stage. Many flesh out? 84/100 Oct ‘09
  • 1999 Mid-red- some depth; classic cedar and blackcurrant nose; well developed; palate medium weight with cedary blackcurrant fruit. Tannins rounded out. Attractive and mature. 86/100 March ‘10 
  • 1983 Mahogany; mature nose, some dust; palate structured but no flesh; austere; bit hard with no middle. This vintage lacks a lot and has, in Bordeaux across the board, developed poorly compared to ‘82. 84/100 Oct ‘97

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