Saturday, October 23, 2010

The 2000 Château Sociando-Mallet is ready to drink and wonderfully seductive

The other day, our friend Marcus invited us for dinner. He asked me to come early because I had to choose the wine and then we needed some time for the wine to breathe. The thing is that Marcus had built quite a large room underneath his house to store his wines, and I was quite excited to have a look at his collection. I wanted to choose a bottle that would work best with the meal. There were thick fillet steaks waiting to be grilled on the barbecue and a swiss chard gratin baking in the oven.

Down in the cellar, as I concentrated my attention mostly on the Bordeaux and California Cabernets area, I found a bottle of 2000 Château Sociando-Mallet. With little hesitation, that's the one I brought back to the kitchen.

The 2000 vintage is considered one of the finest in Bordeaux, although the year didn't start very well. Winter was warm and spring was wet. July was cool and overcast. But then suddenly, the weather changed. August was unusually dry and above all, the weather was warm and dry during the entire harvest, allowing Cabernet Sauvignon, the primary grape variety of the Médoc, to ripen beautifully.

The Sociando-Mallet estate is located to the north of the Saint-Estèphe appellation, on a gravel outcrop, right on the Gironde river. The vineyard is planted to 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, with the remaining 5% divided between Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.

Sociando-Mallet was classified as a Cru Bourgeois in 1932 but nowadays, it is considered as good as most Médoc Cru Classés Châteaux. The harvest is done manualy and fermentation occurs in both concrete and stainless-steel vats. After fermentation, the wine is aged in oak (100% for the grand vin) and then bottled without fining or filtration.

The wine didn't disappoint at all. The color was deep garnet and the nose really attractive with fragrant aromas of blackcurrant and eucalyptus. While the palate was rich in flavors, it displayed classy finesse and elegance. The wine had aged well and was succulent, like the tenter and juicy meat, and the creamy gratin.

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