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Plush, opulent and delicious, the 1998 Chateau des Annereaux has been dubbed “the most elegant wine of the year,” by several members of the tasting panel and “the quintessential dinner party wine” by others. Supple, fruity and easy to drink, it would be easy to dismiss this wine as a lovely, round claret for early consumption. However, as a result of centuries of cultivation at the same site, the presence of natural wild yeasts on the grapes add elegance as well as complexity to des Annereaux. Nuances of spice, leather, and chocolate combine with lush fruit and silky tannins to provide depth and layers of flavor in the wine. Ample airing and further bottle age enhance the wine’s long, lingering finish. A votre sante!
An elegant dinner party provides the ultimate setting for the 1998 Chateau des Annereaux. Roast chicken, quail or squab would be perfect pairings with this delicious Bordeaux as would more traditional fare, like a crown roast of pork, beef tenderloin or loin lamb chops. But then again, this Chateau des Annereaux needs very little to show it off. A plate of ripe, soft cheeses (check out http://www.cheesemonthclub.com/ for exquisite suggestions), will also do this fine Bordeaux justice. Whatever you decide, open the des Annereaux an hour before serving, and pour it preferably into a decanter, and enjoy!
Chateau de Annereaux is presently owned by the Milhades, a Bordelais family known for their uncompromising devotion to the production of fine wine and unwavering commitment to the viticultural restoration of historical Bordeaux estates. Critics consider Chateau des Annereaux to be this family’s crowning achievement. No time in its more than five centuries of continuous production has Chateau des Annereaux produced better wine than it does today, prompting Decanter to call this property, “an essential discovery for any claret lover”. Situated on the plateau near Lalande in the heart of the appellation, Chateau des Annereaux produces one of the region’s largest lived wines. Here, the gravel and clay soils favor Merlot, and the 55 acre vineyard is planted primarily to that variety, with the balance consisting of lush, fragrant Cabernet Franc. Vinification is totally traditional, beginning with hand-harvesting and a long maceration (time the fermenting must spends on the skins). Elevage or ageing takes place in small barrels, about 35-50% of which are new each year. The resulting wine is invariably rich and full, and long lasting, developing a creamy richness with bottle age.
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