Château Sociando-Mallet 2011

This is an impressive release from Château Sociando-Mallet in the Haut-Médoc in Bordeaux.  This estate is famously neither a cru classé nor a cru bourgeois, but stands on its own as a beacon of quality.  The 2011 vintage is a blend of 55% cabernet sauvignon, 40% merlot and 5% cabernet franc.  More generally, the 2011 vintage in Bordeaux was a little mixed, and in the shadow of the outstanding 2009 and 2010 vintages.  The vines experienced a warm spring, overcast conditions in August and the vintage has been compared to 2006.  That said, this is probably a better wine than many of the 2006s I have tasted and the late ripening cabernet sauvignon seems to have fared well.  A deep ruby-purple colour in the glass, Sociando-Mallet's 2011 has aromatics of blackcurrant, cedar, liquorice and ripe plums.  It's the palate though that is most delicious.  There's long length on the finish, and firm yet fine grained tannins that verge on fleshy.  The flavours remind of blackcurrant and cigar box.  This is a resounding success from Sociando-Mallet.  While lovely drinking now, I expect it may be cellared for another decade.

Rating: Very Good
Price: $50+
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Tasted: 2016
July 24, 2016

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