In 1992, Jean-Claude Rouzaud, oenologist and Board Chairman of Champagne Louis Roederer, acquired and combined two Cru Bourgeois vineyards in the heart of the Medoc`s prestigious Saint-Estéphe appellation: Château Picard and Château Beauséjour. Together, these properties make up what is now called Château Haut-Beauséjour.
The color is a rich, sustained red. On the nose, there are delightful hints of red- and blackberry fruit overlaid by the merest whiff of classy, elegant wood mixed with aromas of toast and tobacco. A bit closed at first, the wine opens nicely with air to show balanced, fully-flavoured fruit. On the palate, it is soft and round on the attack with a touch of liveliness, remaining rounded as it develops on the palate. The wine is womewhat firm on the finish for the time being but should soften with age. It is definitely a wine for cellaring and will be worth the wait.
This was a vintage quite unlike its predecessor, marked by damp, changeable weather with temperatures ranging from cool to torrid. This combined with a high incidence of disease led to erratic growth throughout the year, resulting in uneven fruit set and crop loads that forced us to maintain the vineyards parcel by parcel and in some cases, even vine by vine. The end of the season was no better than the beginning: a wet, cool August was followed by a heat wave in early September then thundery periods at the start of the harvest.
All of this, of course, made for grapes with distinctly different tastes depending on variety and terroir. That, in turn, complicated matters at the winemaking stage, fuelling predictions that the birth of the 2006 vintage would be anything but pain-free!
But despite all the difficulties, there are some nice surprises today, with Bordeaux wines falling into two, fairly distinct categories: firm and somewhat austere in style, and more mellow and less extracted. The results far exceed expectations and are partly due to the strict sorting of grapes, at the time of picking and on the sorting tables on arrival at the winery.
- 52% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot, 3% Côt
- Matured in oak casks from Central France for 12 months; 30% in new oak