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Château Chantecler, Pauillac Grand VinBordeaux, France 2018 (750mL)

The Daily Offer

Château Chantecler, Pauillac Grand Vin Bordeaux, France 2018 (750mL)

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Earth
Body
Tannin
Acid
Alcohol

If you’ve ever wondered what a secret paradise looks like for Bordeaux collectors and value investors, look no further than Chantecler’s Grand Vin from the enormously praised 2018 vintage. Among the final independent estates of Pauillac, this one-hectare cult château crafts a single cuvée that serves as a rare-earth magnet for Left Bank lovers of the highest order. While First Growths Mouton and Lafite churn out tens of thousands of cases and command the appellation’s highest 2018 prices ($800-$1,100+), next-door neighbor Château Chantecler produces just a few hundred cases, for about 10 times less.


And I mean “next-door neighbor” quite literally: Dead center of Pauillac’s extortionate vine real estate sits one lone postage-stamp parcel of vines surrounded by the iconic trinity of Mouton Rothschild, Lafite Rothschild, and Pontet-Canet. For me, Chantecler’s affordable, exceedingly rare Grand Vin has reigned as the ultimate blue-chip Bordeaux experience for years: It is an unfeigned Cab-Merlot loaded with polish and muscle, and in the 2018 vintage there may be no savvier Pauillac purchase. For those who want to thoroughly stock their cellar for years to come, we’re able to part with up to 12 bottles per person today—good luck finding it elsewhere! 

NOTE: Today's limited parcel of Chantecler is only available as a pre-offer and will be arriving at our warehouse on 10/29. 



You may have seen this property receiving top honors in Decanter’s magazine piece, “The Last Little Guys of Pauillac,” but Chantecler is a fascinating story that is worth exploring further. Yannick Mirande grew up in wine and his family has owned and worked vineyards in Pauillac for many generations. Over the years, the Mirandes assembled a respectable 12-hectare collection of vineyards and were able to earn a living selling their harvest to prestigious neighbors like Mouton and Lafite. In the aftermath of the 2000 “vintage of the century” hysteria, demand for Pauillac fruit skyrocketed and real estate values quickly followed suit. Yannick’s aunt was unable to resist the temptation of selling the majority of the Mirandes’ vines to Mouton Rothschild in 2004. Fortunately, Yannick salvaged the family’s crown jewel, a one-hectare hillside parcel in the Pauillac lieu-dit “Plateau de Padarnac,” for himself. Over the next six years, he continued farming and improving his small vineyard, selling fruit to various cru classé neighbors, and apprenticing while honing his skills in the cellar.


Having made great strides as a winemaker and vigneron, Yannick finally released his first vintage of Château Chantecler in 2010, made from that one single hectare. Even today, he still only bottles a few hundred cases of this one cuvée, composed of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot. To put that in context, consider that neighboring Mouton, Lafite, and Pontet-Canet own 676 acres of vines in Pauillac and produce a combined 60,000+ cases of Grand Vin each vintage! 


Yannick farms his small plot of vines using a hybrid of organic and lutte raisonnée practices. The soil in this hillside site is classic Pauillac gravel, with vines averaging 50 years of age. All grapes are de-stemmed, and aging occurs in new (60%) and once-used barrels for 18 months. The wine is lightly fined with egg whites before bottling. 


Yannick keeps one-upping his own wine. We called his 2015 a masterstroke and his 2016 a legendary triumph because nobody thought it could match the power, concentration, and stunning perfume of the previous five-star vintage...until it did. Then, once the ’17s hit last year, we asked ourselves if it was the best we’ve tasted from him—and now it’s 2018’s turn to take the podium. Decanted for 60 minutes and served in massive Bordeaux stems, this pours a hearty, healthy dark ruby core with magenta hues flashing out towards the rim. Immediately, powerful aromas of cassis, Damson plum pie, and black cherry liqueur come racing out followed by lingering notes of pipe tobacco, cedar box, pencil shavings, licorice, clove, wet gravel, and purple flowers. Unafraid to flaunt the seductive qualities of 2018, the palate is full-bodied, lush, and expansive, but maintains a persistent thread of crushed minerals and lifted acidity that allow the finish to swell with gorgeous elegance. Because of its youthful polish and profundity, I do not consider it infanticide to drink this Pauillac today, although I’d be remiss to not mention the aging potential here: This will see 2030 with ease and should continue chugging along for many, many years if cellared properly. Cheers!




Château Chantecler, Pauillac Grand Vin Bordeaux, France 2018 - SommSelect

  • CountryFrance
  • RegionBordeaux
  • Sub-RegionPauillac
  • SoilSand & Gravel
  • FarmingSustainable
  • BlendCabernet Sauvignon 60%, Merlot 40%
  • Alcohol14.5%
  • OakNew & Used French Barrels

  • CountryFrance
  • RegionBordeaux
  • Sub-RegionPauillac
  • SoilSand & Gravel
  • FarmingSustainable
  • BlendCabernet Sauvignon 60%, Merlot 40%
  • Alcohol14.5%
  • OakNew & Used French Barrels
  • Temp.Serve at 60-65° F
  • GlasswareLarge Bordeaux Stem
  • DrinkingNow-2033+
  • Decanting1-2 Hours
  • PairingBordeaux-Style Leg of Lamb