“Clos Petit-Corbin”, Saint-Émilion Grand Cru
The estate’s second wine provides a supple, beguiling counterpoint to the flagship cuvée’s muscular classicism. Comprised entirely of Merlot—partly from a one-hectare plot in the dark-sand soils of Corbin, and partly from a hectare in Fortin—Clos Petit-Corbin displays the sheer elegance the variety can achieve in this appellation. Florent and Danielle employ no new wood here, and a small portion of the wine remains in tank during the élévage, thereby further emphasizing its purity and drinkability. What strikes the drinker about this wine is its sense of grace: this is not Merlot forced into some caricature of voluptuousness or gym-pumped into an awkward imitation of Cabernet; rather, it revels comfortably in its lip-smacking red-fruited prettiness. It’s the kind of wine that can only be produced here, and only by growers who are able to fully trust noble Merlot to be its truest self.