This opulent 2009 from the up-and-coming appellation of Cotes de Castillon (a treasure-trove of values east of St.-Emilion) is the home property of the well-known winemaking consultant, Stephane Derenoncourt. Dominated by its Merlot component (70%), it offers up notes of mocha, roasted coffee, sweet kirsch, black currants and hints of wood smoke as well as caramels. Pure and plump with silky tannins, impressive concentration and good balance, this hedonistic 2009 should drink well for a decade. Drink: 2012 - 2022
|Score: 91||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (199), March 2012|
Once again a sleeper of the vintage from this over-performing estate owned by the brilliant consultant Stephane Derenoncourt and his wife, Christine, the 2009 l'A was cropped at 34 hectoliters per hectare, and the final blend was 70% Merlot and the rest mostly Cabernet Franc. The natural alcohol came in at 14.5%. The result is an opaque purple-colored wine revealing an attractive smoky, blackberry, cassis, cherry, graphite, and ink-scented bouquet. Full-bodied, layered, dense, and pure, this is a beauty to enjoy over the next decade or more. It should be one of the great bargains of the vintage. (Tasted three times.)
|Score: 90/92||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (188), April 2010|
The 2009 Domaine de l’A, the last vintage blended with Cabernet Sauvignon (5%), has a refined and detailed bouquet that is impressive given how much ripeness and concentration the growing season bestowed. I appreciate the purity of the fruit here, with sensual blueberry and blackberry fruit tinged with violet. The palate is medium-bodied with rounded tannin, moderate acidity with a sweet core of black and blue fruit, offset by a dash of allspice and black pepper towards the finish. This is a very well crafted wine from Stéphane Derenoncourt. Tasted at Berry Brothers & Rudd vertical with Stéphane Derenoncourt. 2018 - 2023
|Score: 91||Neal Martin, Vinous Table (vinous.com), July 2018|
Tasted at a negociant. An opulent, quite ravishing nose with kirsch, blueberry and succulent red fruits, a little untamed at first but calming down and coalescing in the glass. The palate is very rich with firm tannins, very pure, very New World in style but the balance and the freshness on the finish is commendable. It deserves 1-2 years bottle age just to mellow. Tasted March 2010.
|Score: 87/89||Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, April 2010|
Blueberry and violets on the nose. Medium- to full-bodied, with fine tannins and a medium finish. Lovely raciness and balance to this. A little closed, but classy.
|Score: 90/93||James Suckling, WineSpectator.com, April 2010|
Very dark. Headily scented and punches way above its weight. Dry oak afterwards but if this is a decent price, what is not to like? Just so much better than most Côtes wines. Well up to the standard of most St-Émilions. Date tasted 28th March 2010. Drink 2015-2024.
|Score: 16.5||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2010|
This is the home property of Stephane Derenoncourt in the Cotes de Castillon. Always a lovely, smooth, sweet and supple wine. Summer pudding red fruits on the nose. Lovely fresh raspberry fruit on the palate. Cream. Slick and modern but with a delicate touch.
|Score: 15.5||Farr Vintners, November 2009|
More opulence this year but still fine and elegant in style. Silky tannins. Long, lingering finish. Drink 2013-2020.
|Score: 16.5||James Lawther MW, Decanter.com, April 2010|