CHÂTEAU SOCIANDO MALLET
2010 Cru Bourgeois Haut Médoc
55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc. Aged in 100% new wood for one year. Robert Parker's characterisation of Sociando as the Latour of the northern Médoc is right - although it's perhaps more like the Latour of twenty years ago. Classicism of deep Cabernet, with authority. Uncompromisingly straight. Juicy, with purity of blackcurrant and depth. Very slightly blocky and compact. Superb finish. Rating: 91 L&S (Apr 2011)
*Case price discount: Mix any 12 bottles (or 9l equivalent) of wine or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits, Sweet Wine or Fortified to get the 'case price' for each bottle.
The Sociando Mallet 2010 demonstrates quite a lot of extraction on the nose with scents of blackberry, black olive and tobacco, a little sweet cassis emerging with time. The palate has a fleshy, more Merlot-driven entry compared to its peers. There is plenty of weight here whilst the finish shows excellent delineation and focus. Very fine. Tasted January 2014. Rating: 91 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (Mar 2014)
A very classic wine for patient connoisseurs, Sociando Mallet makes no compromises and continues to produce one of the finest wines among non-classified estates in Haut-Medoc. Dense purple to the rim, the opaque purple-colored 2010 offers up notes of graphite, blueberry and black raspberry fruit, a hint of cassis, some licorice and wet rocks. Deep, full-bodied and almost excruciatingly tannic, this full-throttle, balls-to-the-wall style of wine needs at least 8-10 years of cellaring and should keep for three decades or more. Drinking range: 2021 - 2051 Rating: 91+ Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, www.RobertParker.com (Feb 2014)
Very cedary, lightly herbaceous on nose and palate. A very leafy style but not lean or light. Refreshing classic claret. Tannins are tight and dry, grainy. Long too. 2017-2029 Rating: 17 Julia Harding MW, www.JancisRobinson.com (Apr 2012)
Château Sociando Mallet
The first village as you travel north out of Saint Estèphe is Saint-Suerin-de-Cadourne, home to a small cluster of cru bourgeois, not the least of which is Château Sociando-Mallet commanding fine views over the River Gironde to the east of the village. In the early 17th Century it was the estate of a Basque family called Sossiondo, the other half of the name coming from naval captain Achille Mallet who married the owner in 1831. As with many Bordeaux estates, the late 19th and early 20th Centuries were not kind to Sociando-Mallet, so when local merchant Jean Gautreau happened upon it in 1969 it was in a sorry estate. Realising the potential, Jean bought the estate and owns it to this day. With only 5ha under vine, no cellar and the buildings in decay he had a lot to do. Vineyards were replanted, and plots were purchased from neighbours – today Sociando-Mallet, on various plots around the village spreads to 85ha – and the château and winery were refurbished and restored. The amount of Merlot in the blend has slowly risen over the years and now accounts for 47% of the vineyard alongside 48% Cabernet Sauvignon with a little Cabernet Franc; average vine age about 30 years. The wines of Sociando-Mallet were once relatively under-priced but demand for the wine has risen as more people have come to know it, although being from outside the famous Haut-Médoc villages and the 1855 classification keeps the price under some control. Quite robust wines.
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