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The 2009 Gracia competes handsomely with the spectacular 2005 and 2000 vintages. A slightly more evolved and fleshy effort, the inky/purple-hued 2009 (75 % Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon) is a massive, thick powerhouse with 14.5% natural alcohol. Proprietor Michel Gracia often makes a wine that is similar to that of his friend, the proprietor of Ausone. Blueberry, blackberry, licorice, forest floor, smoke and graphite aromas jump from the glass of this unctuously textured, layered, multidimensional St.-Emilion. Displaying an inner core of extract (yields were only 19 hectoliters per hectare) and not a hard edge to be found, this youthful 2009 tastes more like a barrel sample than a finished wine. It will benefit from 5-10 years of cellaring and should last for 3-4 decades.
It's a shame so little of this wine is made by sculptor Michel Gracia from his nearly eight acres of relatively old vines (all planted in clay and limestone soils). Yields were a minuscule 19 hectoliters per hectare in 2009, and the final blend was 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. A wine of enormous potential as well as character, this powerhouse (14.5% natural alcohol) offers up striking aromas of crushed rocks (almost to the point of being a liqueur of minerality), spring flowers, and black fruits as well as layer upon layer of fruit and concentration. One of the most prodigious offerings of the vintage, it is very much in character with previous Gracias, which tend to have a kinship with Chateau Ausone (not surprising since Michel Gracia is a dear friend of Alain Vauthier, who lends some informal support in the winemaking). This brilliant 2009 should age effortlessly for 25+ years. (Tasted three times.) Drink 2010-2035.
Tasted at Ets. Thunevin. A huge, extrovert, extravagant bouquet of pure damson and macerated black cherry fruit that is slightly porty in style. Creme de cassis dominated after four or five minutes in the glass. The palate is full-bodied with layers of pure black cherry fruit laced with a touch of burnt toast. It has far more freshness and delineation that anticipated, particularly on the finish. I have always had a lot of time for this garagiste and they do not disappoint for 2009. No, not my style, but definitely well crafted. Tasted March 2010.
Offers licorice and light toasty oak, with plenty of ripe fruit. Full-bodied, with a solid core of fruit and a beautiful finish. Polished and integrated.
Opaque and super-concentrated. Made from 80% Merlot, 15% Cabernet franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon from yields of just 26 hl/ha in 100% new oak. Only 375 cases will be made. Dense black fruit, extraordinary concentration. Prune juice.
Warm, rich and very ripe. Crushed red-berry aromas. Palate sweet, round and succulent. Seduces with its opulence. More immediate appeal. Drink 2014-2020.