Wine Words & Video Tape

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Château Sociando-Mallet

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Address: 33180 Saint Seurin de Cadourne

Telephone: +33 (0)5 56 73 38 80

Sociando-Mallet has cult status in France. It is easy to see why. This Haut-Médoc has operated at the level of the classed growths for many years and is renowned for its purity, concentration and longevity. In many ways this wine behaves more like a great St Estèphe, such as Château Calon Ségur or even Château Montrose, not surprising when you realise that Sociando-Mallet neighbours the St Estephe commune and has vineyards overlooking the Gironde. Jean Gautreau is the estate’s uncompromising owner.

Vineyard/Terrior: 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Average age of vines 25-30 years. 8800 vines per hectare and 50-55 hl/hectare yield.

Winemaking/Elevage: Temperature controlled fermentation and 20 day maceration. 10-12 months ageing in 100% new oak. Bottled without fining and filtration.

Tasting notes:

  • 2011 2011 Mid black/red; blackcurrants, smoke and class; very open; blackcurrants on the palate; bold and pure – this is an exciting 2011 and shows how well this vintage has developed in certain cases. Good depth and long finish. Another ten years in it. Drink 2015-2025. Tasted April ’15. 91+
  • 2008 Black red; quite pent up; some spice and blackcurrant; cool tones; palate full and pretty backward; some astringency on the finish. 87/100 April ’11
  • 2000 black and thick in the glass; dark brooding with cassis, blackcurrants and liquorice; quite tough and concentrated ball of fruit on the palate with oodles of tannin; this is a concentrated almost old-fashioned wine, strapping and packed full on the palate of fruit, acid and tannin. Could last forever but needs at least five years to open out as it feels pretty backward. 90-92+/100 Aug ‘10
  • 1996 deep red black and tight to the rim; toasty oak and cassis on the nose; palate full, with good structure, plenty of fruit but still with lots of tannin to resolve. Doesn’t seem a day older than the 2000! 90+/100 Aug ‘10

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