Château La Marzelle 2018

Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classé

After 2017, the 2018 vintage was the second year in the organic conversion process whose virtuous demarche began at Chateau La Marzelle in 2008. It is already the fourth year that the biodynamic process, and its principles, has been undertaken in perfect accordance with our terroirs.

The weather conditions of this year presented a mild and rainy winter and spring that, consequently, brought with them an extremely severe mildew pressure that came with virulent outbreaks. However, as from mid-July right up until the harvest, we had very dry conditions with heat-wave type temperatures. These very favorable climatic conditions permitted us to focus our entire attention on managing the quality and disease-free state of the grapes in order to bring them to optimal ripening conditions.
The grape-picking began on the 25th of September, lasted for 4 weeks and was manifested by a determined will to obtain the most perfect phenolic maturity in each one of our parcels.

This year in particular, our state-of-the-art sorting systems, by densiometric and berry-calibration worked wonders! This together with a very precise individual parcel selection, was made possible through the use of appropriately sized vessels, double-walled truncated cone-shaped stainless steel vats but also 500-liter barrels and amphorae. This equipment allowed us to remain in line with our extremely demanding quality objectives. We were able to pick perfectly healthy grapes and only those of optimal maturity.

The soft and respectful vinifications ensued in vats, in 500-liter barrels and in amphorae, in the traditional spirit of Chateau La Marzelle which is to obtain powerful wines but with a characteristic elegance and balance that expresses the aromatics of the fruit supported by the necessary tension.
Once the fermentations were finished, the wines were aged in new French oak barrels but also in terra-cotta amphorae in order to preserve the fruit, the freshness and the perfect balance of the wine.

This vintage exemplified a particularly demanding and stylistic exercise but the collective mobilization of our expert teams and their know-how, and by the technical equipment, provided us ample hope regarding the final quality of the vintage that proudly stands up to its “bigger siblings” of 2015 and 2016 that came before.

Reviews

JM QUARIN - Primeur

94/100
- “Ma meilleure note donnée à ce cru en primeur. Que de progrès depuis 2012 et quelle heureuse transformation depuis l'usage de la biodynamie (2015). Couleur sombre, intense et belle. Nez intense, fin, fruité, mûr et suave. Bouche aérienne, fondante, juteuse, avec de l'éclat à partir du milieu. S'en suit un goût profond de mûre et de fruits noirs. Le vin s'achève long, sans cesse fondant, avec une expression différente. Il est incrachable. Bravo ! 2026 – 2044”

MARKUS DEL MONEGO - Primeur

93/100
- “Deep purple red colour with violet hue and black core. Opulent nose with spicy aroma, hints of white lilies, plums and blackberries, distinct roasting aroma and blackcurrant jam, discreet spiciness in the background. On the palate well structured with ripe tannins, convincing aromatic length and fine fruit.”

James Suckling - Primeur

92-93
- “A pretty and refined Bordeaux with dark berries, wet earth and spice. Medium to full body and fine tannins. Flavorful and characterful. From biodynamically farmed vineyards.”

Yves BECK - Primeur

91-93
- “Rouge grenat violacé. Bouquet filigrane, élégant, révélant un peu d’élevage anis que des notes de myrtilles et de menthe. Attaque crémeuse et friande. Au palais le vin est doté de tannins aux grains fins et d’une bonne intensité aromatique. La Marzelle affiche de la finesse, une bonne densité et une agréable fraicheur en fin de bouche. Ce n’était évidemment pas une année facile et le résultat en est d’autant plus convaincant.”

Decanter - Jane Anson - Primeur

92/100
- “One of the bigger wines in St-Emilion in 2018, but as there are so few of these in this vintage, it's quite enjoyable. Powerful notes of liquorice, slate and slices of pure blueberry are set up against bitter chocolate and the tannin-acidity combo that takes no prisoners. Tasted several times and always gave the impression that this is big and hunkered down. Successful.”

James Molesworth - Primeur

89-92
- “Solidly built, with a graphite frame around a mix of smoldering tobacco, anise, steeped plum and blackberry compote flavors. The gusty, tarry finish is a bit chunky but should settle in. -J.M.”

Anthocyanes - Yohan Castaing - Primeur

94-96
- “Beaucoup de fraicheur avec des notes de graphite, de fleurs, de fruits noirs bien murs. Bouche de cerise noire, charnue et juteuse avec une charge tannique importante mais un ensemble bien construit et frais. Une belle bouteille qui vieillira admirablement.”

