Chateau d'Arsac is a cru bourgeois from the Margaux appellation. The blend is 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 28% Merlot. The vineyard is 54 hectares and planted on a terroir of gravel and brown soil and a sandy-clay sub-soil. The wine is aged in exclusively oak barrels, one-third of which are new, for 12 months. Bottling is scheduled for spring 2018.
Chateau D'Arsac 2016 reveals a profound red, almost black color. The nose presents generous aromas of ripe red fruit, combined with hints of forest floor. The attack is fresh and fruity in the mouth, with dense and well-balanced tannins. The finish is long and slightly woody.
The 2016 D'Arsac was showing just a touch of volatility on the nose at first, although my sample addressed that with some rigorous aeration, revealing marine-tinged black fruit laced with blueberry and crushed violet. The palate is medium-bodied with a vibrant, spicy opening and superb delineation. Very harmonious in the mouth, there is impressive depth and wonderful freshness to this Margaux, delivering great length on the finish. It should be afforded maybe five years to fully subsume that new oak, but it will certainly be worth the wait. Bucking the trend for Margaux wines to have peaked in 2015, this 2016 is leagues above last year's wine. Bravo.