Last week we got in a case of the 2018 Saint-Sulpice Red Bordeaux. We had tasted it the previous week and were so impressed we jumped on it. Sulpice is classy in the way only Bordeaux can be. Its birthright endows it with a credibility the new world can only dream of.
Saint-Sulpice is located near the village of the same name, more or less equidistant between the town of Bordeaux and the hallowed Saint Emilion district. The area Sulpice calls home is Entre-Deux-Mer which means "between two oceans" and refers in this case to the Dordogne and Garonne Rivers. It's a sizable wine growing region that is sadly undistinguished for its reds. The Entre-Deux-Mer name actually only applies legally to the white wines of the region.
Reds from this region are either considered to be generic Bordeaux or, if the quality merits it, Bordeaux Superior. Yields must be lower and sugars higher to get the Superior label. Our Chateau Sulpice is simply labeled "Bordeaux."
Saint Emilion is home to the finest (and most expensive) Merlot on the planet. A typical blend of the region would include 60%+ Merlot with Cabernet Franc as a secondary grape. Saint-Sulpice, located just south of Saint Emilion, is 75% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Malbec.
Chateau Saint-Sulpice is owned and operated by the Duberge family who have invested in modern temperature controlled stainless steel tanks while maintaining hand harvesting and other traditional winemaking efforts. They believe their efforts reflect the style of the classified growths.
Duberge's Sulpice contrasts with the great Cabernet-based wines of the Medoc. The local Entre-Deux-Mer microclimate offers an extended growing season resulting in a softer fruitier style wine. In fact, the wine displays typical right bank fruit/spice complexity and balance wrapped in a ruby red color. One commentator called it "ripe black fruit, plums, toast, spices and a rich, smooth and soft finish."