Wine Doctor - Chris Kissack - Primeur

92-94
- “Château La Marzelle 2018: The harvest was from September 27th until October 12th, with a yield of just 25 hi/ha, a modest crop which presumably reflects the domaine's ongoing conversion to organic viticulture. The blend is 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. A very dark style on the nose, somewhat introverted on the first sample, more open on the second, with black olive and grilled black cherry fruit, with a smoky, tobacco and caramel overlay. A deliciously confident but well-framed texture at the start, with warm grip to it, supporting a bed of toasted black cherry, black olive and black bean fruits through the middle. The tannins are full, dry, grippy and tightly knit, somewhat sooty, and they certainly dominate the palate and remain apparent through the finish. In terms of style it remains very modern, as suggested by its inky black colour in the glass, but the extraction sits well with the style of the vintage. This should provide some good drinking. Tasted twice.”

Wine Enthusiast - Roger Voss - Primeur

93/100
- “92–94. Barrel Sample. From a biodynamic vineyard comes a pure, dark fruited wine with great tannins and powerful fruits. It has bold tannins that add to the rich structure of the wine. This is an estate with a good future.”

RVF - Pierre Citerne - Primeur

16-16,5
- “Très sombre, moelleux mais sans relâchement dans sa trame ni pesanteur alcoolique, ce vin moderne, extrêmement velouté offre un grand plaisir tactile, en même temps qu'une remarquable proximité du fruit, nuancé de suie et moka.”

SERIOT DANIEL - Primeur

92-94
- “Des parfums de cerises et baies noires, finement épicées et réglissées se révèlent à l'agitation. La bouche est élégante, fruité dans une construction longiforme d'une bonne densité un peu plus haute dans un centre délicatement charnu. La finale est allongée, fraîche, veloutée et aromatique.”

Magnum - Bettane & Desseauve - Primeur

96/100
“[18/20] WORLD CLASS -Grand terroir, grand talent, grande année : un 2018 qui fera date et s'inscrit dans le panorama des très grands vins mondiaux de l'année. Remarquable velouté de texture rappelant les plus grands pomerols, longueur impressionnante, sans doute le meilleur de l’histoire.”

Wine Advocate - Lisa Perrotti - Primeur

92-94
- “This is a 29-year-old, 15-hectare vineyard planted in the lieu-dit of La Marzelle. The blend is 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, and the wine has 14% alcohol. Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2018 la Marzelle slips sensuously from the glass with notes of violets, lavender and black tea over a warm black cherries, mulberries and baked plums core with wafts of fallen leaves and mossy bark. Full, rich, spicy and seductive, it has a velvety texture and long, opulent finish.”

René GABRIEL - Primeur

17/20
“Molliges, fruchtiges Bouquet, Erdbeerkonfitüre, Kirschenkompott, Caramel, Vanille. Breiter, süsser Gaumen mit kräftiger Frucht, üppiger Struktur, sandigem Tannin, mittlerer Aromatik, herber Abgang. 17/20 2024 - 2036”

Antonio Galloni - Primeur

88-91
- “The 2018 La Marzelle is a heady, exotic Saint-Émilion endowed with quite a bit of aromatic and flavor intensity.”

vvWine.com- Adrien Velsen - Primeur

18+/91-93
- “Rubis profond, nez ouvert, clairement influencé par le Merlot, crème, fruit de prune mûre, de mûre, et les parfums floraux, très complexe. Corsé, démarrage progressif, puis devient rapidement plus serré, montre train et estampes, la structure et la race, les tanins sont distinctifs, finement tissés. Prend du temps et de maturité, devrait se développer très bien. 2028-2045”

Vert de Vin - Primeur

92-93
- “Le nez est fruité, racé et offre une petite minéralité ainsi qu’une jolie définition du fruit. On y retrouve des notes de mûre juteuse/charnue, de cassis juteux/charnu et plus légèrement de fraise associées à de fines pointes de chocolat et de toasté. La bouche est fruitée, équilibrée et offre une bonne définition, de la tension, de la précision, de la gourmandise ainsi que de la droiture. En bouche ce vin exprime des notes de mûre juteuse/charnue, de fraise juteuse/charnue et plus légèrement de cassis juteux/charnu associées à de petites touches de chocolat, de toasté ainsi qu’à de discrètes pointes d’amande toastée. Fine sensation granuleuse en fin de bouche.”

