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Mature Bordeaux Magnums

Sociando Mallet is one of the great over achievers in Bordeaux. The property was founded well after the 1855 Classification so it is unrated. But that is good news for the savvy wine buyer. I just received Chateau Direct, Magnums from the 1999 Vintage. The wine is drinking perfectly right now. One of the Wines of the Vintage. Grab some of these beauties before it is all gone!



Chateau Sociando-Mallet is an outperforming Cru Bourgeois property located in the commune of Saint-Seurin-de-Cadourne in the Haut-Médoc. Quality was inconsistent until the property was purchased by Jean Gautreau in 1969. It then consisted of only 7 hectares and in the last 30 years Jean Gautreau has expanded the vineyards to 57 hectares. The vineyards, which lie close to the Gironde Estuary, are planted with Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), Merlot (25%), Cabernet Franc (25%) and Petit Verdot (5%). The grapes are hand picked and then fermented in a combination of stainless steel and concrete tanks. The wines are matured in oak barriques (70-90% new) for 12-15 months. They are bottled unfined and unfiltered. These are weighty, firm and well-structured clarets that are typically rich in fruit and have excellent ageing potential. As Jean Gautreau says: “I have a superb terroir which I want to express in the wine. I try to make a classic Médoc for long keeping.”

*1999 Sociando Mallet Haut Medoc MAGNUMS
$139.99 per Magnum
$755.95 per case of six magnums OWC
(Jim Sirna 95)

The below two tasting notes are from the early 2000 when the wine was just released. And now, almost 20 years later this Magnum offers Classified Growth Quality for a modest price. Each time I open a mature Sociando it confirms that it would deserve a classement, had it been around in 1855. It completely dwarfs other 99s. Dense, yet fresh nose of mature red berries, licorice, red fruit, cedar, plum, graphite, menthol. Medium to full bodied. Lots of sweetness but perfectly balanced, with mature red fruit, licorice, tobacco, chocolate, plum, balsamic notes, toast, menthol. Very expressive, inviting for much more.

(Stephen Tanzer 90)
Medium ruby. Roasted black fruits and exotic oak spices on the nose. Fat, full and sweet; lush and mouthfilling but manages to retain a certain elegance. Finishes with fine tannins and excellent length for the year.

(Robert Parker 89)
Sociando Mallet’s opaque ruby/purple-colored 1999 reveals notes of wet steel, liquified minerals, black cherries/black currants, and subtle wood. Aromatically, there is not much difference between this wine and a renowned classified growth such as Leoville Las Cases. In the mouth, it is medium-bodied, with high tannin for a 1999, a long, persistent finish, and very good to excellent concentration and purity. This is a surprisingly backward wine, but then this is Sociando Mallet, the perennial overachiever making wines of exceptional longevity. (Bottles of 1982 and 1975 drunk in December were still not fully mature.) Anticipated maturity: 2007-2018.