Ch Petit Gravet Aîné 2018
Saint-Emilion€ 37.03/ Per fles min. 12 flessen
This is a tiny, 2.5-hectare vineyard in the Saint Emilion foothills, situated right next door to (west of) Château Canon-La Gaffelière in deep, sandy/clay soils. Density is 5,500 vines/ha. The very unusual encépagement mixes 80% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot whose average age is 50 years. Owner-winemaker, Catherine Papon-Nouvel, converted to organic farming and as such is using no pesticides, herbicides, or systemic chemical treatments; she is now certified as an organic grower. All the fruit was hand-harvested and carefully table-sorted: Merlot on September between 20th and 28th and the Cabernet Franc on October 5th. Yields in 2018 were 40 hls/ha. After a cold soak @ 6°C, the must was fermented in small, stainless steel, tanks with a 23-day cuvaison. The technique of microbullage under the cap was used during fermentation. Malo was carried out in 100% new French oak barrels from Taransaud, Darnajou and Ana Selection. Total aging ran 12 months. The blend mirrors the encépagement – 80% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot. 14%. 10,000 bottles are to be produced, representing 100% grand vin.
Vinous – Antonio Galloni – 92-95/100
A wine of real character and personality, the 2018 Petit Gravet Aîné is also one of the under the radar gems of Saint-Émilion. Blood orange, bright floral notes and sweet red cherry fruit all pulse throughout this super-expressive, nuanced Saint-Émilion. Petit Gravet Aîné is 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. At times, the Franc can be quite pronounced, but the 2018 is totally seamless and impeccably balanced from start to finish. This is another stellar showing from proprietor Catherine Papoon-Nouvel.
Robert Parker – The Wine Advocate – 93-95/100
This is a tiny 2.5-hectare vineyard in the Saint-Émilion foothills, situated west of Château Canon-La-Gaffelière in deep, sandy-clay soils. Maturation is anticipated to be 12 months in 100% new oak barrels. The blend is 80% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot, and it has 14% alcohol. Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2018 Petit Gravet Aîné charges out of the gate with vivacious black cherries, warm plums and wild blueberry scents with suggestions of menthol, candied violets and raspberry tart with a waft of wilted roses. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has tightly wound red and black fruit preserves layers with a firm, grainy frame and bold freshness on the long finish.
Bettane & Desseauve – 94/100
J. Suckling – 93-94/100