90% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc – I’m kind taking an educated guess based on previous vintages, since they don’t currently have an updated tech sheet for the ‘08 on the Chateau Pipeau website. They should probably get on that.
The family-owned Château Pipeau wine estate was founded in 1929.
Château Pipeau is often viewed as a decent-priced entry into good Bordeaux. The wines vary in price and rating based on the vintage, but remember what I said in a previous article about vintages? Try not to worry too much about them, unless you are buying for long-term storage.
Chateau Pipeau is family-owned estate, which has been in the family for three generations and is located a couple of miles outside the famous Bordeaux town of Saint-Emilion.
The average age of the vines used to make the Pipeau is 40 years old.
Depending on the vintage, the wine for is matured for between 12 and 14 months in French oak barrels.
Other interesting information is kind of limited. See for yourself, check out their website.
I never would have thought Chateau Pipeau would have been on Facebook, but they are! Click here to check out their Page, it is all in French though…imagine that….
One very useful rule about Bordeaux is the left bank / right bank rule (see map above), namely:
– If a wine comes from the left bank of the Gironde River (i.e. Margaux, Pauillac, St. Estephe etc) the blend will be comprised of a majority Cabernet grapes.
– If a wine comes from the right bank, it will be made up of mainly Merlot grapes.
There are always a few (but not many) exceptions, however this is a VERY handy rule to remember as most producers don’t label grapes on the bottle.
Almost all Bordeaux is a blend of as little as one or as many of five of the “Bordeaux varietals”; these being: Cabernet, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petite Verdot.
Carmenere is also a permitted grape, but very seldom used.
Some of the best wines from St. Emilion can be aged over 10 years, but it’s often argued that the wines from the right bank region mature quicker than the Cabernet based wines from the left bank.
Between 1860 and 1880 an aphid vine pest named Phylloxera wiped out pretty much every vineyard in the Bordeaux region by attacking their root systems. A complex grafting program was put into place in order to make the vines resistant to the disease so it doesn’t happen again.
Interesting bit of trivia for you: remember THE SCENE in the movie Sideways, with the “I am NOT drinking any f*cking Merlot!” quote? Well if you also remember, Miles’s prized bottle of wine was a 1961 Château Cheval Blanc , a right-bank Bordeaux also from St Emilion.
If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know that this wine is made mainly from….that’s correct! MERLOT!
Irony obviously played a strong role in the movie.
Decant or die!
I tasted this wine after an hour in a decanter, but it ideally could have done with more time.
Leather, coffee-bean, cigar and earth on the nose, and for the most part the fruit is nowhere in sight. On the palate the Pipeau still shows the same savory flavors, with tree bark, licorice, a mixed bag of spices, with cassis hanging out all the way toward the back. Concentrated and complex. Full in body with a long finish. This is still a big-big wine with bold tannins and acidity. The Pipeau will definitely reward the patient, but only the patient! Lay it down.
Similar to what I recommended with my previous review of the Muga Rioja Reserva, if you are looking to pair the Chateau Pipeau, get old school and/or robust with your foods!
Game birds, roast beef, beef Bourguignonne, pot pie, pot roast, stews, casseroles, mushrooms and strong cheese such as Gorgonzola.
$30’ish (the 2009 has been released as a future, and is going at a steal considering its ratings).