2010 Château Robin - Back, to Very High Acclaim!

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We’re bringing back Jérôme Caillé’s 2010 Château Robin, AOC Castillon - Côtes de Bordeaux. Why? Because it is so darned good! We have recently sampled some of his last shipment of this superb wine from Château Robin and found it to be simply outstanding. But, don’t take our word for it. Take a look at what ‘Wine Pair’ said about it in their recent article The French Wines to Drink Before You Die. And, if that’s not enough, Playboy magazine recently made it their Wine of the Week. This is a real treat for lovers of Merlot-based, high quality Bordeaux; not to be missed.

Château Robin

Yours truly and Jérôme Caillé
Château Robin is a very old estate that was mentioned in the third edition of Guide Féret in 1874. Purchased by Jérôme’s parents, Laurence and Jean Caillé in 2003, the property has twelve and a half hectares under production in Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux appellation, right beside St-Emilion and Pomerol in the fabled Bordeaux region of France. Jérôme’s easy-drinking, delicious wines have been awarded countless gold medals and have received numerous glowing wine press citations.

Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux

Robert M. Parker, Jr. has this to say about the Côtes de Castillon (now renamed Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux) in the fourth edition of his book ‘Bordeaux’ – “Now the most fashionable of the satellite appellations (of Bordeaux), the Côtes de Castillon is a hotbed of activity as well as a fertile breeding ground for a bevy of overachievers. Located east of Puisseguin-St-Emilion approximately 25 miles from Bordeaux, the appellation is named after the commune called Castillon-La-Bataille, which commemorates the Battle of Castillon. This 1453 battle marked the conclusion of the Hundred Years’ War when the English Commander, Talbot, died during the defeat of his army. As one of the older wine making regions in the area, viticultural practices can be traced to Roman times. Appellation status was awarded in 1955 and there has been significantly more interest expressed in the wines as an alternative to the wines of St-Emilion.”

In fact, when he was here hosting some wine dinners, Jérôme had his guests compare Château Robin with a Grand Cru St-Emilion of the same vintage costing four times as much. The guests unanimously preferred the Château Robin!

The 2010 Vintage in Bordeaux – "...the fact that 2010 follows the superb 2009 vintage is remarkable...”

Here is what Robert Parker reported in the ‘Wine Advocate’:

“ it is an inescapable truth that 2010 has produced another year of compelling Bordeaux that will go down as a prodigious vintage alongside 2009.

Take your pick – this news is either tragic or mythical, but I have tasted enough wines from 2005, 2009 and 2010 to realize that these may be the three greatest Bordeaux vintages I have tasted in my career.

2010 exceeds 2009 in record setting alcohols... While massive and highly extracted, the 2010s are also fresh and incredibly pure. Moreover, they will enjoy astonishing longevity.

I do not think it would be fair or prudent to say that 2010 exceeds in overall quality what was produced in 2009, 2005 or perhaps even 2000. However, it is unquestionably another great vintage.

If 2009 stood out for the historic richness and potential of the Médocs and some Graves and Pomerols, 2010 seems relatively homogeneous throughout Bordeaux. The Cabernet Sauvignon has once again done exceptionally well, while there may be a handful of Merlot-based wines where the tannins are unusually rustic and excessive, by and large this is a great vintage in every appellation.”

The bucolic vineyards of Château Robin
The 2010 Château Robin – 14.0% Alc./Vol.   $29/$174 for 6 bottles
$16/$192 for 12 demis
image.jpegThe 2010 Château Robin comes in regular bottles and half-bottles (demis). We will be taking your orders to the LCBO on Friday, November 7th.

This lovely, elegant and round wine is made from 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. The grapes were hand-picked, hand-sorted and destemmed and came from vines with an average age of over 40 years. The yield was 40.9 hectolitres per hectare. The juice went through a fairly complex aging process with a little over half aging in concrete tanks while 42% of the remainder spent a year in new oak barrels and the rest in one-year old oak barrels. The barrels were 90% French and the rest American.

Here is how some of the wine press describe the 2010 Château Robin:

 •  James Suckling – 89-90/100

Already delicious with notes of milk chocolate and wild strawberries, full and silky. This wine is already attractive. Even better than the 2009

 •  Wine Spectator – 88/100

A toasted, polished style, with friendly mocha and roasted vanilla notes allied seamlessly to creamy cassis, plum and blackberry fruit flavors. Offer a good, solid finish. Drink now through 2015.          

 •  Decanter Magazine – 16/20

Refreshing and digestible medium-bodied wine with 40% Cabernet in the blend. Expressive, fruit driven nose. Succulent palate with a lively freshness. Well worked tannins. Drink 2013-2018.)

 •  Vinepair

Jerome Caillé is representative of a new generation of young Bordelais focus on the expression of their terroir and quality. This wine is a blend of 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. The result is a rich, powerful wine of great value. Definitely a personal favorite.

It is drinking beautifully now and will keep happily until at least 2025. This is excellent, ready-to-drink Bordeaux at a most reasonable price. Try some for yourself: in 750 ml bottles, or; 375 ml half-bottles.


