Country: France Region: Bordeaux Vintage: 2016
Category: White Wine Color: White
Producer: Château Mahon-Laville
"The 14-hectare Château Laville in Sauternes is Jean-Christophe Barbe's family property. A Professor of Oenology at Bordeaux University, he is mostly famous for his outstanding Sauternes, but also produces some stunning reds, albeit on a fairly small scale. Although the domaine is mainly planted with white grapes, Jean-Christophe has set aside a 1.3 hectare vineyard of red varieties, which is sold as 'Château Mahon-Laville'.
Thanks to the team of pickers that are constantly on hand at Château Laville (to perform the various passes through the vineyard required to make top Sauternes), Jean-Christophe is able to wait and pick the Merlot and Cabernet grapes when they are ripe (which can be an issue in this part of Bordeaux), rather than when he has pickers available. The 2016 Mahon-Laville Bordeaux Supérieur is 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and is aged for 12 months in oak. 'Les Graves de Mahon-Laville' comes from 40 year old vines grown on gravel soils in 2.5 hectares of vineyard that are classified as Graves. It is also a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and spends 15 months in barriques before bottling. "
Winemaker: Jean Christophe Barbe
Jean-Christophe has 1.3 hectares of red grape varieties at Laville on a plot of land called Mahon, with an additional 2.5 hectares which qualify for Graves AOC. Soils are predominantly sand and gravel, with an average vine age of 40 years. Thanks to the pickers that are always on hand, Jean-Christophe is able to wait to pick the Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon when they are ripe rather than when pickers are available.
The grapes were hand-harvested before a pre-fermentation cold maceration for five days. The fermentation took place in steel tanks at a temperature of 28 to 30 degrees, over three to four weeks. Malolactic took place in tank before 15 months ageing in barriques.
"A deep purple wine that offers concentrated plum and spice from the Merlot, alongside minerality that is typical of this region. A powerful but smooth palate, with the Cabernet Sauvignon adding firm tannins and fine structure to the finish."
Food Suggestion: Serve with Asian style duck and braised red cabbage infused with spices and fruits.
Closure: Natural Cork ABV:13.5% Acidity [g/l]: 4.9