Chateau Monbousquet 1994

Bordeaux,St Emilion
Merlot,Cabernet Sauvignon

It is no secret to anyone following the Bordeaux wine scene that Monbousquet, with its new young, passionate proprietor, is pushing the envelop of quality. As a result, recent vintages have produced the finest wines I have ever tasted from this estate. Yields for 1993 were just over two tons an acre, and in 1994 and 1995, well under two tons an acre. In addition to trying to emulate the great success enjoyed by such St.-Emilion chateaux as Angelus, Troplong-Mondot, and Valandraud, Monbousquet is being bottled with no fining or filtration. Opaque purple-colored, with a tight but promising nose of cherry jam, blackcurrants, smoked herbs, and grilled meats, this dense, chewy, medium to full-bodied wine exhibits the vintage's tough tannin. However, this 1994 possesses enough fruit, glycerin, and extract to counterbalance the wine's structure. It will need 2-3 years of cellaring, yet promises to keep for 15 years.- WA90

The Winery

Chateau Monbousquet is another St. Emilion estate with a long history in the appellation that trace its history back to 1540. At the time, Monbousquet belonged to François de Lescours before it was the property of the well-established De Carles family. In fact, Monbousquet remained in the hands of the de Carles family for almost 150 years. At the close of World War 2, the Querre family began managing Monbousquet. With their efforts, Chateau Monbousquet began making better much wines. However, the fortunes and wine of Chateau Monbousquet really took a major jump in quality in 1993 when it was purchased by Gerard and Chantal Perse for $9,000,000. Chateau Monbousquet was the first winery purchase by Gerard Perse.

Shortly after Gerard Perse obtained Monbousquet, he began renovating the estate. The entire 32 hectare vineyard of Monbousquet was analyzed and drained. This limited rises in the water table during prolonged wet spells in future vintages. Next, they completely rebuilt the wine making facilities and cellars at Chateau Monbousquet. Gerard Perse also constructed an entirely new barrel aging cellar for his Right Bank estate.

The 32 hectare St. Emilion Monbousquet vineyard is planted to 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. The vines are planted to a density of 5,500 vines per hectare. The average age of the vines is 40 years. The terroir of sand, clay and gravel soils is not the best in St. Emilion. The vineyard can be divided into two sections. You find more sand and clay in the north and more gravel in the south. However, Gerard Perse gets the most out of it, starting with seeking out low yields as a way to increase concentration and improve quality. For example, in 2009, the yields were only 28 hectoliters per hectare.

To produce the wine of Chateau Monbousquet, vinification takes place in a combination of small, temperature controlled stainless steel vats and French oak tanks. Malolactic fermentation takes place in barrel. The wine of Chateau Monbousquet is aged in 60% new, French oak barrels for an average of 20 months. Nearly 6,000 cases of Monbousquet are produced each vintage.

Chateau Monbousquet also produces a dry white Bordeaux wine from one hectare of vines planted in sand, clay and gravel soils. The section of the vineyard devoted to white wine grapes is planted to 66% Sauvignon Blanc and 34% Sauvignon Gris. Chateau Monbousquet is fermented in stainless steel tanks, before aging in 50% new, French oak barrels . There is no malolactic fermentation or skin contact. About 350 cases of Monbousquet Blanc are produced each year.

There was a second wine, Angelique de Monbousquet, named after his daughter. However, Angelique de Monbousquet is no longer made. It is now blended into Esprit de Pavie. In February, 2013, Gerard Perse sold a portion of Chateau Monbousquet to a large, anonymous, French, pension fund. In interviews, Gerard Perse was quoted as saying, the sale was motivated by French tax laws to allow for his daughter Angelique and her husband, Henrique Da Costa to eventually take over all the Perse owned wineries which include Chateau Pavie, Chateau Bellevue Mondotte and Chateau Pavie Decesse as well as estates in the Cotes de Castillon appellation.

Information from The Wine Cellar Insider

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