2009 l'Avocat Rouge, Graves
This spicy, full-bodied effort shows the generosity of 2009. It has firm tannins, but they are matched by the full blackberry and black currant flavors. The dry core from wood aging is likely to soften over the next 2–3 years.
Tar and tobacco notes frame a core of currant fruit in this muscular red. A bit earthy, but has good concentration and a smoky finish. Best from 2012 through 2020. (Web-2012)
L'Avocat is in the small commune of Cerons, which is located just north of Barsac and Sauternes in the southern Graves appellation. I met Nicola Allison at a small conference of Women from Bordeaux and Napa Valley in Napa. She followed my advice by sending her wines to our hotel in Bordeaux the following April to be tasted, and Clyde and I liked them. I followed up by visiting the estate almost eight weeks later and was shown the gravely plateau vineyards by her husband Sean, who manages the vines. The vineyards were purchased by the Allisons in 2002; the fruit was previously sold to Mouton Rothschild. At 300 feet above the Garrone River, the vineyards have stunning views of the lovely Côtes de Bordeaux. The vineyard's elevation is a key factor in its great drainage, and the soil is loaded with different color gravel that imparts textbook minerality to both their whites and reds. The Rouge is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon 40% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. (Ralph Sands, K&L Bordeaux expert)