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Martin Krajewski's Real Things
Clos Cantenac + Ch. Seraphine
January 21, 2020
My guard went up immediately when his local rep described Martin Krajewski as the “real deal”
I had met such “real deals’ before.
Millionaires; celebrity football players, actors, fund managers, tech entrepreneurs; who have made a pile but not enough to afford a sports team, often think that putting it into a winery is a better brand extension and social accoutrement than, say, a restaurant.
They buy a winery or land for a vineyard, hire an architect, a vineyard management company, a famous oenologue and - by no means least -a publicist whom they count on to arrange for the glossy wine press to call them rising stars, or hidden gems.
But these advisors are often cut from the same celebrity cloth and the wines they counsel
are formulaic, cookie-cutter clones designed to soak the palate with lots of extraction, bursts of flavor in the mouth, and a heavy dose of sexy new oak spice.
But Martin Krajewski did turn out to be the real deal, and so were his wines.
It starts with the man himself. Grammar school, then years of successful deal making in London’s City had not erased the imprint of an immigrant’s farm boy son. He came across as honest and serious, very much interested and understanding the of winemaking – although his university trained daughter Lolly does the hands-on.
You could taste the same quality in his wines. Though some are grand, none are grandiose, trying to be more than they could be.
They showed an inner solidity, a coherence and balance that the Japanese call wabi, an understated equilibrium. They are the better side of Bordeaux, with fruit, acids, tannins and mineral squared off in a balanced inner tension.
The Clos Cantenac wines are in stock:
Krajewski wants his rose to be a Bordelais response to the lighter , leaner style of Provence. In the hot 2018 vintage when too many Provencal roses showed too much fruit, fat unbuttressed by structure, the Lexuberance Rose showed a generous rounded fruit that said Merlot plum but was nicely offset by an appetizing acidity. Even in mid winter it was a popular wine among the tasters.
The 2015 Petit Cantenac, the second wine of Clos Cantenac shows how an admixture of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc can modify a wine. It showed very centered and balanced
The 2014 Clos Cantenac is a much more serious wine, centered with smooth but dominant tannins. At the moment, it is one of those wines whose structure, powerful like many of the vintage, makes it easy to underestimate. Now it has the raw boldness of youth. Another bottle which had been open for several hours gave an indication of the mellowed balance it will reach with time.
The two 2018 Pomerol’s we tasted as barrel samples are brilliant. They both had the concentrated essence of Merlot, with a heady plummy depth. At this point the second wine, L’Innocent was the more integrated of the two with a rich balance between tannin and fruit that compose a round whole.
Chateau Seraphine itself was dimensioned and headily rich as one could want. It deserves the lavish praise the wine has received in the press.
2018 Lexuberance de Cantenac (Bordeaux); Color: very pale, tan; Aroma: fragrant, rather forward, fresh, clean rather pretty rather lush, very rich; Mouth: clean fresh, firm, herbal, juicy, nicely fine acid , rounded, juicy; Very Good Plus 19.99; Mixed Case, 17.99; Case, 16.99
2015 Petit Cantenac (St. Emilion Grand Cru); Color: very dark, purple; Aroma: sweet very dense, clean, rather bright fruity, very heady fragrant, very rich; Mouth: clean light in the center, fine, bright acid , tannic, edge, long lightly tannic, classic St Emilion in a modern style, sweet finish ; Very Good - Excellent $40; Mixed Case, 36; Case, 34
Stephen Spurrier “Good deep colour, fine floral, quite broad and elegant fruit, a good modern St Emilion
2014 Clos Cantenac (St. Emilion Grand Cru); Color: very dark, rather deep, ; Aroma: lightly fragrant, pretty, rather firm, resilient and layered, fresh, herbal, sweet firm, ; Mouth: clean racy, fine, acid, tannic, some edge, pretty lively, some in reserve, that doesn't show itself, fine edge, light lingering tannin; Excellent $65; Mixed Case, 58.5; Case, 55.25
The 2018 Seraphine wines are offered as futures. They will arrive in 12 t0 18 months. I strongly recommend both.
2018 L'Innocence de Seraphine (Pomerol); Color: purple black; Aroma: reserved, very rich, very dense, redolent, dense, full; Mouth: light lifted, fresh, clean graphite, clean, rather fine, Excellent; $70; Net Future
2018 Ch. La Seraphine (Pomerol); Color: Black opaque; Aroma: very dense reserved, heady & broad, very full; Mouth: heady and layered, its fruit richness offset by a structured layer below, both sexy and profound; Outstanding $195 Net Future
Stephen Spurrier Decanter “Deep rich red, well-extracted colour with a velvety texture, beautifully expressed Pomerol Merlot with a hint of fragrance, already elegant, even precise, on the palate, the finely concentrated ripeness leaving a silky profile that is backed up by finely grained tannins, leaving an impression of elegance that is the hallmark of this wine.”
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate “an expressive nose of baked blackberries, blueberry compote and plum preserves with suggestions of Indian spices, wild sage, damp soil and camphor plus wafts of mocha and smoked meats. Medium to full bodied, the palate is packed with black fruit and spicy layers with a gorgeous, velvety frame and plenty of freshness to lift the long savory finish.”
Future prices include any taxes in effect as of 1/21/20.
Order by phone at 617.367.8605, or reserve here: email@example.com