I bought a case of this red a few years ago in the heat of the 2005 vintage Bordeaux shopping frenzy. I was even more naïve about wine from that region then than I am now. That was the same year that I started taking Wine Spectator. They recommended the Château d’Aiguilhe from the somewhat obscure Côtes de Castillon.
The history of Château d’Aiguilhe is incredibly fascinating. According to their web site, there may have been a Gallo-Roman villa there originally. For a time the Knights Templar had a commandery at the same location. It was near the front of the Hundred Years War fought between the English and the French. It goes on and on! Amazing! I sometimes wish that we had such a long written history in California, though I suppose the down side is a lot of potential extra baggage. Oh well.
The von Neipperg family currently owns the place, and if anything, their family history is more complex and more illustrious than that of Château d’Aiguilhe. The family owns several properties in Saint Emilion and elsewhere as well, so know their stuff in terms of Bordeaux.
So that’s it: they’re rich in history, like lots of Bordeaux.
We tried a bottle of this wine a few years ago, but it was obviously too early. The tannins were impossible! I saved the helpful notes that were assembled by K&L when I bought it. They quote Robert Parker who recommended at that time to “Enjoy this superb bargain-priced claret over the next 8-10 years.” Wine Spectator took a longer view, recommending it at its “Best after 2016.” Confusing.
It was still highly tannic, so maybe we didn’t wait quite long enough yet.
2005 Château d’Aiguilhe Côtes de Castillon: 80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc. Opaque purple black, the wine stained the glass. We noted powerful aromas of cedar or even freshly cut wood and forest floor. This medium bodied wine had chocolate and black cherry notes with a somewhat short finish. It is delicate yet fills your mouth with flavor. Hegui didn’t appreciate this at all and accused me of the same. I thought it was interesting. Luc, visiting with his family from San Jose that evening, said, “I like it though.”