About the Wine
Château Sociando-Mallet makes it home in the village of Saint-Seurin-de Cadourne, 6 miles north of the celebrated region of Pauillac in Bordeaux, with the most incredible view of the Gironde. The property’s modern history begins in 1957 when professional tennis player Jean Gautreau—who at 18 years old landed in the semi-finals of Roland Garros (also known as The French Open)—decided to switch gears and follow his entrepreneurial spirit, creating his own négociant firm in 1957.
Before he purchased Château Sociando-Mallet, he made his mark on the Bordeaux wine industry by introducing the idea of the mobile bottling unit to supply château-bottled wines to his customers.
In 1969, Gautreau came upon Château Sociando-Mallet, an estate that was in need of renovations but with a terroir that was superior. Consisting of Günz gravel with clay subsoil, the soils of the chateau’s vineyards are optimal for growing excellent Cabernet Sauvignon and producing wines with wonderful freshness. He renovated the estate’s buildings, built a barrel cellar, and gradually improved the vineyards. Today, the property comprises 205 acres producing nearly 450,000 bottles a year.
The property is now considered by many Bordeaux experts to be the equal of many classified growths. In Liv-Ex’s 2011 version, Château Sociando-Mallet was unofficially ranked as a fifth growth because of its reputation for consistently producing classic Bordeaux with great aging potential.
2019 was a 97-point vintage according to Vinous Media. For Sociando-Mallet, those exceptional conditions helped create a “complex and elegantly muscular” Bordeaux that’s emblematic of the Haut-Médoc. Its high quality is fitting for Gautreau’s final vintage. He died just after harvest in 2019, and the estate is now run by his daughter Sylvie and grandson Arthur.
Tasting Notes: 55% Merlot, 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc. Dominated by black fruit aromas with a touch of minerality and well-integrated, elegant oak. Fresh. Straightforward. Wonderful Length.
Redcurrants with sweet tobacco, hazelnut, mint, and moist earth, follow through to a medium to full body, ultra-fine tannins, and a palate that grows at the finish. Needs a minimum of three or four years to come around. ~ 95 James Suckling
The last vintage under Jean Gautreau, and it's a great one to remember him by. Serious, with shoulders and muscles, reflecting the excellent gravel and clay soils at this spot of the Médoc in St Seurin de Cadoune. This is a long-term wine with blackcurrant and blackberry and well-formed tannins. ~94 Decanter
The 2019 Sociando-Mallet has gained composure since I tasted the barrel sample. Now it has engaging red and black fruit, cedar, and freshly rolled tobacco scents, focused and quite vigorous. The palate is structured, with a firm grip, very well-judged acidity, good substance, and a cohesive, black-pepper- and pencil-lead-tinged finish that has real length. Top-drawer Sociando-Mallet. ~94 Vinous
Notes of minty cassis, cigar wrapper and loamy soil, deftly framed by toasty new oak, introduce the 2019 Sociando-Mallet, a medium to full-bodied, rich and concentrated wine that’s incipiently complex and elegantly muscular in profile. The style of the vintage has lent this more youthful polish than is sometimes the case, and it will offer a broad drinking window. Best after 2026. ~93 Wine Advocate
Fresh and focused, showing red currant and damson plum, with a chalky spine and savory and tobacco flecks on the finish. Textbook. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Drink now. ~90 Wine Spectator
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