October 26th 2012
Karim Nasser came into the office yesterday to present a vertical of Ch Malartic Lagravière to the Goedhuis team, a fabulous tasting spanning from 2010 to 2003 for the red wines and 2010 to 2007 for the whites.
Ch Malartic Lagravière is one of only 6 classified growths, from the AC Pessac- Léognan, currently owned by the Bonnie family who took over in 1997. The wines are aged in 80% new oak for on average 22 months and the vineyards are situated on well drained gravel with shelly limestone and clay subsoil.
We began with the 2010 Malartic Lagravière rouge, a big wine, showy on the nose, lots of spice, dark fruits and Christmas cake, the wine is polished and has huge concentration, yet remains classic and true to the 2010 vintage. The 2009, oddly, was more powerful on the day. A massive structure more so than the 2010, pretty nose, wonderful aromatics and mouth coating tannins- this wine will need lots of time.
The 2007 is drinking now as you would expect. In fact, I’ve drunk a few 2007s and whilst not a great claret vintage, the wines tend to be soft and where well made, completely delicious.
The 2005 was the red of the tasting for me, cracking vintage, the wine was singing, very pure, lots of complexity, beautifully balanced, it was such fun to drink and wines should be fun to drink…sounds like I am stating the obvious there, but it is amazing how many aren’t.
We ended with the 2003, a year famous for its wild heat, but the important point to note is that the wine had freshness, it wasn’t too hot, it was soft and had the 2003 mellowness and ripeness of fruit, but it was fresh – well done!
Now for the whites, aged in 50% new oak for 11 months on average. I love Malartic Lagravière Blanc, 80% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Semillon. In general the wines are floral, aromatic and complex even when young, pears and white peach on the nose and more apricot on the palate. They are impeccably balanced and incredibly fresh, the freshness comes from the Sauvignon and a sweetness of fruit on the palate brought to the party by the Semillon.
As one would expect the 2010 was more taught and the 2009 more exotic- pineapple was a strong tasting note- both are delicious so it comes down to one’s stylistic preferences. I really enjoyed the 2008, you can really taste the Sauvignon Blanc (has 5% more in the 2008 than in other vintages). I could drink a lot of this wine. The 2007 is knock-out. 2007 is a great great white Bordeaux vintage and it really does show. Stunning. Complete. Intense. Fresh. The white of the tasting hands down for me.