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91 Points - Mark Squires - The Wine Advocate - “The 2016 Petit Castel is a blend of 50% Merlot, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Syrah and 5% Petit Verdot, all aged for 12 months in French oak (one-third each of new, second and third use barrels). It comes in at 14.5% alcohol. This is the first and only time that Syrah has ever appeared in this Bordeaux-blend. Next to the Grand Vin, the key difference here (this being a Merlot rather than Cabernet-dominated blend) is usually approachability and style more than quality. Typically, Grand Vin is better but not always, especially as time goes on. Some vintages may also be more Merlot-friendly. This doesn't seem so approachable just now. It is a bit linear in its youth and tightly wound. It needs to open, but instead it shows plenty of power as it evolves. Tight and not overly expressive just now, this really needs some cellaring. With decanting, it does begin to open a little, showing a touch of herbs and a hint of beef. The finish was complex and intriguing. If you can, lay it down for a few years. It definitely needs a couple, at the least. That may not be its peak. Admittedly, this is a little hard to read just now, but it should eventually show very well. It finally opened up a little.”
Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot
Vintage: 2016