La Réserve de Malartic is the "second wine" of classified left-bank estate Château Malartic-Lagravière. The 2016 is a French oak aged blend of 65% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc.
A lustrous black-crimson colour, it purrs with plush, velvety tannins; and boasts remarkable flavours of Crème de Cassis, liquorice, bay leaf, fig paste and wood smoke. Densely layered, with superb polish, poise and length, this fine, vivid claret can be enjoyed immediately (decant) or cellared for a decade.
47-hectare Cru Classé de Graves Château Malartic-Lagravière dates from the 1850s and is one of the just six properties to enter the 1953 Graves classification for both its red and white wines. Previously owned by Champagne Grande Marques Laurent-Perrier, it was bought in 1997 by Belgian couple Michele and Alfred-Alexandre Bonnie, whose son and daughter-in-law, Jean-Jacques and Severine, now run the estate.
The winery was one of the first to adopt a grape/juice transport system based on gravity (better for quality than using rough pumps). Harvesting is by hand and there is double-sorting of grapes to ensure that only the choicest berries make it to wine.
High-profile consultant Michel Rolland - famous for favouring glossy, uber-smooth styles - works with Malartic-Lagravière.