Along with Ch. Latour and Ch. Beychevelle, Ch. d’Issan has one of the oldest histories of any wine property in the Médoc. Legend has it that this wine was served at the wedding of Eleanor of Aquitaine to Henry Plantagenet, ushering in 300 years of English rule – featuring the birth of claret, and Bordeaux’s most glorious centuries, many believe ! The Cruse family recently celebrated their 70th anniversary of owning the property, which was bought by Emmanuel’s grand-parents in 1945. He has made many investments in quality improvements, and now retains only the greatest vats – in 2016, just 45% of the total production – for inclusion in the Grand Vin. He takes advice from Eric Boissenot, the Médoc’s leading consultant wine-maker, who advises all the First Growths. The 2016 blend contains 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, with 36% Merlot, and is now ageing in 50% new barrels.
In colour, this is medium deep, purple-garnet, the nose showing open, cherry-fresh aromas, both ripe and fragrant. Palate has dense, well-rounded fruit intensity, with luscious, creamy texture. There was regularly a 20 degree difference between day- and night-time temperatures during the summer here, which allowed perfect ripeness to be achieved, while fine acidity was retained. Tannins are gentle, well-rounded. This wine has great energy, power and length, the finish being expansive, harmonious and absolutely thrilling (for drinking 2022-2040+).
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