Important Note
The LCBO is the only entity authorized to sell beverage alcohol in Ontario. Arthur Sellers & Company and Arthur’s Cellar Wine Club do not sell or markup beverage alcohol, but rather, arrange for customers to purchase it from the LCBO. Our prices indicated above and on our website include the LCBO sale price plus a fee to cover the cost of sourcing, handling and marketing the wine. The LCBO’s sale prices are available on request.

LCBO Delivery Notices!

The LCBO has started to mail out delivery notices to all our Members who order wine. This notice is being sent when the wine has arrived from overseas and has been cleared for delivery by the LCBO. The form letter is two sided, one with the numeric details of the transaction and the other with pick-up instructions. Please note - the pick-up instructions do not apply to our Members.

Why?

First, they instruct our Member to pick up the wine at the LCBO’s warehouse loading docks at 33 Freeland Street in Toronto. Our Members don’t have to do this – we either cause the wine to be sent to an LCBO retail store that is conveniently located near our Member or we personally deliver the wine.

Second, they infer that our Members owe them for the wine and warn that they will be penalized if the wine is not picked up within a prescribed period of time. Our Members have already paid for their wine and don’t owe any additional money. We look after payment for them.

Please disregard these form letters when you receive them.

We have requested that the LCBO either correct the message or not send it at all. We also asked that they send the message electronically (they have the e-mail addresses of everyone who orders) to save money and be environmentally responsible. They have thanked us for our suggestions and we hope they will act on them.

Why is the LCBO sending out these notices?

When we inquired, we were told that this has always been their procedure; they just haven’t been following it.

We can surmise that it is in response to last year’s ruling by the Information and Privacy Commission of Ontario (IPC) ruling that the LCBO stop taking personal information from wine club customers. In a subsequent Ontario Superior Court of Justice appeal hearing, the case was remitted back to the IPC for reconsideration, i.e., the LCBO and the other involved parties were told to work out their issues between themselves. A key point in the ruling was, “it is not clear whether the IPC actually made a clear or consistent finding on the issue of whether the LCBO's customer is the club or the club member.” Since then, the LCBO has been determined to make certain that we are all fully aware that it is they who control the customer relationship when it comes to the purchase of beverage alcohol in the Province of Ontario.

To reinforce this point, they have instructed us to prominently post the following wherever we display our prices:

The LCBO is the only entity authorized to sell beverage alcohol in Ontario. Arthur Sellers & Company and Arthur’s Cellar Wine Club do not sell or markup beverage alcohol, but rather, arrange for customers to purchase it from the LCBO. Our prices indicated above and on our website include the LCBO sale price plus a fee to cover the cost of sourcing, handling and marketing the wine. The LCBO’s sale prices are available on request.

If you have any comments for the LCBO, please address them to Margaret Plant, Supervisor, Private Ordering (margaret.plant@lcbo.com) and copy Archie Karanxha, Acting Manager, Specialty Services (arqile.karanxha@lcbo.com) and Geoff Allaire, General Manager Operations, Toronto Retail Service Centre, Vintages Warehouse (geoff.allaire@lcbo.com).

All this reminds me of a very old joke. It seems that a little devil was involved in a most unfortunate tangle with one of Toronto’s Red Rockets that resulted in his tail being severed. He was rushed to the Toronto General Hospital but was refused admission. The ER receptionist explained, “I am afraid you will have to take him to the LCBO ... they are the only ones in Ontario allowed to retail spirits.”


Kate joins the team!
We are delighted to announce that our eldest daughter Kate (shown here with a bottle of Penfolds Grange from her birth year!) has officially joined the Arthur Sellers & Company team. She is an avid wine enthusiast with a very fine palate and is renowned for her frequent thirsty assaults on Arthur’s Cellar. Kate will be assisting us with the day-to-day operation of our wine club and will introduce our fine wines to her market demographic (recognizing that this old tippler needs a little help marketing to the younger aficionados of the fruit of the vine). Please join us in welcoming Kate to our wonderful world of wine.

Hélène's 2014 Tour to Provence is Sold Out; But ...
She is taking reservations for September 2015. Long our favourite part of France, Provence is filled with so many wonderful things – marvellous markets, gorgeous perched villages, exquisite Mediterranean cuisine as well as the Mediterranean itself, a bevy of awe-inspiring Roman ruins, medieval towns, olive oil mills, Southern Rhône vineyards, sophisticated cities with great shopping, and constantly changing, spectacular scenery. And, you get to spend it all comfortably ensconced in your very own castle for a week, the enchanting Château du Goult. Maybe even get a group of friends to join you. That way, Hélène can massage her itinerary to meet your special interests.

Please contact Hélène for all the delectable details.


Where’s My Wine??
Generally, it will take three to four months from the time you order your wine till it is delivered. To find out where your next treasure is on its long journey from Europe, just click on Delivery Status in the side bar to the left. We update it regularly.

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