Unlike Burgundy, most wines of Bordeaux are distributed through a vast network of resellers – negociant houses with distribution agreements that can stretch back centuries. It can be a confusing place to do business, but also one that offers hidden gems – the sheer volume of wine available means that turning over rocks can result in real discoveries.
Our favorite recent discovery is the Chateau de Malleret, whose 2016 Haut-Médoc is quietly
excellent. Of the 249 estates given Cru Bourgeois distinction, it’s one of only 14 elevated to “Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnel.” The blend is roughly 60/40 Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon, and the wine punches well above its weight.
We opened the 2016 last night and found it terrific. The nose is deep and intense without a hint of evolution – look for notes of blackberry, leather, and cocoa. The mouth shows slightly softened tannins (but with enough left to keep it clean-cut), excellent concentration, and a perfectly coated, surprisingly long finish. Neal Martin of Vinous, a notoriously tough grader, gave 91 points, finding an “intense bouquet” with “superb delineation” on the palate, concluding “this is definitely worth seeking out.”
Serve this with steak this winter and your guests will guess you paid twice what you did.
Chateau de Malleret Haut Médoc 2016