Chateau Du Tertre Review at Chateau 1997 to 2016

Vinexpo HK had just came to a great finish last week.   Must say the one in HK compare to the one host in Bordeaux is very different.  More meetings and dinners mostly in town (let’s say at Grand Hyatt most nights) and the easy home access.  In Bordeaux last year in June, besides those great dinners (perhaps “parties” may be a better choice of word) at chateaux despite the worrying drive afterwards,  I went to one that was wrathful and definitely memorable.  I was given an unique opportunity to taste a rare vertical of 20 vintages in magnum format  (from 1997 to 2016) of Château du Tertre.

A special intimate tasting between few critics and Chateau’s family to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Albada family’s involvement at du Tertre. 

>> Scroll down to bottom to see wine notes. 

img_4903Bird view of Chateau du Tertre from helicopter.  magnums of du Tertre were prepared and awaiting to be tasted.


We started with some appetitive before some good work.  (check out that fan and rosé in helicopter, what a combo) Berry Brothers Chief Buyer opening up a bottle while GM of Txanton Besay Gonzalez and Decanter’s managing director, Sarah Kemp and myself were simply relaxing for the good ride. We have Jeff Leve from winecellerinsider and and Julien Miguel from Social Vigneron with us too.

Chateau du tertre helicopter ride vertical from 1997to 2016

Here, few of us started.  A vertical in magnum from 1997 to 2016 (julien Miguel in picture)


Chateau du Tertre was sold in 1997 to current Dutch owner, Eric Albada Jelgersma who, with his family (left 3) and the help of Manager Alexander Van Beek (1st right) has been investing their vine to restore its former glory. The Albada family also owns Third Growth of Margaux, Château Giscours and a biodynamic winery on the Tuscan coast: Caiarossa.


our lunch with more wine to taste.  some amazing 1979 and 1964 Du Tertre and a wine I always love, Essenzia Caiarosa 2011

Brick red with brown hues.  Fresh prune tea leave, sour cherry, slightly wet, elegant, soft tannins with medium finish. Last vintage of last cellaring (new cellar on 1999) slightly passed but it’s still enjoyable especially reminiscing it was the first vintage after bought. 89

The first vintage made under the then new owner Eric Albada Jelgersma and general manager Alexander van Beek.  Dark Red with orange rim.  Floral, spices, peppery,  acidity than 1997 fresh with red berries, light spices, herbs, mushroom,  tobacco, still vibrant with good tannins alive.  This blend has a out of usual 30% Cab franc in it.  M-L finish. 90

First hit are some good red fruits, liquorice, forest floor,  good elegant slightly weak on finish but very much enjoyable.  
A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. 92

Violets, forest floor, cedar, earth, tobacco leafs, prune, nice silky tannins with this mineral notes throughout.  Enjoyable tannins and great spicey finish.  In a very good spot now. fresh fruits indicate it can be ages another 8-10 years.  94

Lovely nose of brightness, floral, herbs, raspberries, Toffee,  tobacco, can’t help sniffing all these fantastic aroma . Full of red and black fruits balanced, silky texture with a medium good finish.  93

Blackberries fruits coming forward, tobacco leaves,  riper, sweeter notes of integrated oak, vanilla, cocoa;  slightly lighter weight compare to previous vintage.   cooler style.   finish with tannins presents, slightly dry and grippy at finish. drink now. 91

Great nose opened generously with leafy sour red cherry strawberries character, from nose, it is easy to tell I would probably love the wine very much before even the sip.  Round nice mouth feel, ripe cherry, juicy, powerful silky yet solid tannins, round and present,  long finish fantastic to drink now till 10 years or more. very keen to revisit soon. 95

Slightly strange nose from first sniff but gone away quickly.   full of wet leafy character, more salinity in this glass than most tasted.  Cedar mushroom spices tannins is soft and balanced good to drink now 90

2005 fete de la Fleur year at Chateau
Nice nose with great “lift “of cassis, red and blue fruits, black peppers, coffee and sweet tobacco. Charming nose and palate all together, nice complex mid palate, firm with elegant round tannins, not pushy, great complexity and definitely enjoyable. 94-95

Nice fruity sweet notes to start,  liquoric,  truffle,  minty nose.   Ligher vintage that deliver elegance of blue fruits, minty liquorice coming forward firm tannins medium body and M finish, slightly hollow at finish.  90

More aged character on nose with prune, coffee, and these chinese herbs notes (跌打酒龜苓膏) elegant lighter style of  du Tertre.  Good soft tannins but little drying 淡口味 .  short and wish finish could be longer. drink now. 89

Slightly shy on nose with wet leaves pepper tobacco.  Youthful, black fruits, light in character, rather than dense good spices that some of their other vintage can offer, more mature on finish.  Give it a few more years and will be even better. 90 

Opens with Fantastic nose with good power,  coffee as in expresso black fruits licorice plum menthol and plenty of great notes if you search, busy nose and surely fun.   Juicy with red fruits, nice powerful tannins awaking to be soften up and join the others side in glass, possibly drink now but wait longer would say. outstanding effort for du Tertre. 95

Dark Purple red in this glass.  Inviting nose of soft cassis black ripe cherry slightly minty and stoney.  Abundance of cassis,  juicy with good bite of well packed tannins, good power with racy acidity long finish. definitely a keep, will show how good it is with years. 96

Shy nose red fruits in a lighter style. medium bodied,  slightly salty and leafy,  nice tannins, fresh, silky finish.  Still meant to be integrated with time.  90

Slightly vegetal with smoke on nose, tight.  freshness on entry with. Red fruits mostly in glass, slightly greens to it. lighter in style 90

Light side of ruby. Red fruits dominant with cocoa, and as well some developing leafy notes. Sweet entry elegant easy with good spices, on a lighter style. medium finish.  A whopping  80% of Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. definitely drink now for it’s freshness of fruits. 90

Vibrant red fruits coming forward on nose, light weight red Cherrie with soft tannins crispy acidity medium to long comfy finish.  Being forward, surely got it’s youthful charm which one can enjoy its youth now and going forward. 93

Little shy on nose today. Juicy,  well structure, great acid and good concentration with lots of blackcurrants with salinity on finish.  Amazing balance with great finesse. 95

Deep Purple full of berries and violet in glass. Classy red on palate refine tannins structure with juicy nice red and black berries great acid, great and careful wine making skills on display.  Surely will be a great drinking one in even few years time. 95

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