It's a shame so little of this wine is made by sculptor Michel Gracia from his nearly eight acresof relatively old vines (all planted in clay and limestone soils). Yields were a minuscule 19 hectoliters per hectare in 2009, and the final blend was 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. A wine of enormous potential as well as character, this powerhouse (14.5% natural alcohol) offers up striking aromas of crushed rocks (almost to the point of being a liqueur of minerality), spring flowers, and black fruits as well as layer upon layer of fruit and concentration. One of the most prodigious offerings of the vintage, it is very much in character with previous Gracias, which tend to have a kinship with Chateau Ausone (not surprising since Michel Gracia is a dear friend of Alain Vauthier, who lends some informal support in the winemaking). This brilliant 2009 should age effortlessly for 25+ years.
Warm, rich and very ripe. Crushed red-berry aromas. Palate sweet, round and succulent. Seduces with its opulence. More immediate appeal. Drink 2014-2020.
South of Pomerol lies the medieval, perched village of St Emilion. Surrounding St Emilion are vines that produce round, rich and often hedonistic wines. Despite a myriad of soil types, two main ones dominate - the gravelly, limestone slopes that delve down to the valley from the plateau and the valley itself which is comprised of limestone, gravel, clay and sand. Despite St Emilion's popularity today, it was not until the 1980s to early 1990s that attention was brought to this region. Robert Parker, the famous wine critic, began reviewing their Merlot-dominated wines and giving them hefty scores. The rest is history as they say. Similar to the Médoc, there is a classification system in place which dates from 1955 and outlines several levels of quality. These include its regional appellation of St Emilion, St Emilion Grand Cru, St Emilion Grand Cru Classé and St Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé, which is further divided into "A" (Ausone and Cheval Blanc) and "B" (including Angélus, Canon, Figeac and a handful of others). To ensure better accuracy, the classification is redone every 10 years enabling certain châteaux to be upgraded or downgraded depending on on the quality of their more recent vintages.