A beautiful rich damson colour, this is powerful, intense, classic Sociando - and for me it's even better than the 2016. It has good tannins, and lots of them, with a core of plum, damson and cassis with a side of fresh herbs, liquorice and subtle spice. It shows great persistency. A wine to look out for.
Drinking Window 2024 - 2038
Château Sociando-Mallet is a wine estate located in the northern Médoc (the wines are bottled under Haut-Médoc appellation), and generally regarded as the equal of many classed growths. Although not featured in the 1855 Bordeaux classification, the property was rated a fifth growth in wine trading site Liv-Ex's unofficial 2011 version. It has the reputation of making full-bodied, classically structured wines with firm tannins and great aging potential from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc.
he property is situated in the commune of Saint-Seurin-de-Cadourne, just to the north of the Saint-Estèphe appellation, and its nearest neighbour is Château Charmail a few hundred meters to the west. It was bought by the négociant and winemaker Jean Gautreau in 1969, when it was in a state of disrepair and had only 5 hectares (12 acres) of vines.
A new winery was built, other buildings were renovated and the vineyard was replanted, with additional plots bought from neighbors.
The property now covers 110 hectares (270 acres), of which 85 hectares (210 acres) are planted to vines. The main blocks are situated to the east of Saint-Seurin village around the château and estate buildings on the Baleyron hillock, a typical Médoc bank of gravel on a clay subsoil close to the Gironde estuary.
Numerous other small parcels are dotted around the village. Plantings are split almost equally between Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with just a small amount of Cabernet Franc.
Wines are vinified in temperature-controlled concrete and stainless steel vats. Lots chosen for Sociando-Mallet are aged for 12 months in new French oak.
La Demoiselle de Sociando-Mallet, the second wine, is made from vats not selected for the main wine, and is aged in around 25 percent new oak.
The range is completed by the Jean Gautreau cuvée which was introduced in 1995. This is a selection of the best barrels left over from the grand vin, and typically contains more Cabernet Sauvignon than Sociando-Mallet.
Jean Gautreau, for decades associated with the estate, died in November 2019. He is succeeded by daughter Sylvie and grandson Arthur.
The château ranked highly in the Bordeaux Cru Bourgeois classification for many years until this was dissolved amid legal wranglings from the 2006 vintage onwards.
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