A promise kept: Chateau du Tertre 2001 from the highest hills of Margaux


The 2001 Château du Tertre gives a purity and clarity in the glass and in the nose that promises more. The colour is deep garnet with hardly any discolouration. In the nose the black currants and cherries take off well with the oak, aided by hint of nutty caramel and leather. In the mouth an explosion of dark fruit, toast, cassis, violets, liquorice and some spices. Well proportioned structure with a good balance, supple tannins and good acidity. This medium to full bodied wine has an elegance and presence which is very appealing. Though the 2001 Château du Tertre is sometimes an underrated vintage, the long finish, the depth of flavour, with something seductively sweet lingering in your mouth, say it all: a well made terroir wine with a potential to age a bit more.

We visited Château du Tertre, covering about 50 hectares in Arsac (Bordeaux, France), in April 2012. Château du Tertre is located on one of the highest hills in Margaux, hence the name tetre meaning knoll. During lunch we decided to organize a vertical tasting of the different years from 1995 – 2001. In the course of those years, in 1997 to be exact, ownership of this single, coherent block of vineyards (a rare homogeneity in the area of Margaux) changed to Eric Albada Jelgersma, a Dutch businessman of supermarket group Laurens fame. Eric Albada Jelgersma and his team took it upon them to revitalise this thousand year old estate, one of the oldest in Margaux. The large scale restructuration of the vineyard and cellar follows the philosophy of combining traditional methods with new innovativions and research. We could certainly taste the difference after 1998, but were thwarted in our efforts by cork in the 1996 and 2001 bottle. Marc Verpaalen of Château du Tertre kept his promise and provided us with a replacement 1996 & 2001 bottle to finish our vertical tasting. More about the vertical Chateau du Tertre tasting in the future.



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