Byklum - Avril 2021

92
- “Ruby. Blackberries, anise, spices, blueberries and vanilla nose, scented. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, fruit driven, spices, juicy, elegant texture, long finish”

Terre de Vin - Primeur

92-93
- “Nez compact, marqué par des notes cuites et grillées. La bouche est dense, assez opulente et tapissante, les tanins soyeux. La Marzelle se distingue par un profil enrobant, gourmand. Il manque à ce 2018 un supplément de tonicité qu'il y avait dans l'excellent 2016.”

Jeff LEVE - Primeur

92-94
- “Inky and dense, the wine is lush, ripe, floral and loaded with dark cherries, espresso, smoke, licorice and round, silky textures. Vibrant and fruity with flesh on its bones, the finish is packed with dark black fruits”

Jeb Dunnuck - Primeur

93-95
- “A wine that should match or exceed the brilliant 2016, the 2018 Château La Marzelle comes from a 15-hectare vineyard lying on the plateau and is a blend of 80/20 Merlot and Cabernet Franc that will spend 16 months in new French oak. Yields were a soul-crushing 15 hectoliters per hectare (this is after sorting) yet the wine is brilliant, offering a full-bodied, sexy, layered style as well as terrific aromas of black and blue fruits, spice box, violets, and earth. Deep, concentrated, and powerful, yet also elegant, it’s a brilliant wine in the making. Tasted twice.”

Weinzeitung - Primeur

18/20
- “Intensives Bouquet, geröstete Kraüter, Kaffee, Brombeeren. Gute Dichte, saftig, feines Tannin, elegante Säure, gute Struktur, reife Brombeeren, zart Himbeeren im Finish, gute Länge. Zweimal verkostet.”

Peter Moser- FALSTAFF - Primeur

92/100
- “Tiefdunkles Rubingranat, violette Reflexe, dezente Randaufhellung. Attraktives schwarzes Beerenkonfit, florale Nuancen, ein Hauch von Cassis, frische Orangenzesten. Saftig, elegant, frische Kirschen, feine Tannine, ausgewogen und mineralisch, bleibt haften , ein facettenreicher, lebendigerSpeisenbegleiter.”

Perswijn - Primeur

****(*)
- “Geur: intens, conture, balsamico Smaak: machtig, iets overdone in extractie”

Weinverstand Brief – Ulrich Sautter - Primeur

91-93
- “Verschlossen, Kakaobohne, Blaubeere, Zimt. Weicher Fond, körnig, weitmaschig, gut fokussiert in einem etwas breiteren Format, dennoch nicht alkoholisch. Gute Phenolreife, sogar recht saftig abklingend mit sehr präsenter Kalk-Mineralität. Eine gut ausbalancierte Umsetzung des Jahrgangs, mit Augenmaß extrahiert.”

Yohan Castaing - Gault & Millau - Primeur

94-96
- “Beaucoup de fraicheur avec des notes de graphites, de fleurs, de fruits noirs bien murs. Bouche de cerise noire, charnue et juteuse avec une charge tannique importante mais un ensemble bien construit et frais. Une belle bouteille qui vieillira admirablement.”

Extraprima-Primeur

91-91
- “Der La Marzelle besteht aus 75 % Merlot, 20 % Cabernet Franc und 5 % Cabernet Sauvignon, ausgebaut in 85 % neuen Fässern. Guter, satter Saint-Emilion, dicht und süß, mit wenig Säure und schokola-diger Fülle, bleibt er insgesamt eher stumpf.”

Vinum - Primeur

16.5/20
- “Fruchtige Noten in der Nase; schlan-ker, aber dichter, eleganter Bau, von grosser Präzision, stilvoll, lang, mit knackigem Tannin; hat Klasse.”

Gault Millau

94-96
- “Beaucoup de fraicheur avec des notes de graphite, de fleurs, de fruits noirs bien murs. Bouche de cerise noire, charnue et juteuse avec une charge tannique importante mais un ensemble bien construit et frais. Une belle bouteille qui vieillira admirablement.”

Markus Del Monego - Janvier 2021

93
- “Deep purple colour with violet hue and black core.Multi-layered nose with rich aroma reminiscent of juicy plums, black cherries and ripe blackberries, hints of black currant jelly, mild spices, fine toasting and hints of white flowers in the background. On the palate well balanced with ripe tannins, fine acidity, elegant fruit and discreet spiciness lingering in the aftertaste, a wine with convincing length.”

James Suckling - Janvier 2021

92
- “Intense aromas of violets, blackberries, roasted coffee and sandalwood. Savory notes of dried herbs and black mushrooms, too. It’s medium-to full-bodied with firm, chewy tannins. Concentrated and flavorful with tightly knit layers of dark berries. Try from 2025.”

