Château Saint Martial, Saint-Émilion Grand Cru
Château Saint Martial, Saint-Émilion Grand Cru

Château Saint Martial, Saint-Émilion Grand Cru

Bordeaux / Right-Bank, France 2012 (750mL)
Regular price$32.00
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Château Saint Martial, Saint-Émilion Grand Cru

Let it be known: this isn’t “some random Bordeaux.” Today’s sublime and exquisite 2012 Grand Cru—an exclusive offer that’s nearly one year in the making—is a vinous manifestation of our direct import spoils. The quality, detail, and resources poured into this offer epitomize what we strive to achieve here, and we cannot wait to walk you through it! In September of last year, we lined up two-dozen bottles of aged Bordeaux that were all cellar-direct candidates, but one in particular became an obsession: Château Saint Martial. We kept re-tasting this decade-old gem over and over until we were playing tug-of-war with the final few ounces.

Turns out, seven generations of the same family have worked this tiny estate vineyard, and they’ve done a phenomenal job at hiding their Grand Cru gems from the public eye. From what we can tell, their minuscule production is kept largely confidential, stashed quietly in their centuries-old cellar for discrete consumption and top placements at French competitions. After our Bordeaux liaison coaxed them into selling us an exclusive parcel, we asked for a sizeable quantity. They countered with less than half of our request. Still, we eagerly accepted, and the waiting game continued as they carefully inspected and labeled this back-vintage parcel and shipped it our way. All told, 10 months passed before it hit our warehouse, and uncorking a fresh bottle felt like a victory lap. We were rendered speechless yet again: Its savory elegance and velvety textures have the feel of a cult label with a third digit attached, but alas, this is just $35. Thirty-five. Even now, I can hardly believe it. 

Long before the Bertrand Petit-Dupeyrat acquired the property in the 18th century, it was formerly the old chapel of Saint Martial. With origins dating back to the 1500s, it is said this sacred site attracted people from all over to drink its cure-all spring water. When the Dupeyrat family built their homestead, they made sure to incorporate some of the chapel’s original stonework. Another fascinating feature of the property is a 16-foot menhir, thought to be from the neolithic period. Given its lasting presence, the Dupeyrats—which can count seven generations of vine workers here—proudly display this historic monolith on their front label. 

With just 3.7 hectares of vines, the Grand Cru production at Château Saint Martial has always been small. Their vines, planted to 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, average an impressive 45 years of age and they practice the painstaking method of green harvests which promotes even ripening and higher concentration. In the cellar, all grapes are de-stemmed and fermentation occurs in stainless steel tanks with a three-week maceration. Although a small portion of the wine keeps maturing in stainless steel, the rest is funneled into French oak barrels, 30% new, for approximately 16 months. After bottling in early 2014, today’s special parcel didn’t leave Saint Martial’s cellar until the beginning of this year. Eight years in a dark, cool, undisturbed environment has worked wonders on this wine!

All the Dupeyrats know is how to bottle classic, top-terroir, cellar-worthy beauties at a sensational value. So, for all those in need of an alluring Grand Cru that decisively checks off every top quality marker for mature Bordeaux (i.e. everyone), today’s sublime Merlot-Cabernet masterpiece is for you. It fills a large stem with currant, plum, and dried berries, followed by wet gravel, cigar wrapper, bay leaf, and espresso—but the real magic comes after 30 minutes of air when a melding of sweet spices and savory secondaries emerge. The palate is just at medium-plus-bodied with a glossy texture that belies the ample structure of a decade-old red. Expertly crafted Right Bank reds will always be one of the great, age-worthy delights in wine, so I’m extremely thrilled that we were able to bring this in for you! Enjoy now and over the next 5-10 years. 

Château Saint Martial, Saint-Émilion Grand Cru




Enjoying the greatest wines of Beaujolais starts, as it usually does, with the lay of the land. In Beaujolais, 10 localities have been given their own AOC (Appellation of Controlled Origin) designation. They are: Saint Amour; Juliénas; Chénas; Moulin-à Vent; Fleurie; Chiroubles; Morgon; Régnié; Côte de Brouilly; and Brouilly.

Southwestern France


Bordeaux surrounds two rivers, the Dordogne and Garonne, which intersect north of the city of Bordeaux to form the Gironde Estuary, which empties into the Atlantic Ocean. The region is at the 45th parallel (California’s Napa Valley is at the38th), with a mild, Atlantic-influenced climate enabling the maturation of late-ripening varieties.

Central France

Loire Valley

The Loire is France’s longest river (634 miles), originating in the southerly Cévennes Mountains, flowing north towards Paris, then curving westward and emptying into the Atlantic Ocean near Nantes. The Loire and its tributaries cover a huge swath of central France, with most of the wine appellations on an east-west stretch at47 degrees north (the same latitude as Burgundy).

Northeastern France


Alsace, in Northeastern France, is one of the most geologically diverse wine regions in the world, with vineyards running from the foothills of theVosges Mountains down to the Rhine River Valley below.

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