Chateau Cantegril is owned today by the Dubourdieu family and, like Chateau Doisy-Daëne, is made by Denis Dubourdieu Domaines.
It is situated high on the chalk plateau of Barsac on the site of an old medieval castle, just to the north west of Chateau de Myrat (to which it was once joined). The soil is sandy clay on top of a slightly porous limestone bedrock, typical within Barsac, which allows for good water retention in times of drought and consequently fresh-styled, elegant wines.
Of the 22 hectare estate around 18.3 are planted with 65% Semillon and a high percentage of Sauvignon (35%) for the area. The vines are an average of around 30 years old planted at 6250 plants per hectare.
Viticulture is traditional with a move towards organic manures and away from chemical pesticides. Vinification involves fermentation in oak barrels (25% new oak every year) with 9 months oak-aging followed by another 9 months in stainless steel tanks before bottling. This makes the wines a little less heavy than Doisy-Daëne but typically full of vitality and fresh fruit flavours.
Everything is supervised by Professor Denis Dubourdieu, eminent Professor of Oenology at Bordeaux University, yeast expert extraordinaire, godfather of the white wine revolution in Bordeaux and consultant to many other top red and white chateaux including Clos Floridène (white), de Rayne-Vigneau (sweet white), Haut Bailly and Cheval Blanc (both red).
Recent Vintages (notes by Bill Blatch and Neil Martin of The Wine Advocate):
Bill Blatch Very similar in style to its sister château the Doisy-Daëne, with similar zesty citrus fruit and appley freshness pervading a high level of concentration. It is less absolutely fine than the Doisy relying totally on its two extremes of high fruit tones and high sweetness, and the finish is less complete and a touch pinched. Nonetheless, this will be one of the best non-classé wines.
Neal Martin – 89-91 points. The 2011 Chateau Cantegril has a lightly honeyed nose with fine minerality that is perhaps more Sauternes in style than Barsac. The palate has a viscous entry, crisp acidity, impressive harmony and a very pure, botrytized finish that is long and satisfying. This is an excellent non-classified Barsac. Drink 2014-2020.
Bill Blatch The non-Classe property of Denis Dubourdieu of Chateau Doisy-Daëne, making superlative wines now. Normally a very mineral style which should suit 2010 – a very mineral style vintage. Tensile, almost metal kind of tones to the fruit, really closely defined. Beautiful intensity as well. This is quite a sweet wine, almost as sweet as his quite sweet tasting 2009. This has 150g/l of sweetness which is pretty hefty for the vintage with most wines being between 120 and 135.
Neal Martin – 89-91/100. The 2010 Chateau Cantegril has a pure nose with lifted scents of lemon curd and honey. The palate has a lively entry with racy acidity, and despite its linear finish, it exhibits admirable tension and poise, and seems to blossom with touches of brioche and vanilla with continued aeration. This is a lovely Cantegril.
Bill Blatch Denis Dubourdieu’s other Barsac estate has produced a very similarly rich (153 g/l residual) blend to his Doisy-Daëne, similarly styled yet with a point more obvious acidity and a softer form of middle-fruit.
Neal Martin – 89-91+ pts. This has a lifted, voluminous nose that is lacking a little complexity. Very primal, developing scents of white flower with aeration. The palate is vibrant and really packs a punch on the entry. Overly citrus orange peel notes inflect the honeyed fruit, taut and precise towards the finish. If the aromatics develop in barrel, this will be excellent.