Château Malartic-Lagravière, a Cru Classé de Graves
Domaine de Lagravière, recognized since time immemorial for its excellent terroir, was purchased at the end of the eighteenth century by the family of Count Hippolyte de Maurès de Malartic. Serving the armies of the Kings of France, this Admiral fought against the English on the many seas of the world, showing special bravery in 1756 during the battle of Quebec.
The estate was then bought in 1850 by Madame Arnaud Ricard, who added the name Malartic to that of Lagravière as a tribute to the former owners.
After land reorganisation and the acquisition of some small plots, the estate took on the form which it was to keep until the 1950s.
The Marly family were the last of the Ricard ancestry to run the Château. Of particular note, Jacques Marly was estate manager from 1947 to 1990.
Having enjoyed an excellent reputation from the beginning of the nineteenth century, Château Malartic-Lagravière was one of only six properties in Bordeaux to enter the 1953 Graves classification for both its red and white wines.
At the end of 1996, the Château entered a new era with the arrival of the Bonnie family.
Château Malartic-Lagravière, a Cru Classé de Graves, was previously owned by the Champagne house, Laurent- Perrier - in 1997 it was bought by a Belgian couple, Michele and Alfred-Alexandre Bonnie, whose son and daughter-in-law, Jean-Jacques and Severine, have now assumed control.
La Reserve de Malartic 2nd vin de Ch. Malartic Rouge 2014
The grapes are fermented partly in wooden vats, partly in stainless steel tanks, and then spend up to 15 months in oak barrels, roughly 50% of which are new. The creation of a second wine, La Réserve de Malartic Rouge (previously known as Le Sillage de Malartic), has been a further aid to the qualitative improvement which has been steadily taking place here over the past decade or so. In recent years no more than 60% of the crop goes into the Grand Vin, far less than back in the early 1990s and testament to the dedication to the highest levels of quality displayed by the new owners.
Ebullient blackberry and raspberry confiture notes lead the way here, backed by a black licorice accent and a light brambly edge for contrast. Shows good energy through the finish.
Château Malartic Lagraviere Grand Cru Classe de Graves Blanc 2015
These vines sat with well-drained gravels and clay gravels, grape varietals included Sauvignon 80% - Sémillon 20% planted over 50 hectares. Harvesting methods were accoladed with sustainable agriculture and 'High-Value Environmental certification' vinification took place with a slow pressing of the grapes. Fermentation temperature was between 20-22° before being aged on lees in traditional oak barrels for 10 months.
On the nose are prominent peaches, pears and green-mango aromas and flavours. Acidity is a highlight; this is quite elegant and fresh. Supple texture and great length. 'Drink or hold'.
Ch. Malartic Lagraviere Grand Cru Classe de Graves Rouge 2012
The harvesting period for this blend was: Merlot was from the 4th to 12th of October 2012, Cabernet-Sauvignon From 13th to 18th of October 2012, Cabernet-Franc From 13th to 15th of October 2012 & finally Petit-Verdot was finally harvested just before the 10th of October 2012. the exact blend of this wine is Cabernet-Sauvignon 50 % Merlot 45 % Cabernet-Franc 3 % & Petit-Verdot 2 %. These vines sat along well-drained gravels and clay gravels on shelly limestone and clay subsoil the juice was finished in both Stainless steel pots and wooden barrels with 60% new oak for approximately 18 months.
On the nose: powerful, complex, rich, extremely elegant, refined, very deep. Various notes of red fruit (blackcurrants, raspberries). Concentrated, pure nose, with a smokiness and a minerality that is typical of this wine. On the palate: smooth, rich, full-bodied attack. Distinguished, elegant, refined tannin structure. The same aromatic profile as the nose develops, with intense fruit, lovely minerality and pleasant smoky notes. The palate has superb length and supple tannins, making Château Malartic-Lagravière 2012 already very accessible, while at the same developing a complexity that suggests it will improve further with age.
- Kevin Metcalfe