Sunday, November 28, 2010

Chateau Sociando Mallet Haut Medoc, 1979

Visit any of the top restaurants in France, and you're likely to see a vintage or more of Sociando Mallet. It's widely recognized as a Cru Bourgeois that consistently produces wines comparable to those of far more expensive classed growths. This 1979 is testament to the wine's ageworthiness.

The color is very deep but with definite browning. The bouquet is also mature but not at all attenuated. I get deep scents of fragrant herbs, tart cherries, currants and Asian spices--has the exotic fragrance of a wine from the Margaux commune. On the palate, the varietal traits of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot have merged into minty and herbaceous old wine flavors but with all the strength and concentration you'd expect from a first or second growth. Very smooth with no hard edges and a more than decent finish.

The tag on this 1979 reads $8.95 because it was purchased nearly 30 years ago. A bottle of the current vintage will set you back at least $45, and the 1979, when you can find it, sells for $50. If well stored, it's worth the price.

1 comment:

  1. The Sociando style is clearly very classic with considerable stuffing but very marked tannins too so that all these wines seemed designed for almost as long a life as the finest first growth even if none of the wines was as subtle and elegant as a great first growth can be. But they have a very distinct robust style that shone through the whole range admirably, especially since during the 40 years they represented, so many Bordeaux proprietors have fallen victim to the latest fads in winemaking and wine styles.