2015 Chateau de L’Abbaye Haut Medoc
Chateau de L’Abbaye had never heard the American proverb, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Or if they had, they totally ignored it. And their reward for ignoring it is this scrumptious gem of Bordeaux Rouge.
The vineyards of Château de L’Abbaye are in the heart of Haut-Médoc, right by the great Left Bank appellation of Saint-Estèphe. As you’d expect from Bordeaux vineyards of long history and rich terroir, Chateau de L’Abbaye has been a highly regarded Bordeaux for nearly 200 years. The 1850 Féret wine guide called Chateau de L’Abbaye one of the region’s best châteaux. And every subsequent edition of the guide praised the exemplary quality of Chateau de L’Abbaye’s wine. In 1969, the guide rated the Chateau among the finest in Bordeaux.
But the Chateau aspired to make wine of even greater enjoyment. Wine that’s fruity and fleshy. Wine that’s ripe for drinking at any age.
In 2001, the Chateau replanted every vine of their vineyards with Merlot. Planting Merlot in the Médoc — a region famous for Cabernet Sauvignon — was nothing less than countercultural. But Merlot, the Chateau believed, was the grape best suited to the sand and clay of their vineyards’ terroir.
The result has been an unequivocal success. And the 2015 vintage of Château de L’Abbaye Haut-Médoc is the pinnacle of their achievements. The vintage is a classic Bordeaux garnet color, with an intense bouquet of late summer berries and red stone fruits. Its palate couples power with finesse, fruity flesh with robust tannins.
After a glass — or a bottle, or two, or more — of 2015 Château de L’Abbaye Haut-Médoc, you’ll begin quoting a new proverb: “Even if the wine ain’t broke, you can make it better.”