2011 Sleeper Bordeaux - you probably need this. $18.99
Chateau Joanin Becot was purchased by the Becot family in 2001 in February 2001. According to Juliette Becot, they chose this Bordeaux wine property because of the unique terroir. Joanin Becot is located at some some of the highest elevations along the Gironde. Their Cotes de Castillon vineyard is named in part for the terroir. In fact, Joanin is situated on a “lieu-dit” or vineyard, which is called Joanin. Shortly after purchasing the estate, the family added their name to the property as well. In 2001 at the time of the purchase, Joanin Becot was 5.4 hectares. With additional purchases, they increased the size of their Bordeaux vineyards to 12 hectares.
The 12 hectare Cotes de Bordeaux vineyard of Joanin Becot is planted to 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. Chateau Joanin Becot has a terroir of clay and limestone soils. The vineyard is planted to a vine density that ranges from 5,200 vines per hectare to 6,250 plants per hectare. The higher levels of vine density are found with all the newer plantings.
In 2002 at Joanin Becot they installed new cellars for the vinification. The fermentation takes place in the upstairs portion of their cellar. The cellars for the barrel aging are on the lower level, which allows the wine to move by gravity. The family ordered custom made tanks for their Right Bank estate. These appear to resemble large pans, with a conical shape. This allows for extensive manual cap punching here.
Yields are kept low at Chateau Joanin Becot with an average of 25 hectoliters per hectare, due to green harvesting and selection in the cellar.Using carbonic ice, they make a cold pre-fermentation maceration for 4 days before alcoholic fermentation starts. During this time the juice is pumped over twice a day to extract color and tannins. To break the cap, they perform manual cap-punchings and delestages. The wine of Chateau Joanin Becot is vinified in temperature controlled, stainless vats.
Malolactic fermentation takes place in barrel. When the alcoholic fermentation is finished, the wine is runoff by gravity into 65% new, French oak barrels for an average of 15 months. The wine making and vineyard management was consulted by Michel Rolland. Today, Jean-Philippe Forts is the consultant.
This is obviously a very labor intensive project for any winery and more labor intensive than many other wines in Cotes de Castillon. But the quality of the wine found in Joanin Becot is where those efforts pay off.
Chateau Joanin Becot is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift. Young vintages can be decanted for up to 1 hour. This allows the wine to soften and open its perfume. Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment. Chateau Joanin Becot is best paired with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted, braised and grilled dishes. Chateau Joanin Becot is also good when matched with Asian dishes, rich fish courses like tuna, mushrooms and pasta.
Juliette Becot, the owner and wine maker of Joanin Becot says, her philosophy is to consider her vineyard like a beautiful garden which takes work during the summer. She treats her grapes carefully, just like refined roses.
Starting with the 2010 Bordeaux vintage, Joanin Becot sported a new label to accompany the famous pink capsule.
Stylistically, Joanin Becot offers ample charm, freshness, ripe flavors and soft textures. It drinks well young and is fairly priced for a Bordeaux wine of its quality.
-excerpted from The Wine Cellar Insider