Saint-Estèphe , Château Capbern, Bordeaux, France, 2013
Château Capbern is one of the best kept secrets of Saint-Estèphe. It is the sister property of Château Calon Ségur, and had been owned by the Gasqueton family from 1894 until it was sold in 2012, following the death of Denise Capbern-Gasqueton. A Cru Bourgeois, it is an excellent example of a wine that performs above its classification. The 2013 Château Capbern is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot from vines that have an average age of 35 years. It is made in the traditional manner, fermented for 18 days and spending 18 months ageing in 40% new oak barriques. The 2013 harvest in Bordeaux was the smallest since 1991. Cool, wet spring weather delayed budburst by up to two weeks. A superb summer was interrupted with damaging hail storms, particularly in August, which significantly reduced yields. The wines of 2013 are lively and aromatic thanks to excellent diurnal temperatures protecting the fruits' aromas throughout September. The 41 hectare property is located to the east of Calon Ségur near the village of St. Estèphe, overlooking the Gironde on gravel and limestone soils. St. Estèphe is one of the northernmost communes on the left bank. The water-retaining, cool and clay soils underneath the layer of gravel allows the vines to perform better than some of its neighbours during hot and dry years.