Chateau Sociando Mallet, AOC Haut-Medoc, Bordeaux, France, 2011
The property is situated in the Haut-Medoc some 3.5km north of the village of St-Estephe. It has a pedigree of high quality, in the same league as some cru classé, but has always been, by choice, outside the lesser cru bourgeois system, not even appearing in the earliest 1932 classification. The vineyard was expanded from 7ha in 1969 to 57ha by 2000 by the new owner Jean Gautreau. Plantings in order of importance are cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc and petit verdot.
This wine: a blend of 55% cabernet sauvignon, 40% merlot, with cabernet franc; fermented in tank, matured in oak, long natural cork closure, 13% abv, en France, €25 (12/2016)
Consumer tasting note: may be in a dumb phase, not drinking now, wait 6 months and try again. A merchant friend suggests this could be closed/dumb, bretty, dirty or slightly corked.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, deep intensity ruby, showing tears, and a fair amount of sediment.
Nose: clean, medium (+) intensity, developing, with aromas as they come, of red berries tinged with black berry, cedar, touch of nuts, wet leaves, a floral edge, a touch herbaceous, touch of menthol, vanilla, hints of liquorice and black cherry, bees wax.
Palate: dry, medium (+) acidity, medium (+) drying tannins, medium alcohol and a medium body, medium (-) intensity, with muted flavours of black berry, cedar. A short length, with a quite grippy finish.
Quality: may be in a dumb phase or have low key brett, but in its current state, in isolation, would be regarded as poor. An interesting quite complex developed nose, but this evaporates into a fairly monotone flavour profile, attended by drying tannins and a short length.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: not ready, may be in a dumb phase or have low key brett, best to try again in 6 months.