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Chateau Malartic-Lagraviere 2016

  • JS96
  • WE96
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  • JD94
  • WS92
  • RP92
750ML / 13.5% ABV
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4.4 6 Ratings
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4.4 6 Ratings
750ML / 13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Blend: 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
JS 96
James Suckling
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.
WE 96
Wine Enthusiast
Beautifully wood aged, with subtle hints of spice, this is an elegant, textured wine, ripe with white fruit tones and layered with intense, fresh acidity. Its bright highlights are tempered by warm fruitiness and by the mineral texture that promises aging.
Cellar Selection
D 95
Decanter
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.
JD 94
Jeb Dunnuck
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.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
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.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2016 Malartic Lagraviere is blended of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. Medium to deep garnet-purple in color, it opens with wild blueberries and black cherries with cassis, bay leaves and dark chocolate nuances plus a hint of charcoal. Medium-bodied with a lively backbone and solid frame of ripe, rounded tannins, it finishes with an herbal lift.
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Chateau Malartic-Lagraviere

Chateau Malartic-Lagraviere

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Chateau Malartic-Lagraviere, France
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Chateau Malartic-Lagravière is one of the only six classified growths both for its red and white in Bordeaux.

The Domaine de Lagravière, famed since time immemorial for its excellent terroir and this famous "hillock" of gravel. In honor of the Count Hippolyte of Malartic, admiral who served the Kings of France and owner of the Domaine in the 18th Century, the Chateau was renamed Malartic-Lagraviere. Bought by Michèle and Alfred-Alexandre Bonnie at the end of 1996, the 53 hectares (131 acres) estate, including 7 hectares (17 acres) of white, has been completely renovated: both vineyard and technical facilities benefit from highest standards of equipment and methods of work (integrated farming, entirely gravity process…). As a result, Malartic-Lagravière is now renowned as being among the best wines in Bordeaux.

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Pessac-Leognan

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Recognized for its superior reds as well as whites, Pessac-Léognan on the Left Bank claims classified growths for both—making it quite unique in comparison to its neighboring Médoc properties.

Pessac’s Chateau Haut-Brion, the only first growth located outside of the Médoc, is said to have been the first to conceptualize fine red wine in Bordeaux back in the late 1600s. The estate, along with its high-esteemed neighbors, La Mission Haut-Brion, Les Carmes Haut-Brion, Pique-Caillou and Chateau Pape-Clément are today all but enveloped by the city of Bordeaux. The rest of the vineyards of Pessac-Léognan are in clearings of heavily forested area or abutting dense suburbs.

Arid sand and gravel on top of clay and limestone make the area unique and conducive to growing Sémillon and Sauvignon blanc as well as the grapes in the usual Left Bank red recipe: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and miniscule percentages of Petit Verdot and Malbec.

The best reds will show great force and finesse with inky blue and black fruit, mushroom, forest, tobacco, iodine and a smooth and intriguing texture.

Its best whites show complexity, longevity and no lack of exotic twists on citrus, tropical and stone fruit with pronounced floral and spice characteristics.

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Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

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