1949 Malartic-Lagravière


Mature bottles of Château Malartic-Lagravière are rarely seen, and sadly the Bonnie family, proprietors of the château in Léognan, have few bottles in the cellar themselves. The 1949 Malartic-Lagravière came from a stash of six cases cellared in Switzerland that were sold back to the château. The wines had never moved from that cellar, so provenance was immaculate. This vintage comes from the beginning of Jacques Marly’s tenure, having taken over the estate from his father two years earlier. The first bottle was opened with proprietor Jean-Jacques Bonnie to assess the condition. The cork was completely saturated and broke off, so we ended up filtering the wine into a decanter. Clear in colour with little ageing on the rim considering its age, the bouquet is quintessential ’49. A little discombobulated at first, the raspberry fruit has an underlying greenness that ebbs with time, especially after one hour. Wild hedgerow, mint, green olive, Earl Grey and juniper aromas emerge, the aromatics not powerful, but delineated. The palate is medium-bodied built around a silver bead of acidity. Linear, a no-frills Pessac-Léognan, I cannot deny that it is a little rustic, nor would I be moved to describe this as "complex". But at 72-years of age, it reveals wonderful vitality and joie-de-vivre, improving and blossoming after an hour. Wonderful. 93/Drink 2021-2030.

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