Capbern Gasqueton leapt onto our radar during the 2009 primeur campaign. This well situated estate is owned and managed by the same family who own Calon Segur. The wines are a cool, refined style of St Estephe and are usually priced at little more than £10 per bottle in bond. The 2011 offers plenty of cool refined fruit, good texture, and classic St Estephe minerality. Unlike many St Estephe at this level there is some sweet fruit here; alluring and refreshingly honest Claret. 74% Cabernet Sauvignon and 26% Merlot.
Capbern Gasqueton occupies 41 hectares, excellently situated to the south of Calon Segur and not far from the other leading lights on the appellation, Montrose and Cos d’Estournel. The wines offer very good value for money. They display classic St Estephe minerality, ample black fruit character and in the best vintages will reward ten year’s cellaring. In June 2012, following the death of Denise Capbern Gasqueton, the estate formed part of the €170M purchase of Calon Segur by French insurance company Suravenir.
A part of St-Estèphe is separated from Pauillac's Lafite only by a stream.Though St-Estèphe contains some gravel, it is largely renowned for the high clay content of its soils compared with other vineyards on the left bank. These wetter cooler soils favour the Merlot, hence the relatively large proportion of plantings compared neighbouring communes, though Cabernet Sauvignon dominates. The cool soils means the grapes are later ripeing and tend to have high acidities, archetypal St Estèphe is a strong-willed, tannic structured wine to be laid down. The stars of St-Estèphe are Montrose, Cos d’Estournel and Calon-Segur, whilst Haut Marbuzet and Lafon Rochet have been producing excellent value wines over the last few years.