Chateau La Gaffeliere 2009
Bordeaux Red Blends from St-Emilion, Bordeaux, France
The Wine Advocate - "An absolutely spectacular effort, the 2009 is one of the all-time great La Gaffelieres produced. One would have to go back to the 2005, 1947 or 1961 to find this level of quality from this ancient, historic vineyard planted adjacent to the walls of St.-Emilion, on the Cote Pavie. Dating back to the 1400s, this estate has been owned for over three centuries by the Malet-Roquefort family. Composed of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc (in the past it was two-thirds Merlot and the rest split between Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc), the 2009 reveals compelling elegance, tremendous intensity and opulence and more viscosity than one normally sees. Lots of kirsch, licorice, incense, truffle, asphalt, blackberry and cassis notes dominate the aromatics and flavors of this full-bodied, viscous, fabulously pure, flamboyant St.-Emilion. Drinking it now may be considered infanticide by some consumers, but it is already attractive, and should last for 3-4 decades.
Wine Enthusiast - "Straight down the line, this wine shows fruit and acidity. The tannins are relatively soft while the fruit is forward. Blackberries, coffee and licorice notes all come together."
International Wine Cellar - "Dark ruby-red. Precise though very ripe aromas of red fruits, licorice and minerals are complicated by Oriental spices. Then juicy, leanish and a bit tart in the mouth; began youthfully sullen but opened with air to show more seductive flavors of spicy dark plum, blackberry, soy sauce and underbrush. This finishes clean and long, with hints of blueberry, pine needle and clove. Nicely balanced and light on its feet. With only 13.5% alcohol, this has a very easy-to-drink quality, and it's easy to miss the wine's concentration.
Barrel Sample: 89-92 Points"
Wine Spectator - "Very fleshy, with lush, velvety-textured plum sauce, currant paste and melted licorice notes, woven with toasty spice and backed by a dark chocolate bark note on the finish."
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Chateau La Gaffeliere Winery
The Château La Gaffelière vineyard sits on 25 hectares and has 22 hectares planted in vine, allon one parcel between the Ausone hill and the Pavie one. The vineyard is southwardly oriented, and receives an ideal amount of sunshine which benefits the 35 year old vines. The hillsides are clayey and calcareous, whereas hill bottoms are more siliceous. View all Chateau La Gaffeliere Wines
About St-EmilionView a map of St-Emilion wineries (saint eh-meel-YOHN)
A region named after the charming, quaint historical town in Bordeaux, St-Émilion is situated on the right bank of Bordeaux. It's grapes of choice are Merlot and Cabernet Franc (called Bouchet on the right bank). The region has its own classification system, updated and revised every few years. Two of the hottest chateaux of the area (and the only Premier Grand Cru Classé A) are Chateau Ausone and Chateau Cheval Blanc.
St.-Émilion produces the most wine on the right bank of Bordeaux. As most of its wine is based primarily on Merlot, St-Emilion wines are described as having finesse and elegance. The best wine of the region can last upward of 10-20 years, like a good left-banker, but many find that the wines here matuer earlier than those based on Cabernet Sauvignon. The soils in the area differ greatly, from gravel to limestone to clay and sand. As a result, the wines of this region are diverse. Quality wines display silky tannins and ripe, soft fruit – the higher quality wine showing full-bodied texture and layers of complexity.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.