Château La Prade Côtes de Francs, Bordeaux, France, 2016
Overview of the Wine
Chateau La Prade is located in the Cotes de Francs which is the smallest of the Bordeaux appellations, occupying only around 1000 acres on the highest slopes of the Gironde (Right Bank), halfway between the valleys of the Isle and the Dordogne, to the east of Saint Emilion.
But what really makes this estate special is the man behind it… Nicolas Thienpont. He’s the man behind several of St. Emilion’s hottest estates, including Pavie Macquin, Larcis Ducasse and Beausejour Duffau. His family of negociants, originating in Flanders, also owns Vieux Chateau Certan, one of the best-known estates in Pomerol, as well as one of the most expensive and wines in Bordeaux, Chateau Le Pin.
Located in Saint Cibard, near the Thienpont family home, Nicolas bought La Prade in 2000 due to its prime location on the limestone plateau. The Chateau La Prade Cotes de Francs 2016 is very attractive and perfumed, rich in the nose with a blend of 88% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc. There is lots of dense Merlot fruit here with great freshness and personality, just a lovely wine with good fruit and spicy intensity.
The behind-the-scenes for La Prade is simply amazing considering the price charged. The work that goes into this property is nearly identical to the way Nicolas farms and vinifies his 100-point wines. After the fruit is hand-harvested, it is vinified in concrete vats. After fermentation, the wine is aged 12-16 months in French oak with a third new each year.
In the great 2016 vintage Nicolas, as expected, knocked this one out of the park.
Grape / Blend
Merlot, Cabernet Franc
Currant, black cherry, plum, bell pepper, olive, oak, smoke, toast, tar, tobacco, raspberry, cassis, violet, pepper and green bean
92+ Points - Robert Parker Wine Advocate
"The medium to deep garnet-purple colored 2016 La Prade bursts boldly from the glass with notions of chocolate-covered cherries, blueberry compote and plum preserves with suggestions of eucalyptus, espresso, licorice and cedar chest plus a waft of violets. Full-bodied, rich and plushly textured, the decadent black fruit and spicy layers deliver a very long, impactful finish. This is so tempting to drink right now, but it will age beautifully." - Lisa Perrotti-Brown
92 Points - Wine Spectator
"The vibrant plum and blueberry fruit is rounded and generous in feel, with light spice and licorice notes on the back end. This will be a fun drink in the short term while you wait for the big boys to mature."
Product size: 750ml