2009 La Gaffelière, St-Emilion

SKU #1106748 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 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. (95+)  (2/ 2012)

94 points Wine Enthusiast

 Straight down the line, this wine shows fruit and acidity. The tannins are relatively soft while the fruit is forward. Blackberries, coffee and licorice notes all come together.  (2/ 2012)

89-92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Dark ruby-red. Precise though very ripe aromas of red fruits, licorice and minerals are complicated by Oriental spices. Then juicy, leanish and a bit tart in the mouth; began youthfully sullen but opened with air to show more seductive flavors of spicy dark plum, blackberry, soy sauce and underbrush. This finishes clean and long, with hints of blueberry, pine needle and clove. Nicely balanced and light on its feet. With only 13.5% alcohol, this has a very easy-to-drink quality, and it's easy to miss the wine's concentration.  (6/ 2010)

91 points Wine Spectator

 Very fleshy, with lush, velvety-textured plum sauce, currant paste and melted licorice notes, woven with toasty spice and backed by a dark chocolate bark note on the finish. Best from 2014 through 2023.  (3/ 2012)

Jancis Robinson

 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.  (1/ 2013)

K&L Notes

*+ At UGC: Sweet and lovely wine, quite ripe but in fine balance. Some red currant and black fruit undertones. Ralph: Elegant red fruit. Terroir-driven, not the fruitball style. Very good.

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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Bordeaux

- View our bestselling Bordeaux.
Specific Appellation:

Saint Emilion