2019 Chateau Tour Saint Christophe, Saint-Emilion, Grand Cru Classé, Red Bordeaux, France.
The dark inky and lush 2019 Tour Saint Christophe is made from 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc grown partly planted on narrow terraces in Saint-Emilion’s clay and limestone soils, which in this case brings out chocolatey rich fruit, especially in the Merlot, which dominates the core of this wine with dark berry, plum, currant and cherry fruit with delicate pencil lead, earthy loam, spice, anise, liqueur and tobacco leaf accents along with smooth ripe tannins and lingering sweet cedar, hoisin, fig and vanilla oak nuances. The aromatics are much the same, adding florals of lilac, blueberry and incense as well as mulberry and a touch of mineral for an overall complex and opulent wine, something we’ve come to enjoy from Grand Cru Saint-Emilion Bordeaux offerings in the last 20 to 30 years. I have read that the soils are unique here with red clay mainly on top with broken Astéries limestone inter-mixed over a firmer bedrock of salty limestone, that maybe add a distinctive quality. I got to this bottle, after it had been open a while, like it had been decanted, and I was happy it wasn’t quite as ripe as some Saint-Emilion wines have become and I appreciated the subtle austere notes and light savory tones behind the fruit and could see it going great with duck breast, squab and or lamb. The Tour Saint Christophe is part of a seven winery collection with mainly properties in the right bank, including the well regarded Chateau Haut-Brisson, also in Saint-Emilion and Enclos Tourmaline in Pomerol, which is 100% Merlot.
Chateau Tour Saintt Christophe, a Saint-Emilion Grand Cru estate, is located between the two famous properties of Troplong Mondot and Tertre Roteboeuf, with a classic 20 hectare vineyard that is planted to about 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, and is owned by the Vignobles K Group and Peter Kwok, who was born in Vietnam and his daughter. This Chateau, bought in 2012, is In a picturesque setting, on the hillside of Cassevert overlooking the Saint Laurent Valley, and has those intriguing terraces, and green forests behind it. Château Tour Saint Christophewas classified in 2022 as Grand Cru Classé.The wines are made by a notable team including Emmanuelle Fulchi, Thomas Duclos and world renown consultant Michel Rolland, who was helped Peter since 1997. The wine, which echos the vineyard make, 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc was cement vat fermented was aged in barrel for 14 months in 40% new French oak, 40% second fill barrels, and 20% third fill barrels, which shows on the full bodied palate and in the fine grained almost creamy tannin and luxurious structure. As I returned to sip again and again there was a vein of mixed spices and wild mint as some of the Cab Franc character emerged, which was welcomed and it proves entertaining throughout. I’m told this mature vineyard is located in Saint-Christophe-des-Bardes area of Saint-Emilion and the average age of vines is 30 years old, which shows here and there’s again a sense of restraint in the freshness of the wine, which is not overtly heavy at 14.3%. Not a bad value here, this looks to be a label to follow and this vintage looks to be very solid for mid term aging and a savvy buy on a wine list.
($42 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive