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Under-the-Radar Value Wine — the $39 Bordeaux that Drinks Like It’s a $60 Grand Cru!
July 31, 2020



New Arrival: Revisiting Our Favorite Saint and Most Exciting Value Find from the Classic 2016 Vintage. Just 4,000 Cases Produced from the Off-the-Beaten-Path Producer of Saint-Emilion. A Final 15 Cases!

“The real Bordeaux is a region that produces a truly remarkable, seemingly endless number of fabulous wines that the consumer can still afford. Whatever your budget – under $25, under $50, under $100 – no region in the world comes close to matching Bordeaux for pedigreed red wines that are also relatively easy to find.” - Antonio Galloni, Vinous

Today’s featured wine remains one our most exciting value finds from our extensive visits to Bordeaux over the past decade. It is one of those off-the-beaten-path, small, eighteenth-century Saint-Émilion properties that my GPS had a hard time finding when I originally visited the estate back in 2014. In fact, given the size of this estate, it's hard to call this charming countryside farmhouse a château, especially when you consider that the production of the grand vin is a mere 4,000 cases in total. Regardless of its size, Tour Saint Christophe sits on the sacred limestone plateau between the ancient villages of Bardes de Saint Château and Saint-Émilion, and its flagship wine offers striking approachability, layers of rich fruit, silky tannins, and classic minerality. This under-the-radar Saint-Émilion has turned a lot of heads in the wine industry and has captured critical praise.

As you know by now, the 2016 has surpassed 2015 as the finest vintage since 2010, and like the 2010, it is more restrained and structured in style, a complementing departure from the riper and bolder 2019, 2018, 2015 and 2009 releases. We prefer the 2016 as it is simply a more classic vintage and expression of energy and BALANCE than the more modern-minded 2015. Galloni says, “I found many 2016s to be even better from bottle than they were during the spring futures campaign. The best 2016s are powerful, richly layered, vibrant and stunningly beautiful, not to mention incredibly delicious and alluring. For so many wines and estates, 2016 is an epic vintage.

To IWM, the Tour Saint Christophe Grand Cru Classé is one of those "epic" value expressions. It is a rare, down-to-earth value find that drinks like it costs over $60; it's the perfect introduction — and more — to the explosive fruit and terroir-driven wines of Saint-Émilion. Unfortunately, with its limited production, it is not one of those wines we can readily get more of; however, thanks to our good friends in Bordeaux and Jean Christophe Meyrou at Tour Saint Christophe, we have secured a final 15-case allocation. The wine arrives next week in six packs. Lock yours in, as there is simply not much of the 2016 remaining.

Featured Wines: Our Favorite St-Emilion Value - Tour Saint Christophe (Click to Order)



Additional Notes and Reviews:



2016 Tour Saint-Christophe
Christopher Deas, Italian Wine Merchants: “Tasted three times during En Primeur. With its prime location across from Troplong Mondot and near Tertre Rotebouef and Barde Haut, and its superior guidance from Peter Kwok’s team, this small, biodynamically run estate is easily one of the most watched projects on the Right Bank. Their terraced old-vine vineyards reach through the limestone and get to the blue clay underneath to give the wine depth and minerality to go along with its signature density of fruit. It is easily one of the values of the vintage, and that is saying a lot as I had tasted through more than 400 wines. I had the same reaction with the 2015, but in 2016 there is more freshness, verve and energy. Sure, the silky texture and ripe tannins that have become a trademark of the estate are hugely present, but there is lift and nuances to go along with the red and black fruit. The acidity is higher in 2016, and we believe this is their most complete and complex wine to date. It is so good — you can almost drink it now; our recommendation is to let the wine decant for two hours if you are looking to do so. We are not alone; this wine sold out in hours from the négociants on release and has already sold out at many merchants across the world. Just 4,000 cases are produced and few wines deliver so much at this price point. Bravo to managing director Jean Christophe Meyrou and winemaker Jerome Aguirre for making a wine of this quality accessible to so many.” (4/2017)

94+ Points, Neal Martin, Vinous: “The 2016 Tour Saint Christophe has a wonderful, beautifully defined bouquet of blackberry, raspberry, crushed stone and hints of pressed flowers, all very focused and delineated. The palate is well balanced, with fine but quite firm tannins and well-judged acidity, and very persistent toward the finish. I appreciate the harmony and intensity of this Tour Saint Christophe. A wonderful Saint-Émilion from 'team Kwok'!” (01/2019)

2017 Tour Saint-Christophe
Christopher Deas, Italian Wine Merchants: "Tasted two times from barrel, alongside the team's stunning new efforts at Bellefont Belcier. To my thinking, Tour Saint Christophe is our top value recommendation from Saint-Émilion during the En Primeur tasting trip. The 2017 is toned down from the ripe and more massive 2015 and is simply more classic, offering even more precision, freshness, and tension, while maintaining the signature texture and richness of the house. The terroir speaks here, and there is tremendous energy from the prized limestone plateau that screams through the elegant layers of fruit. Expect to find a red and black fruit profile with nuances of black cherry, blueberries, blackberries, crushed flowers, herbs, chalk and a savoriness on the finish that manages to gracefully linger. Few wines are so exciting to watch and provide so much at the under $35 en primeur price. Best is yet to come." (4/2018)

Should you have any questions on these exciting wines, or would like to take advantage of this offer while supplies last, we are asking that you email orders back to me at chris.deas@italianwinemerchants.com, connect with your portfolio manager, or mention receipt of this offer if calling the store. All orders are subject to confirmation.

All my best,
Chris