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90 Points James Suckling
Some juicy fruit with berries and currants on the center-palate, together with fine tannins. Savory.
Charmail takes its name from its history that dates back to the 16th century, namely the Trevey family of Charmail who settled at that time in the Médoc. Built in the middle of the 19th century, Chateau Charmail commands a charming estate overlooking the Gironde on the northern side of Saint-Estephe. Surrounding the chateau, the vineyard is all of a piece, situated on gravel crests and at present covers some twenty-eight hectares. It is planted to Cabernet franc and Cabernet-Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot.
The owner Bernard d'Halluin strives to create wines of balance, and since 2017 has HVE3 certification for sustainability. Winemaking is performed by the former owner, Olivier Sèze, a trained agronomist, well-versed in the latest enological methods. Sèze has be-come a veritable pioneer ("maverick" might be the more accurate term) in the Médoc. Since 1991, his successful development of the technique called, "pre-fermentation, cold maceration" has roused interest through-out the Médoc, in Saint-Emilion, and even at the Institute of Enology in Bordeaux. The technique is similar to that widely employed by the Burgundian enologist, Guy Accad, although much less sulfur dioxide is used at Charmail. It results in deeply colored, "fatter" wines with softer tannins than might otherwise be the case using traditional fermentation techniques.
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