La Gaffelière 2009

RegionBordeaux
SubregionSt Emilion
ColourRed
TypeStill

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Tasting Notes

An absolutely spectacular effort, the 2009 is one of the all-time great La Gaffelieres produced. One would have to go back to the 2005, 1947 or 1961 to find this level of quality from this ancient, historic vineyard planted adjacent to the walls of St.-Emilion, on the Cote Pavie. Dating back to the 1400s, this estate has been owned for over three centuries by the Malet-Roquefort family. Composed of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon (in the past it was two-thirds Merlot and the rest split between Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc), the 2009 reveals compelling elegance, tremendous intensity and opulence and more viscosity than one normally sees. While I thought the alcohol was well past 14%, the Chateau claims it is only 13.5%, which is relatively modest in this vintage. Lots of kirsch, licorice, incense, truffle, asphalt, blackberry and cassis notes dominate the aromatics and flavors of this full-bodied, viscous, fabulously pure, flamboyant St.-Emilion. Drinking it now may be considered infanticide by some consumers, but it is already attractive, and should last for 3-4 decades. Kudos to consultant Michel Rolland for fashioning one of the all-time greats from La Gaffeliere.

Score: 95+Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, March 2012

This is a better showing from Gaffeliere. It is missing a little vigour, although the aromatics are nicely defined with blackberry, underbrush, a touch of black tea and bay leaf. The palate is medium-bodied with a sweet entry. It does not possess the complexity of its peers, but there is plenty of delicious black spicy fruit and a dry, slightly brutish finish with cracked black pepper on the aftertaste. There is something a little workmanlike about this Saint Emilion, but it is a commendable wine. Tasted December 2012.

Score: 90Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, May 2013

Racy and beautiful, with blueberry and blackberry aromas and flavors. Solid core of everything. Impressive.

Score: 92/95James Suckling, WineSpectator.com, April 2010

Really elegant wine. Suave, finely textured, superb aromatics. Hits an almost perfect pitch. Drink 2018-2040.

Score: 18James Lawther MW, Decanter.com, April 2010

Tea leaves and mellow on the nose. Round and mellow. Quite fresh. Lots of lusciousness. Firm and structured. Serious wine. Quite long. Vibrant and eminently drinkable. Drink 2016 - 2026.

Score: 17Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, January 2013

Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.