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The 2015 Pipeau is a blend of 90% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc matured in 80% new oak. It has a clean and pure black cherry and cassis-scented bouquet that is neatly embroidered with the new oak. The palate is medium-bodied, svelte and smooth in the mouth, yes, a little oaky and obvious, but there is the fruit to back it up. This is a guilty pleasure. I would like to smack its wrist for being too oaky, but it feels balanced and I have little doubt that after 3-4 years, it could turn out delicious!
Dominique Lauret and Richard Mestreguilhem are the current owners and directors of Château Pipeau. The estate takes its name from the meaning of the French term for a reed pipe.
The large, 25 hectare Right Bank vineyard of Château Pipeau is planted to 90% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. The terroir is sand, gravel, and clay soils. They have parcels in a myriad of different locations in the Saint Emilion appellation, which in some vintages can make it difficult to harvest grapes fully ripened, across the board. The vineyard has old vines, with an average vine age of close to 30 years. The vineyards are harvested using a combination of machine harvesting and handpicking.