Chateau Sociando-Mallet Jean Gautreau Haut-Medoc 1996

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Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc from Haut-Medoc, Bordeaux, France; medium to medium plus bodied and dry, earth driven with a big profile but a silky texture, subdued beautiful bramble fruit with layers of menthol, graphite, pepper, smoke, and cassis, medium acid, and a long, dry, round finish. Org

In 1995, the cellarmaster had the idea of selecting fifteen barrels from among these sixty to make a blend called "Jean Gautreau". The choice of barrels is made during a blind tasting after one year of barrel ageing. A committee consisting of the cellarmaster, the oenologist, Sylvie Gautreau, and Jean Gautreau evaluates wine from each barrel. The fifteen highest scoring barrels are blended and put into special bottles. These are brown and taller than the bottles used for Sociando-Mallet to avoid any risk of confusion between the two wines.

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