Fermentations are done traditionally with very soft pumping-over to respect the lively character and structure of the fruit. After three weeks of maceration followed by malolactic fermentation, the wine was put in French oak barrels in mid-November.
The final blend took place mid-January. The selection was obvious, with the marvelously ripe Cabernet Sauvignon contributing 77% to the blend, and 23% of voluptuous Merlot rounding it out to a harmonious and well-integrated whole. Chateau d’Issan 2014 is difficult to compare to other vintages due to the unique growing conditions, yet its singular terroir remains clearly identifiable.
The 2014 D'Issan has a crisp, pure bouquet, quite tight and reticent like the 2014 Marquis d'Alesme Becker, eventually offering blackberry, soy and cedar scents, almost Saint Julien in style. The palate is medium-bodied with a touch of herbaceousness on the entry, but there is plenty of fruit behind it. I like the classic style of this d'Issan, the pepperiness of the Cabernet driving the structured and quite masculine (for Margaux) finish. This is beginning to show the class that I thought it would and it may merit a higher score in the future. Anticipated Maturity: 2020-2040