2023 Château Vray Croix de Gay, Pomerol, Bordeaux

2023 Château Vray Croix de Gay, Pomerol, Bordeaux

Product: 20238123187
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2023 Château Vray Croix de Gay, Pomerol, Bordeaux

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Blend: 98% Merlot; 2% Cabernet Franc. 

This is the last vintage to be made off the property at Ch. Sieurac – the new winery will be ready for the 2024 vintage. It is made by the Calon-Ségur team (Ch. Le Prieuré also), with Eric Boissenot consulting. The vineyard sits on the Pomerol plateau, with Lafleur, Le Gay, Trotanoy and Le Pin as neighbours. Like many Pomerols this year, it is floral and fresh but does lack the thicker textures of Pomerol in a hot year – an advantage to some. The detailed palate has a gentle roll of bitter cocoa on the finish. 

Drink 2028 - 2040

Our score: 16.5/20

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Critics reviews

Neal Martin, Vinous89-91/100

The 2023 Vray Croix de Gay was cropped at 34hL/ha and aged in 30% new oak. (From 2022, there is also a redesigned label). 

There is something sedate about the nose that gradually unfurls: fine lift and perfume, with subtle black truffle scents following through. The palate is medium-bodied, and the oak is particularly conspicuous and imparts a creamy texture. It shows modest depth, but it’s just missing a little grip and heft on the finish, where the wood tannins show slightly more than I would have liked. This is a more elegant take on the vintage, and there is nothing wrong with that, but watch those wood tannins once this is bottled–they need to integrate fully.

Drink 2027 - 2040

Neal Martin, Vinous.com (April 2024)

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Antonio Galloni, Vinous91-94/100

Tasted two times

The 2023 Vray Croix de Gay is a classy, elegant wine. Dark red cherry, plum, mocha, liquorice and sweet spice are nicely pushed forward. Pretty floral overtones lift the finish. This succulent, racy Pomerol is all sensuality and understatement.

Drink 2028 - 2043

Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com (April 2024)

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Wine Advocate91-93/100

The 2023 Vray Croix de Gay is charming and velvety, bursting with aromas of petals, plums, orange zest and spices. Medium to full-bodied, supple and layered, itsuave, vibrant profile reflects the choice to pick comparatively early, beginning on September 5.

William Kelley, Wine Advocate (April 2024)

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Jancis Robinson MW16+/20

98% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc. 34 hl/ha. Certified organic. Cask sample.

Fragrant red-berry aromas. Just a hint of Burgundian. Definite structure, so there is some ageing potential. Oak needs to be fully integrated. There’s a bit of warmth, but there’s freshness as well. Promising. 

Drink 2028 - 2038

James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com (May 2024)

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James Suckling93-94/100

98% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc. 3.67-hectare vineyard.

Bright and vivid with crunchy fruit and lightly powdery tannins. Medium-bodied and savoury. The tannins are very polished and fine.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (May 2024)

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3.75pH. 34hl/ha yield. Ageing 18 months, 30% new.

Bramble bushes and freshly picked black summer berries with some dark chocolate elements. A little dark and sticky, quite savoury and toasted but not from the oak, some bitter coffee and liquorice elements with warming blackcurrant and black cherry fruit. Smooth and streamlined, this has a lovely precise and fresh element to the fruit, clean and crystalline. It’s not so plush, more linear, but it doesn’t feel like it’s missing any concentration or power.

Drink 2030 - 2042

Georgina Hindle, Decanter.com (May 2024)

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About this WINE

Château Vray Croix de Gay

Château Vray Croix de Gay

Located in the Pomerol appellation of Bordeaux, Château Vray Croix de Gay's history dates back to the 18th century when it was part of the larger Château La Croix de Gay estate. Over time, the property was divided, and Château Vray Croix de Gay emerged as a separate entity. The estate is currently owned by the Lasserre family, who have been involved in the wine business for several generations.

The vineyards of Château Vray Croix de Gay cover approximately 4 hectares and are planted with 80% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon vines. The estate practices sustainable viticulture, preserving the natural environment and producing high-quality grapes.

The winemaking is overseen by renowned winemaker Michel Rolland, known for his expertise in crafting rich and expressive wines. The wines are typically characterised by their elegance, complexity, and ageing potential.

While Château Vray Croix de Gay is not classified as a Grand Cru Classé in the Bordeaux wine classification system, it is considered one of the top estates in Pomerol.

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Pomerol is the smallest of Bordeaux's major appellations, with about 150 producers and approximately 740 hectares of vineyards. It is home to many bijou domaines, many of which produce little more than 1,000 cases per annum.

Both the topography and architecture of the region is unremarkable, but the style of the wines is most individual. The finest vineyards are planted on a seam of rich clay which extends across the gently-elevated plateau of Pomerol, which runs from the north-eastern boundary of St Emilion. On the sides of the plateau, the soil becomes sandier and the wines lighter.

For a long time Pomerol was regarded as the poor relation of St Emilion, but the efforts of Jean-Pierre Moueix in the mid-20th century brought the wine to the attention of more export markets, where its fleshy, intense and muscular style found a willing audience, in turn leading to surge in prices led by the demand for such limited quantities.

There is one satellite region to the immediate north, Lalande-de-Pomerol whose wines are stylistically very similar, if sometimes lacking the finesse of its neighbour. There has never been a classification of Pomerol wines.

Recommended Châteaux : Ch. Pétrus, Vieux Ch. Certan, Le Pin, Ch. L’Eglise-Clinet, Ch. La Conseillante, Ch. L’Evangile, Ch. Lafleur, Trotanoy, Ch. Nenin, Ch. Beauregard, Ch. Feytit-Clinet, Le Gay.

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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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