2008 Chateau Potensac, Medoc
Deep ruby, medium rim; the 2008 Potensac looks robust in the decanter with no sign of ageing. The first nose was of ripe, fresh blackcurrants, with other mixed, red fruits (from the 40% Cabernet Sauvignon mostly). Not plummy at all despite its 42% Merlot content, Chateau Potensac 2008 gives aromas of flowers, tea leaves and cool mint (from the Cab Franc of 18%). ON palate, lightish, fresh cassis and cherry secondary to chewy tannins and minerality as we taste along. The tannins are fairly smooth by now. Licoriced, finishes with a hint of spice and dark chocolate of over 10 second fruit length. Structured, with classic Bordeaux wine tastes. A medium-rare sirloin on a hot grill would be the ideal combination.
Classified ‘Excellent’ in RP’s books, Chateau Potensac is a prestigious Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnel which should have been classed as a Fifth Growth according to Parker. Total of 84 ha of vines should find good economies of scale, and hence production cost has been driven low and so cost is always competitive. The vines are aged approx. 40, but there are some plots of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc aged 80 years. The density of the plant is 7700 pcs. / Hectare, so there is always intensity to the palate. 25% new oak is used; hence there is quite some wood spice for 2008. The owner also owns Super Second Chateau Leoville Lascase.
Perhaps the finest Potensac made since the 1982, the 2008 is undoubtedly a sleeper of the vintage. Harvested between October 4-16, this blend of 42% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 18% Cabernet Franc was fashioned from modest yields of 44 hectoliters per hectare. While lacking the prestige of a grand cru classe, it offers an amazing display of sweet black cherry and cassis fruit intermixed with notions of earth and spice. Good purity, a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, a seamless balance, ripe tannins, and fresh acids result in an amazing wine that should sell for a song. It should evolve for a decade or more.
Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, April 2009