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Vieux Chateau Saint Andre 2015 Montage St Emilion

Medium ruby; wide pinkish rim. The nose fills with strawberries, blackberry, cassis, leather, baked forest fruit, vanilla and the palate black cherry and cacao, with leather and undertones of liquorice, gravel minerals. There are ample, rough tannins leading to a soft, medium, dry finish.

This wine has Petrus and Jean Pierre Moueix connections. Jean-Claude Berrouet who is the director at Pétrus responsible for producing some of the best wines makes this wine. He also vinifies some of the most famous JP wines! Remember, Petrus 2015 is a WA100 wine! 

So, this wine with the price tag on the 2015 vintage is a genuinely eye-watering one, which is why we were thrilled to discover a bottle of wine which boasts the same pedigree, but at the smallest sliver of the price. And little wonder Vivino with its tasters rated it 4.4 out of 5 says this is 'great value for money, should(sic)usually cost three times as much and is among top 5% of all wines in the world.'  Neal Martin, then on the RP writing team, says, "If you cannot afford Petrus this year and still need a bit of Berrouet in your wine, then this is a perfect place to start."  James Suckling also writes that Montage St Emilion is 'the very best place to look for both quality and value'. We think they are all fair comments. 

With 11 hectares, at 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, with  30% new French oak, giving13.5% alcohol. There is for the class every bit of complexity from the grape composition. The vineyard is getting older, with an average age of vines at 40 years, hence a bit of intensity and length.

For better enjoyment of the wine, you should chill the wine to 16 Celsius(for power, acidity, finesse, fruit release, alchohol suppression)and decant the wine before serving, with the ABV at 14.5%. Vines planted on soils of heavy clays, most facing south. Some zones have more limestone than others. 

The score is OK, for example, WA91. 

The 2015 Vieux Château Saint André is the estate of upcoming winemaker Jean-Claude Berrouet (look out for him...I think he has a bright future). This has a sense of brightness on the nose, with vivid black cherry, cassis and blueberry fruit, very poised and focused. The palate is very well balanced with fine tannin. There is real backbone here, a lovely graphite seam and though the finish is a little abrupt, it should fill out by the time of bottling. If you cannot afford Petrus this year and still need a bit of Berrouet in your wine, then this is a perfect place to start.

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