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2021 Château d'Issan En Primeur


Château d'Issan is one of the oldest Cru Classé estates, with wine making recorded here in 1152.  The château itself is also one of the most beautiful, built in the 17th century by the Essenault family (whose name became contracted to Issan in local dialect).  The estate is now owned jointly by Emmanuel Cruse and Jacky Lorenzetti (of Pedesclaux fame).


Bordeaux En Primeur, landing in spring 2024.

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Château d'Issan, Margaux

Producer Profile

Château d'Issan, Margaux

Château d'Issan is a Troisième Grand Cru Classé in the commune of Margaux.  Records show that wine was being made here in the 12th century (known then as La Mothe-Cantenac).  The name comes from the 17th century, when it was owned by the d’Essenault family, corrupted to Issan.  The beautiful The château itself, one of the most beautiful in Bordeaux, dates to this period.  D'Issan was purchased in 1945 by the Cruse family, Bordeaux negociants and vineyard owners.  Emmanuel Cruse has been responsible for modernizing the estate.  In 2012, a 50% share in the estate was sold to Jacky Lorenzetti, owner of Pedesclaux and Lilian Ladouys.  Cruse also works with Lorenzetti at his other properties.

The 52 hectare vineyard is planted to 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% Malbec.


RED 2021 Château d'Issan 75cl £502 per case of 12 Château d'Issan
2021 / / 75cl
£502 per case of 12
Tasting Notes“55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec (the latter three from parcels of Pontac-Lynch acquired in March 2020 – the Petit Verdot planted in 1948). 45% of the production. Cask sample. Classic Issan but with more aromatic complexity and a tad more length. Intense, floral with smooth, elegant tannins and balancing freshness. Persistent finish. 13.3%. Drink 2028 – 2045. 17.5 points.” (JL), Apr 21.------"The 2020 D'Issan is a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% Malbec, aging in French oak barriques, 50% new. It has an alcohol of 13.29%, a pH of 3.71 and an IPT (tannin index) of 73. Displaying an opaque purple-black color, it has vibrant notes of Bing cherries, boysenberries, ripe redcurrants and juicy black plums, plus hints of pencil shavings, wild thyme, lavender and forest floor. The medium-bodied palate has impressive energy with crunchy red and black fruits and compelling tension, framed by fine-grained tannins, finishing long and mineral laced. Drink 2025-2045. 93-95 points" Lisa Perotti-Brown,"The 2020 d'Issan is the first vintage that incorporates Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec to complement the traditional Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in the blend. Pretty floral and savory accents complement a core of ripe red/purplish berry fruit. Medium in body and vibrant, with superb persistence, Issan is shaping up to be a jewel of a wine. The purity of the flavors is striking. Harvest took place over three weeks between September 17 through October 2, which is only about a week earlier than normal, so not that displaced relative to what was the norm in much of Bordeaux. Tasted three times. 93-95 points" Antonio Galloni,"The 2020 Château d’Issan, picked from September 17 to October 2 and blended in early January, then matured in 50% new oak, has a beautiful and very pure bouquet of blackberry, blueberry and light cranberry notes intertwined with crushed stone and subtle potpourri and violet scents, all wonderfully focused and exquisitely defined. The palate is medium-bodied with gentle but insistent grip on the entry. The tannins are very chiseled and the acidity lends plenty of tension that is palpable from start to finish. This is a sophisticated Margaux in the making, full of breeding and class. 93-95 points" Neal Martin,"More backward, dense, and concentrated, the Grand Vin 2020 Château D'Issan offers darker currant and cassis notes as well as gorgeous floral, sandalwood, graphite, and chocolate nuances. Medium to full-bodied, voluptuous, and layered on the palate, with sweet yet building tannins, this is a gorgeous Margaux that brings ample depth and richness while still showing the classic elegance of the appellation. The blend is 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec, raised in 50% new oak, and it’s a selection of only 45% of the total production. It's going to have some up-front appeal and a broad, lengthy drink window over the following 2-3 decades. Tasted twice. 93-95+ points""This is a sinewy, powerful and forward-moving wine with a sense of momentum. Moreish, with the elegance and plump damson fruits that Issan delivers so well, but more muscular than some years with the impact of both Petit Verdot and Malbec that are in the blend for the first time in this vintage. These add layers of spice and the overall architecture is clear. Peony and violet notes add a kick upwards on the finish, this has a delicacy even though it is intense. Less Cabernet in the blend in 2020 than in 2019, as is often the case in the Médoc due to low yields. This new blend in Issan will be seen going forward after the addition of plots from the purchase of Château Pontac-Lynch. Drinking Window 2028 - 2045. 96 points" Jane Anson, Decanter Magazine------"Extremely floral and fruity with currants and blackberries. It’s full-bodied and very layered with delicious, dense character. Full-bodied with dusty, layered tannins. Rich, but not heavy. Long and chewy on the finish. 55% cabernet sauvignon, 39% merlot, 3% cabernet franc, 2% petit verdot and 1% malbec. 97-98 points"

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