2021 Château Grand Mayne, St Emilion, Bordeaux

2021 Château Grand Mayne, St Emilion, Bordeaux

Product: 20218124227
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2021 Château Grand Mayne, St Emilion, Bordeaux

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Merlot 75%, Cabernet Franc 25%

Slow and measured progress are the watchwords for Jean-Antoine and Damien Nony. Their long-term vineyard replanting is underway, mostly to a higher density, with Cabernet Franc cuttings from vines first planted in 1957; three more hectares will soon come on stream. Since the 2016 arrival of Technical Director Pierre-Yves Petit, there is more focus on attention to detail and avoiding extremes. The ’21 fits that model very nicely – the bouquet has a smoky and spicy lift, and the palate is precise and sculpted, with density and grip indicating good ageing potential. Drink 2027-2042.

Our score: 16.5/20

Berry Bros. & Rudd, April 2022

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Critics reviews

Neal Martin, Vinous92-94/100

The 2021 Grand Mayne has a pure, sensual bouquet of perfumed red and blue fruit, quite floral in style. The oak is nicely integrated here. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy red fruit and fine tannins, and quite mineral-driven, leading to a poised, persistent finish. This is another excellent wine from Jean-Antoine and Damien Nony.

Drink 2028 - 2050

Neal Martin, vinous.com, (May 2022) Read more

Jane Anson90/100

Here is a wine where the touch of smoked oak does a good job of filling out the mid palate, clear clove and tar, 50% new oak 33hl/h yield. Abrupt on the finish, a little austere, but there is careful extraction and a sense of precision. Tasted twice.

Drink 2026 - 2042

Jane Anson, janeanson.com (May 2022) Read more

Wine Advocate90-91/100

The 2021 Grand Mayne is a success, unwinding in the glass with aromas of cherries, blackberries, sweet soil tones and creamy new oak. Medium to full-bodied, lively and supple, with a fleshy core of fruit, ripe tannins and succulent acids, it represents a strong performance. Tasted three times.

William Kelley, Wine Advocate (Apr 2022) Read more

Jancis Robinson MW16/20

Reticent nose with a floral nuance. Compact with layered fruit and integrated tannins. Slightly drying finish but there is substance.

Drink 2027 - 2036

James Lawther, jancisrobinson.com (May 2022) Read more

About this WINE

Chateau Grand Mayne

Chateau Grand Mayne

Château Grand Mayne sits at the heart of the St Emilion appellation on Bordeaux’s Right Bank. The 17-hectare vineyard has remained unchanged for 300 years or so. Brothers Jean-Antoine and Damien Nony are the third generation of their family at the helm here. Their late father, Jean-Pierre, sadly passed away in 2001, aged just 55. The most prized part of the vineyard is a slope of limestone over clay. “My father used to call it his Romanée-Conti,” Jean-Antoine recalls. “It looks like a Burgundian Grand Cru.”

As recently as the 1960s, there was around 40% Cabernet Franc planted here. Over time, it dropped to 10-15% of the plantings. When Jean-Antoine took over in 2012, he initiated a replanting programme, now underway and due to be completed in 2035. The estate has been a Grand Cru Classé since 1955.

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St Emilion is one of Bordeaux's largest producing appellations, producing more wine than Listrac, Moulis, St Estèphe, Pauillac, St Julien and Margaux put together. St Emilion has been producing wine for longer than the Médoc but its lack of accessibility to Bordeaux's port and market-restricted exports to mainland Europe meant the region initially did not enjoy the commercial success that funded the great châteaux of the Left Bank. 

St Emilion itself is the prettiest of Bordeaux's wine towns, perched on top of the steep limestone slopes upon which many of the region's finest vineyards are situated. However, more than half of the appellation's vineyards lie on the plain between the town and the Dordogne River on sandy, alluvial soils with a sprinkling of gravel. 

Further diversity is added by a small, complex gravel bed to the north-east of the region on the border with Pomerol.  Atypically for St Emilion, this allows Cabernet Franc and, to a lesser extent, Cabernet Sauvignon to prosper and defines the personality of the great wines such as Ch. Cheval Blanc.  

In the early 1990s there was an explosion of experimentation and evolution, leading to the rise of the garagistes, producers of deeply-concentrated wines made in very small quantities and offered at high prices.  The appellation is also surrounded by four satellite appellations, Montagne, Lussac, Puisseguin and St. Georges, which enjoy a family similarity but not the complexity of the best wines.

St Emilion was first officially classified in 1954, and is the most meritocratic classification system in Bordeaux, as it is regularly amended. The most recent revision of the classification was in 2012

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Merlot/Cabernet Franc

Merlot/Cabernet Franc

Merlot and Cabernet Franc are grape varieties commonly used in Bordeaux-style blends, particularly in the Bordeaux region of France. When these two grapes are blended, they can create a wine that combines the best characteristics of each variety.

Merlot is known for its smoothness, soft tannins, and ripe fruit flavours. It often contributes black cherry, plum, and chocolate flavours to the blend. The grapes are relatively easy to grow and ripen earlier than other Bordeaux varieties, making them versatile for blending.

Cabernet Franc, on the other hand, adds structure, depth, and complexity to the blend. It typically brings aromas of red fruits such as raspberry and strawberry, along with herbal notes like bell pepper and tobacco. These grapes have thinner skins and can be more challenging to cultivate, requiring specific growing conditions to reach their full potential.

When Merlot and Cabernet Franc are combined, the result is a well-balanced wine with various flavours and aromas. The blend often exhibits a Bordeaux wine's medium to full body, along with a smooth texture and moderate tannins. The specific flavour profile can vary depending on the proportions of each grape in the blend and the terroir and winemaking techniques employed.

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