1996 Château Tirecul La Gravieres "Cuvee Madame" Monbazillac (500ml)
The press this producer has received over the past several years has been unbelievable. Robert Parker writes: "Monbazillac is well-known in French history, but my experience in tasting through the appellation's wines has unearthed few gems. Leave it to Eric Solomon to discover this remarkable estate (Chateau Tirecul La Gravieres). The vineyard is planted with a high percentage of Muscadelle (50%), along with Semillon (45%), and Sauvignon (5%). There are two cuvees produced....Additionally, these grapes are picked grape by grape (as they develop the noble rot), not by bunch. The proprietors, Claudia and Bruno Bilarcini, actually pass through the vineyard a minimum of four to five times a day… Fasten your seat belts, as these wines are remarkable." Parker gave the 1994 and 1995 Cuvee Madame 99 and 100 points respectively! Harvest usually begins mid-October and ends late November. There are three to four selections in the vineyards. The fruit, which is often harvested grape-by-grape, is slowly pressed and moves only by gravity. After one night of deboutbage, the juice goes into barrels for fermentation, from 5 to 7 months for the richest barrels of Cuvee Madame. Muscadelle, Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc.