Thoughts on Cantemerle?

Hi everyone,

Wondering what your thoughts are on Chateau Cantemerle, that last addition to the the 1855 classification. A few months ago, I had a 1989 that was just lovely. Yesterday I popped the cork on a 2011 and had a pretty different experience. It was a bit of a weird experience: the fruit profile read as young and in need of further development, while the resolved tannins and low acidity indicated that it might start on the decline sooner rather than later.

I realize 2011 isn’t the best vintage, and not necessarily a great representation of this Chateau, but I’m curious what your experiences have been. My fantastic experience with the 1989 made me think that this might be a great Bordeaux value hiding in plain site, but this 2011 made me rethink that.


TN for 1989: TN 1989 Chateau Cantemerle - WINE TALK - WineBerserkers

TN for 2011:
"Tastes like a lovely Bordeaux, but with the volume turned down.

Dark garnet core with a watery rim. Aromas are quite fruit forward, straddling the line between red and black. Quite nice, actually. The flavor profile in the mouth is rather young. Like the nose, flavors are primarily fruit: sweet red cherry and blackberries. Some of that good ole Bordeaux graphite is present as well, and on day two, a touch of cocoa appears on the finish. But the acidity is medium-low, and the tannins, while present, are rather light; all rather surprising given the otherwise youthful flavors.

Overall, the nose and flavors are on point for L Bank Bordeaux, but the intensity of flavor is just not there. It’s almost as if the bottle was 90% wine and 10% water. Kind of disappointing. Maybe the mediocre vintage? Given the fruit-forward profile, I’d love to say that this just needs more time. However, the low acidity and nearly resolved tannins lead me to doubt whether this wine will last more than a few more years before starting to decline. Pop it now for a B/B+ experience, or hold onto the bottle for a few more years and roll the dice? Up to you."

Cantemerle is a wonderful little jewel. The 1989 has long had a reputation as the best wine made there of its era. The winemaking changed (for the better) in the early 2000s but they stayed humble and never hiked their prices by any noticeable amount. 2011 Bordeaux is a year to avoid and I wouldn’t judge anyone on the vintage. Pick up an '18 or '19 whenever they hit shelves and try the latest to see if you like it.


1996 is another really nice one.

1 Like

Cantemerle is a nice wine for the price. Capbern could be one to check out if you want more intensity.

Cantemerle is a great wine for the price it sells at. If you find any 2010, it is really singing nowadays.

It’s a little gem. I’ve always been fond of the ‘83, my birth year.

2000 is a gem too.

The 2015 is excellent.

The 2016s are also great. I started buying a full case of these in most years since the qpr is so good. Actually had a 1966 last year which was tertiary obviously but was very enjoyable!

Agree it was a really good wine. It’s been years since I had my last bottle.
I guess I’m older than you because I bought mine as futures!

I don’t buy a lot of Bordeaux these days, but thought the 2010 Cantemerle was pretty good.


I was very unimpressed with the 2015. Maybe our bottle was very slightly corked and/or poorly decanted, but it was pretty abysmal for me. Just my experience with one bottle.

If one is really into Cantemerle, the estate’s coffee table book is worth picking up.

I buy it periodically, and as others note above, would not judge it on 2011.

It’s made in good quantities, well distributed, and priced for the 99%

The 2011 is the only Cantemerle I’ve tried. My notes indicate a lot of disappointment in the first glass. After considerable air time, it showed a very significant inprovement. A totally different wine.

I’ve got the 2015 and 2018 Cantemerle in my cellar waiting patiently for me.

I have a soft spot for Cantemerle as it was my gateway into Bordeaux. Learned about it on Berserkers, of course. I haven’t had the 2011 but was pretty impressed with 2009 and 2010 and would echo what Arv said above.

Cantemerle is worth trying every vintage. The good vintages are priced at about half of what they could be, for the quality in the bottle.


As others have said historically 1983 and 1989 were wonderful. 1996 was another delicious vintage. I have found some variability recently, but have bought every bottle of 2009, 2010, 2015 and 2016 I could carry.

I agree that Cantemerle is always worth trying but I’m not quite such a fan as some here. The 89 is (or was) an extraordinary wine but I’ve never tasted anything as good since. Today, for me it is, in quality, like a very good Cru Bourgeois - I get as much but no more satisfaction from Cantemerle than I do from Citran, for example, at half the price. I still have several vintages from 05 to 16 and I keep hoping for another 89.

Had a 2009 a few weeks back.
It was quite good.
Not great, but good.
Felt mature.

Glad to see the comments on the 2010-I found 6 of them a year or 2 ago but haven’t opened one yet.