Ultimate Beverage Challenge 93 points - Sweet and spicy aromas of dried figs, nutmeg, mace, and roasted chestnuts. The palate is figgy and nutty, with nicely balanced sweetness and spiciness. The texture is rich and thick. Long lasting flavors of spices, raisins and pecans. (Apr 2014)
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In 1887 the owners of Sanchez Romate Hermanos began to make a unique, different brandy for their own consumption. The quality soon earned increasing fame and the winery decided to market it with the name Cardenal Mendoza.
This name pays tribute to Pedro Gonzalez de Mendoza (1423-1495), a historical figure who played a crucial role in the conquest of the Muslim kingdom of Granada and especially in the discovery of America, as he interceded on behalf of Christopher Columbus’ project before the Catholic Monarchs.
Bright, transparent, of dark mahogany colours.
Round, clean, elegant, winey aromas.
Long, warm and balanced on the mouth, with no harsh edges.
With personality, a harmony of subtle flavours and an intense finish of raisins and plums.
This is Cardenal Mendoza Clasico, a Solera Gran Reserva brandy made from a selection of the finest distilled holandas, or wine spirits, which are aged using the traditional ‘steps and ladders’ system. The casks used to age Cardenal Mendoza, which are previously treated with oloroso and Pedro Ximenez sherry, make up one of the largest Solera Gran Reserva ageing cellars - a guarantee of this brandy’s age and quality.
Chateau La Bienfaisance, located in the town of Saint-Christophe des Bardes on the outskirts of Saint-Emilion, has a 16-hectare vineyard. The main plots, planted with Merlot and Cabernet-Franc grape varieties, are on the famous clay and limestone plateau of Saint-Emilion and on the clay and sandy slopes of the following hillside. This remarkable variety of soils enables the crafting of wines with complementary qualities of powerfulness, finesse and elegance.
Over the last ten years, cropping techniques driven by the determination to attain the highest possible quality have been implemented in the 30-year old vines: integrated crop management to respect the terroir and the grapes, progressive leaf removal, crop thinning, hand picking at maximum ripeness, double sorting of the grapes before their arrival in the vat-room, everything is done every year to obtain concentrated grapes with an outstanding quality potential.
The aim in making the wine of Chateau La Bienfaisance and the Sanctus special reserve, operations led by Didier Peytour, the cellar-master of the Chateau and by Stephane Derenoncourt, the highly reputed Saint-Emilion consultant grower, is to express the character of each individual vintage. The essential elements are a slow, gentle extraction of the colour and the tannins and prolonged ageing on the lees with carefully controlled inputs of oxygen, in order to combine fruitiness, roundness and soft fullness. A varying percentage of new barrels is used for ageing, depending on the vintage, so as to preserve the delicate balance between fruitiness and woodiness, power and elegance. The final blending of the wines is performed immediately prior to fining and bottling.