From the Wine Shop
Château Dassault, Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classé MAGNUM Bordeaux, France 1998 (1.5L)
Though acquired and renamed by the Dassault family in 1955, the origins of this estate couldn’t be more purebred: It was initially founded a hundred years prior by the Fourcauds, the same family who established the Right Bank touchstone Château Cheval Blanc. Immediately after the acquisition, Marcel Dassault went to work with renovations, from better drainage in the vineyards to aesthetics to equipment upgrades in the cellar. The increase in quality was as dramatic as it was quick, and it soon paid off: In 1969, they were awarded Saint-Émilion’s prestigious Grand Cru Classé ranking, one they’ve proudly held ever since.
Today, Laurent, the grandson of Marcel, runs the operations, which have grown substantially over the years. Their holdings now dominate the historic appellation of Saint-Émilion and their perfectly preserved library releases are spectacles to behold. Following their recent partnership with the Rothschild family, I expect Dassault’s stock to continue rising.
In classic fashion, Dassault’s vines are mostly planted to Merlot, followed by Cabernets Franc and Sauvignon. After hand-harvesting their crop in ‘98, separate varietal fermentations were carried out in stainless steel. The resulting wine was subsequently transferred into French barriques, approximately 80% new, for 18 months. Upon bottling in the year 2000, today’s small batch of magnums remained untouched for 21 years.
We must again reiterate how much love I have for this vintage: 1998 from a blue-chip château like Dassault is in a prime drinking window! For the best experience, use an ah-so opener to extract the cork and pour gently into Bordeaux stems around 60-65 degrees. We recommend allowing the wine to briefly rest in your glass before savoring an evolving nose full of leather, espresso, spiced plum, cedar, and dusty black cherry, and an expansive palate that delivers deep, silky layers that glide into a seductively mineral finish. For those keen buyers who purchase more than one magnum—drink one or two now and uncork your others over the next five years. Cheers!
- RegionBordeaux / Right-Bank
- SoilSandy & Limestone
- BlendMerlot 65%, Cabernet Franc 30%, Cabernet Sauvignon 5%
- OakFrench Barriques, 80% New
- Temp.Serve at 65° F
- GlasswareBordeaux Stems
- PairingRoasted Quail w/ Balsamic Reduction
Through the grapevine
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