Red, For laying down

2012 Ch. Malartic-Lagravière, Rouge Pessac-Léognan

2012 Ch. Malartic-Lagravière, Rouge Pessac-Léognan

Red | For laying down | Chateau Malartic-Lagraviere | Code: 19303 | 2012 | France > Bordeaux > Pessac-Leognan | Cab.Sauvignon Blend | Medium-Full Bodied, Dry | 13.5 % alcohol

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New To BBX

Bottle 12 x 75cl1cs

£350.00
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Scores and Reviews

DECANTER

17.5/20

JANCIS

17+/20

PARKER

91-93/100

WS

90-93/100

DECANTER - Deep velvety black-red, fine concentration and quite ripe tannins behind the fruit, lovely middle sweetness, this continues Malartic's run of quality.
Steven Spurrier, Decanter, April 2013

JANCIS - Very dark crimson. Smells rather leafy and Cabernet-dominated. Aromatic, then very sweet, then firm and with sandy tannins on the finish. Angular and more long term than many. Ambitious. There is great polish here. Calm finish (no heat). I admire the dryness and appetising, rather than palate-drying, tannins. Grown-up wine.
Jancis Robinson MW, jancisrobinson.com, 19 Apr 2013

PARKER - This Belgian-owned estate has been making brilliant white and red Graves. Another beauty in a more difficult vintage than either 2009 or 2010, the 2012 Malartic Lagraviere is further evidence of how successful this vintage was in Pessac-Leognan. It possesses a dense purple color as well as a sumptuous perfume of creme de cassis, licorice, bay leaf, lead pencil shavings and barbecue smoke. Medium to full-bodied and richly fruity with soft tannin, surprising length and an impressive mid-palate (a rarity in 2012), it should drink well for 15 years.
Robert Parker - Wine Advocate - Apr 2013

WS - This has some power and precision, with densely layered fig, blackberry and boysenberry paste flavors lined with charcoal and sweet tobacco notes. Long and tarry, but polished too. Strong showing.
James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, April 8 2013

The Producer

Chateau Malartic-Lagraviere

Chateau Malartic-Lagraviere

Château Malartic-Lagravière, a Cru Classé de Graves,was previously owned by the Champagne house, Laurent- Perrier - in 1997 it was bought by a Belgian couple, Michele and Alfred-Alexandre Bonnie, whose son and daughter-in-law, Jean-Jacques and Severine, have now assumed control.

There are 47 hectares of under vine, but only 7 of which are dedicated to white grapes, situated on a fine gravel ridge and now almost encroached on by the suburban outgrowth of Léognan. The estate produces high quality reds as well as tiny amounts of Sauvignon Blanc-dominated white wine. The red is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc.

The grapes are fermented partly in wooden vats, partly in stainless steel tanks, and then spend up to 15 months in oak barrels, roughly 50% of which are new. The creation of a second wine, La Réserve de Malartic Rouge (previously known as Le Sillage de Malartic), has been a further aid to the qualitative improvement which has been steadily taking place here over the past decade or so. In recent years no more than 60% of the crop goes into the Grand Vin, far less than back in the early 1990s and testament to the dedication to the highest levels of quality displayed by the new owners.

Their red wines are discreetly elegant, well-balanced that can be austere in youth but, with age, develop complexity and a distinct mineral character that is shared by all the great clarets of Pessac-Léognan.

The Grape

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.

In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.

In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and  Australia.

The Region

Pessac-Leognan

Pessac-Leognan

In 1986 a new communal district was created within Graves, in Bordeaux,  based on the districts of Pessac and Léognan, the first of which lies within the suburbs of the city. Essentially this came about through pressure from Pessac-Léognan vignerons, who wished to disassociate themselves from growers with predominately sandy soils further south in Graves.

Pessac-Léognan has the best soils of the region, very similar to those of the Médoc, although the depth of gravel is more variable, and contains all the classed growths of the region. Some of its great names, including Ch. Haut-Brion, even sit serenely and resolutely in Bordeaux's southern urban sprawl.

The climate is milder than to the north of the city and the harvest can occur up to two weeks earlier. This gives the best wines a heady, rich and almost savoury character, laced with notes of tobacco, spice and leather. Further south, the soil is sandier with more clay, and the wines are lighter, fruity and suitable for earlier drinking.

Recommended Châteaux: Ch. Haut-Brion, Ch. la Mission Haut-Brion, Ch. Pape Clément, Ch Haut-Bailly, Domaine de Chevalier, Ch. Larrivet-Haut-Brion, Ch. Carmes Haut-Brion, Ch. La Garde, Villa Bel-Air.

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