I am proud to introduce you to the remarkable Bordeaux blend by Domaines Delon, Chateau Potensac, Medoc.
Taken it's name from its location, Chateau Potensac sits on the top of Potensac Plateau in the northern part of the Medoc. Although close to the river, Potensac is situated on a high point of land in North Medoc. Because of this position, the site has been populated since ancient times. The name "Medoc" in fact comes from "medio aquae" which means "in the middle of the waters". This Left Bank Chateau has been in the hands of the Delon family since the 1970s when Jean Hubert Delon's grandfather married Georgette Liquard. This marriage brought together two great holdings of land within the Bordeaux region and has continued to be passed down through the women of the family for several generations.
Now run by Jean Hubert Delon, along with Bruno Roalland, the wine continues to curve upwards in quality and grow in character. The 60 hectare vineyard is currently planted with 48% Merlot, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot (previously was 60% Cabernet Sauvignon). The grapes highly favouring the beautiful terroir of gravel with a few patches of clay and limestone in the soil. The limestone deposits allowing the Potensac soils to be unique in comparison to others within the Medoc, more so resembling that of St Emilion terroir.
"One of the showpieces of the Médoc"
- Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast
With vines 50 years of age on average, there is still quite the mix of new and old vines, some up to 80 years. As the elevation across the parcels can reach up to 35 metres it is required to use a mix of both hand harvest and machine harvest.
Once harvested the Delon team vinify the grapes in tanks, a mix of stainless steel and concrete. All the malolactic fermentation takes place in vat. It is the same technical team that works on the wines of Leoville Las Cases that works with Chateau Potensac. With all the aging occurring in French oak barrels passed down from Clos du Marquis, for between 14 and 16 months, depending on the character and style of the vintage.
Château Potensac is often considered to represent the "pure Medoc style", and it should be noted that Potensac was the only "Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnel" of its appellation.
WINE ADVOCATE / NEAL MARTIN
The 2012 Potensac surpassed my expectations from barrel, because as I stated back then, it has developed more flesh to counterbalance those prenatal hard tannins. It has an attractive if unspectacular raspberry, strawberry and tobacco-scented bouquet, quite closed at first, opaque, but opening with several minutes in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with supple ripe blackberry fruit laced with tobacco and sea salt. I appreciate the finish here. There is satisfying substance, a gentle grip and a classic pencil lead, almost Pauillac-like finish. Enjoy this upstanding Médoc from Jean-Hubert Delon over the next 10-12 years. (October 2016)