Château-Malartic-Lagraviere Pessac Léognan 2016
|Region||France, Bordeaux, Pessac-Leognan|
For the red wines, the vintage is in the "exceptional" category. We have rarely seen such substance and balance in both polyphenolic and aromatic terms. Long and slow ripening has refined the tannins and developed complexity in the flavours and aromas, while maintaining plenty of freshness. Exceptional and superb.
Blend: 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot
The Bonnie family's estate has produced a richly structured wine, full of the ripe tannins indicative of the vintage. To balance the structure, powerful flavors of black currant and dark berries give ripeness. It is a wine to age; drink after 2026.
I love the deep and complex nose, in which the cassis and mint of cabernet sauvignon are beautifully married to the more generous blackberry of ripe merlot and the vanilla and toasty notes from the oak are marvelously integrated. On the palate it creeps up on you slowly; the first impression is ripe yet delicate, then the fine-grained tannins charge through and light up the sky. Very long finish. Drink or hold.
The colour is rich and deep but with luminosity that gives nuance and fresh air. It's a lovely 2016, poised but not as powerful as some in the vintage, yet every inch the sophisticated reflection of the appellation. Restrained grilled berry fruits take their time to unfurl. It's still very closed but the liquorice and slate notes become clearer after 10 minutes in the glass, and the wine has already deepened in the few years since bottling. 3% Petit Verdot completes the blend.
As to the red, the grand vin is the 2016 Château Malartic-Lagravière (53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, and the balance Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot). Aged in 80% new barrels and hitting 13.5% natural alcohol, it offers a deep purple color with beautiful cassis, tobacco, crushed rocks, and subtle incense aromas and flavors. Balanced, medium to full-bodied, and straight-up seamless on the palate, it’s another brilliant Graves that offers ample pleasure today yet will keep for 20+ years or more.
Ripe and fresh, with bright cherry, plum and currant pâte de fruit flavors that have a racy edge while roasted apple wood, sweet tobacco and red licorice notes fill in through the lengthy finish. Thoroughly delicious, and approachable now or capable of some cellaring. Drink now through 2030. 11,250 cases made.