BearOnBordeaux: Ch. SENEJAC Haut Medoc 2011

Ch. Senejac has been on the periphery of my wine awareness for several years. Over the last few it has moved front and center. The quality seems to have improved. Maybe it is the Cordier family ownership. Maybe it has a bit to do with some consulting (now ended) from Alfred Tesseron of Ch. Pontet Canet. Maybe it is the very able winemaking team from Ch. Talbot (which goes back to that Cordier family ownership). Whatever the case, Senejac has – for me at least – stepped up to the front of the line for high quality wine from the Haut Medoc. And it hits a a particular and useful style.ChateauSenejacHouse

The Haut Medoc is large appellation and the style of the wines vary quite a bit based on where they are in the appellation. Ch. Pontoise Cabarrus in the north (past St. Estephe) offers a leaner and more focused style as you might expect from the cooler temperature, slopes, and more wind in the area. Ch. Caronne St. Gemme (behind St. Julien very close to Ch. Talbot) offers something more in the middle with a lot of the character you’d expect to find in a good St. Julien. And Senjac, located in Pian de Medoc in the southern most part of the Haut Medoc between Margaux and the city of Bordeaux offers more warmth and richness – which is what you’d expect from a warmer and more temperate (more protected from the weather of the Atlantic coast) area. (I like all of these styles, find all of these wines useful in pairing with different foods, and so drink all of them – and am richer for it.)

I have tasted (and quite liked) this 2011 several times beginning in early April of 2012 and most recently (as of this posting) on July 1, 2014. Each time I taste it, I seem to think a bit more highly of it.

Ch. SENEJAC, Haut Medoc, 2011 ($21.84)SenejacBottle
A Southern Medoc (between Bordeaux and Margaux) 13.5% alcohol blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Petite Verdot fermented using pump-over and aged 15 months in all French oak barrels (33% new). Red in color with well-formed legs; dry, medium-full-bodied with freshly balanced acidity and medium-plus phenolics along with impressive richness. Offers red & black cherry berry fruit with accents of black pepper, tobacco, dusty wood, black flowers. Quite long in the mouth. Opens up beautifully as it evolves in the glass. Satisfying and delicious. BearScore: 91.

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