Jancis Robinson - Janvier 2021

16.5
- “Near Figeac and Cheval Blanc so with some gravel and some Cabernet Sauvignon though the majority of the vines are Merlot. Deep crimson. Intense, ripe, savoury nose. Juicy palate in which the tannins are almost submerged by purple-fruit flavours – blackberry? – but then the tannins come in at the end. A very competent, ageworthy St-Émilion.”

Jeff Leve - Mars 2021

92
- “Licorice, chocolate, black cherry, smoke and vanilla are all over the place. Silky, soft and polished, this medium-bodied gem is forward, fresh, fruity and vibrant. La Marzelle is a hot property that keeps getting better and still sells for a fair price.”

Peter Moser - Février 2021

94
- “Dunkles Rubingranat, violette Reflexe, dezente Randaufhellung. Attraktives Bukett nach frischen schwarzen Waldbeeren, feiner Holzwürze und etwas Nougat, Bourbonvanille ist unterlegt, einladend. Saftig, elegant, reife Kirschen, etwas Cassis, feine, gut integrierte Tannine, frisch strukturiert, ein lebendiger Speisenbegleiter mit Reifepotenzial.”

Jeannie Cho Lee - Février 2021

93
- “An attractive nose of violets, sweet spices and red plums; followed by a palate filled with dried jasmine flowers and dark berries. Beautifully composed with velvety tannins and a wonderful lightness. Only 14% alcohol in this vintage which is considered moderate in 2018.”

Itzak Litwar - Février 2021

91-92
- “Very cherry nose, spicy berries, luscious and delicate fruit, well-composed with a velvety texture, silky tannins and lovely fruity finish. An attractive and elegant wine.”

Colin Hay - mars 2021

- “Very dark and quite extracted, this is practically opaque at the its garnet/purple core and with a very fuzzy almost radiant lavender/purple rim. With just a little patience and a gentle swirl of the glass, this opens very gradually like the first rose of summer, revealing a beautifully intensely cedar and graphite-rich dark briary fruit with notes of sous bois, dried Italian herbs and a hint of fennel seed, nutmeg and cinnamon. On the palate, this is again very deep, dark and earthy with a rich, plump fruit, ultra-soft yet chewy tannins and a nicely lingering finish with something for both the very top and the bottom of the palate. Very harmonious, very balanced and with a lovely floral lift that stops this becoming heavy.”

Adrian Van Velsen - Mars 2021

91-93
- “rubis profond. Nez ouvert, nettement marqué par le Merlot, la crème, la prune mûre, la mûre, des senteurs également fleuries, très complexes. Prélude corsé et souple, puis se resserrant rapidement, montre tension et pression, structure et race, les tanins sont caractéristiques, finement tissés. Prend du temps et de la maturité, devrait se développer très bien. 2028-2045”

Bettane & Desseauve - Mars 2021

94
- “Ce vin enchante par sa sincérité d'arômes et le grain magnifique de sa texture. On est dans le satiné et le grand raffinement tannique. Superbe expérience à prévoir avec ce la Marzelle qui vieillira lumineusement.”

Antonio Galloni - Mars 2021

90
- “The 2018 La Marzelle is bold, juicy and immediate. Inky red/purplish berry fruit, blood orange, mocha, spice, new leather, cedar and rose petal are pushed forward. Supple and inviting, the 2018 will drink well right out the gate. La Marzelle has been inconsistent of late, but the wines can be quite alluring.”

Lisa Perrotti-Brown - mars 2021

92
- “A blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, the 2018 la Marzelle has 14% alcohol and a deep garnet-purple color, leaping from the glass with vivacious notes of stewed red and black cherries, boysenberries and plum preserves, plus wafts of camphor and ground cloves with a touch of dusty soil. The medium to full-bodied palate is chock-full of juicy black fruits, supported by soft tannins and bold freshness, finishing long with a spicy kick.”

Bettane et Desseauve - Avril 2021

94

Specifications

  • Vineyard 17 hectares/one holding
  • Grape varieties 75% Merlot - 20% Cabernet franc - 5% Cabernet sauvignon
  • Density 5 700 to 7 150 plants/ha
  • Average age 40 years
  • Production 30 000 bottles
  • Situation High terrace of Saint-Emilion formed by Isle river bed
  • Soil Ancient sands, Deep gravel, Blue clay
  • Pruning Bordelaise (2 Frank canes)
  • Alcohol 14%