The 2021 La Gaffelière was picked September 22 to October 15, and matured in 60% French new oak. There is a healthy 42% Cabernet Franc here. The nose is quite open with black cherry, blueberry and touches of violet and peony; the oak is nicely integrated. In the mouth, this is medium-bodied with fine delineation, good focus and real midpalate weight. Conveying good intensity and vibrancy, this continues a strong run for this Saint-Émilion estate.
Drink 2028 - 2055
Neal Martin, vinous.com, (May 2022)
The 2021 La Gaffelière is a wine of extraordinary finesse and class. Time in the glass brings out striking depth and complexity. The aromatics alone are beguiling but everything about the 2021 speaks to elegance. Crushed red berry fruit, rose petals, blood orange, mint and saline notes punctuate the finish.
Drink 2031 - 2061
Antonio Galloni, vinous.com (May 2022)
A notable success in this vintage, the 2021 La Gaffelière offers up aromas of sweet cherries and berries mingled with notions of licorice, loamy soil and spices. Medium to full-bodied, seamless and enveloping, it's supple and charming, with a fleshy core of fruit, lively acids and ripe, powdery tannins, concluding with impressive persistence. Tasted four times, twice at the château.
William Kelley, Wine Advocate (Apr 2022)
Cask sample. Bright crimson hue. Elegant demeanour with perfumed, red-berry fruit aromas and layered fruit on the palate. Tannins present but finely honed. Long, persistent finish. Matière and potential.
James Lawther, jancisrobinson.com (May 2022)
A very precise and curated wine with ultra-fine tannins that run the length of the wine. Medium body. Dark berry and dark chocolate flavors and a creamy finish. Classy.
James Suckling, jamessuckling.com (May 2022)
About this WINE
Chateau La Gaffeliere
Château La Gaffelière is owned by Léo de Malet Roquefort, and the 22 hectare property produces on average 10,000 cases per year. Located in the centre of the St. Emilion appellation, due south of St. Emilion town, the property shares a similar climate to that enjoyed by both St.Emilion and Pomerol: more continental than the maritime Médoc, with generally more spring rainfall, though less in summer and winter.
La Gaffeliere's vineyards (Cabernet Sauvignon 5%, Merlot 65%, Cabernet Franc 30%) lie on a sloped sandy/clay-limestone topsoil and limestone subsoil (a mix of Côtes and Pieds de Côtes). Fermentation takes place in stainless steel followed by extended wood maturation, with 33% of the barells being renewed annually.
La Gaffeliere is classified as a 1er grand cru classé(B).
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
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.