Château-Malartic-Lagraviere Pessac Léognan 2019
|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 has worked wonders at this estate, producing today one of the top wines of the appellation. This latest release, equally rich in tannins and fruit, is dense, powerful and also elegant. It will age well, and should be ready from 2027.
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 2019 Malartic Lagravière presents a refined nose of blackberry, raspberry, cedar and light estuarine aromas, very well defined and focused. The palate is framed by fine-grained tannins, and the pure blackberry and raspberry notes are laced with blood orange. Maybe just a little more granular in texture than before, but still wonderfully balanced, with great length and nobility. This will age with style. A sophisticated Pessac-Léognan with a lot of potential.
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.
Very sleek, featuring cassis, mulled plum and raspberry coulis flavors, laced with licorice, alder and sweet tobacco notes. Offers a subtle sous bois hint that peeks in on the finish, so this isn't for the longer haul but is tasty now. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Drink now through 2029. 10,000 cases made.