Château Haut-Marbuzet, Saint-Estèphe 6 Bottle Case
The vineyard is located on the sunny, gravelly ridge of Marbuzet, which is naturally well draining and which contains clay and iron in the sub-soil, giving an individual character to the wine. The vines are pretty densely planted at almost 9,000 vines per hectare, forcing the vines to send roots deep into the soil to overcome the competition for water and nutrients. This serves to naturally reduce yields and increase the concentration and complexity of the grapes' flavours. Haut-Marbuzet is only made with grapes from vines over 12 years old. The grapes are fermented with natural yeasts in a mix of glazed concrete and large wooden vats before ageing in new barriques for 18-24 months, depending on the vintage. Henri Duboscq believes the scent and unctuousness of the new oak adds to the natural richness of the wine and helps to soften 'Macho Médoc'.
Classic old-school Bordeaux: autumnal, oaky aromas with black cherries and smoky coffee. Toasty, new, French oak is supported by a backbone of ripe dark fruit and a proper tannic structure. Still youthful and voluptuous, the underlying style of Saint-Estèphe when made by Haut-Marbuzet is clearly evident.
Strongly-flavoured dishes match perfectly; beef or lamb stews come to mind but vegetable dishes in rich sauces would also be good, and perhaps a classic Toulouse or duck cassoulet.