We have long held up Château Aney as one of the precious few remaining bastions of family-held estates in the hallowed ground of Bordeaux’s upper Médoc. The Raimond family made traditional and affordable Cabernet Sauvignon–based wine here for decades. Their wine always reminded Kermit of the clarets he easily turned up when he traveled the wine route of Bordeaux early on in his career. The location of the château is indeed enviable, situated between Margaux and Saint-Julien on the western edge of the Gironde River in the town of Cussac-Fort-Médoc. Named after Fort-Médoc, built in the late seventeenth century during the reign of Louis XIV and designed to protect the city of Bordeaux from attack, this small, fortified town once had great strategic importance to Bordeaux and all of France. Cussac is the last town before the Gironde splits into the Garonne and Dordogne rivers that flow through downtown Bordeaux and Libourne, respectively—a last line of defense, if you will. Alas, the bastion has fallen, snatched up by a much larger company with holdings all over the region. This will be the last vintage of Château Aney that we import. Aney’s vineyards were planted in 1976 on classic Medocian gravel soils, predominantly to Cabernet Sauvignon along with Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. The wine is vinified in large cement tanks and then aged in barriques, approximately 30% new, for one year before release. The 2015 Aney will improve in your cellar for the next twenty years, and I recommend buying a case to preserve the memory of what is quickly becoming a lost art.
Château Aney represents the only estate from the Left Bank of Bordeaux in our portfolio, and it’s no coincidence. In the heart of a landscape dominated by prestigious first growths—many of which are owned by banking groups and other multinational corporations—family-run Aney is an exception to the rule of big houses producing exorbitantly priced wines. Its situation, right in between Saint-Julien and Margaux in the heart of the Médoc, is favorable to making reds that mimic the character of many grands châteaux: the gravelly soils here are ideal for Cabernet Sauvignon, giving firmly structured wines with stony tannins capable of long-term aging. The top-notch terroir and consistent execution by the Raimond family has earned Aney “cru Bourgeois” status, a rank awarded to estates left out of the Classification of 1855 that nonetheless make classic wines of great quality and typicity. When we refer to an old-fashioned claret, this is exactly what we’re talking about.
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