Château Cap de Faugeres, Côtes de Castillon
Château Cap de Faugeres, Côtes de Castillon

Château Cap de Faugeres, Côtes de Castillon

Bordeaux, France 2015 (750mL)
Regular price$34.00

Château Cap de Faugeres, Côtes de Castillon

Let’s be honest, Bordeaux makes a ton of wine, and a lot if it is less than impressive. That’s why the SommSelect tasting team has the arduous task of tasting a lot of bottles before we find the right one. Well, today’s discovery was a hands down winner. It is 100 percent the right one. Given the talent behind the farming and winemaking, including the famous Michel Rolland, and the special terroir beneath the vines it is actually not surprising that Cap de Faugères was the silky, savory, sumptuous wine that rose like cream to the top of several dozen different Bordeaux. Sitting on the border with Saint-Emilion, this is a wine with Grand Cru pedigree, but it’s made to be enjoyed without waiting 20 plus years. Indeed, at eight years old and hailing from the blockbuster 2015 vintage it is hitting its peak drinking window right now. 

*Note: this is a pre-arrival offer, we expect the wine to be at our warehouse and ready to ship in approximately two weeks.

The region of Bordeaux makes more wine than most countries. There are dozens of appellations, hundreds of Châteaux, and almost 300,000 acres of vines here. But the very best wines come from a few small village areas, generally clustered together on either bank of the Gironde river. For the Right Bank the top vineyards are centered around Pomerol and Saint-Emilion, the latter being especially distinct thanks to its rare (for Bordeaux) geology of clay and limestone. This soil produces wines that have more elegance, more silky soft texture than their burly, meaty counterparts on the Left Bank. But that special dirt doesn’t end right at the official border of Saint-Emilion, it continues into one of the “satellite” appellations right next door: Côtes de Castillon. Astute grape growers, and seasoned tasters like us, know that a good Côtes de Castillon can offer extremely similar levels of graceful power and aromatic complexity, for a fraction of the price. Silvio Denz is very astute, and he happens to own several Châteaux in Saint-Emilion proper, so he’s intimately familiar with this terroir. That’s why he maintains a few prized parcels of vines on the slopes of the Côtes de Castillon, that lie just above Saint-Emilion. Hence the “cap” in Cap de Faugères.

Silvio, along with Michel Rolland, the famous globetrotting consultant, and the entire team farm these vines exactly the way they do the more prestigious properties, using fully sustainable and natural methods at all times. The winemaking is also in lock step with the Saint-Emilion wines, with one major exception: No new oak is used for the Cap de Faugères. Instead it is aged for 12-14 months in 60% second use and 40% third use barrels. Again, the idea is a wine that has the full pedigree of its older siblings, but is ready to drink after just a few years in the bottle. And after eight years of aging we can say with full confidence that it is deliciously, exuberantly ready to drink!

I recommend that you treat the 2015 Cap de Faugères as you would a classified growth from a top Château, even though it costs four or five times less. Serve it at cellar temperature, around 60 degrees, in a large Bordeaux stem after a decant of 30-45 minutes. In the glass the color is a deep garnet with an indigo core, and just a hint of brick red at the rim. The aromatics are explosive: Fresh raspberries, ripe red plums, cherry compote, underbrush, sage, leather, smoked meat, and hints of green peppercorn. The silky, soft texture is framed by ripe tannins with just the right amount of grip and a core of saline minerals. It’s great with classics like steak frites or a burger a l’americain, but the elegance also pairs well with more sophisticated dishes like seared duck breasts. It’s a very versatile, always satisfying bottle of red, so you’ll want plenty on hand for the holidays and well beyond.

Château Cap de Faugeres, Côtes de Castillon

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