Chateau Les Gravieres 2009
Merlot from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
Chateau Les Gravières is a Saint-Emilion Grand Cru made from the vines at Saint-Sulpice de Faleyrens. The Merlot vines here are 50 years old, planted in a mix of sand and gravel with a cool ferriferous subsoil. The color is a dense but transluscent plum, the nose then offers black fruits with hints of spice, clove and tobacco, echoed on the palate which has a good backbone and very fine grained tannins. Made with 100% Merlot grapes.
The Wine Advocate - "Tremendously underrated from barrel several years ago, the 2009 Les Gravieres is the best wine proprietor Denis Barraud has ever produced. Yields were not terribly low at 38 hectoliters per hectare, but this wine (made with 100% Merlot and finishing at just under 14% alcohol) has a spectacular, even flamboyant nose of pen ink, graphite, blackberry and black currant liqueur along with hints of subtle smoke and burning embers. On the palate it is full-bodied, with outstanding intensity, a skyscraper-like mid-palate that goes on and on, and an extravagant, even luxurious finish with silky tannins and low acidity. Drink it over the next 15 or so years. Bravo!"
Wine Spectator - "This has a flattering, fleshy feel, with dark smoked mesquite and tobacco notes giving way to cocoa, plum sauce and roasted fig. A solid, hedonistic style, though perhaps a bit obvious for some. Drink now through 2019. 2,500 cases made."
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About St-Emilion(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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