Château Sociando-Mallet, 2014 Update

These days I am a regular visitor to Bordeaux, coming out to the region several times a year, not just for the primeurs week. Bordeaux works like a well oiled machine at this time, running furiously yet smoothly. There are lunches, dinners and parties left right and centre, and it is not too hard to imagine that for some this, rather than the opportunity to taste the latest vintage, is the real draw. I think to really get under the skin of Bordeaux a critic needs to (a) focus on the wine, not the parties and (b) visit the region at other times, when the hectic hubbub of primeurs has settled down. This year, for example, I will be back in Bordeaux in June to make some visits, and then again in October, certainly once at that time, and possibly twice depending on how various plans work out.

Château Sociando-Mallet

These frequent visits mean I am now very used to the long distances involved when travelling in Bordeaux, and no longer am I shocked when I realise driving from Barsac up to the northern Médoc takes one and a half hours, more if you are unfortunate enough to encounter gridlock on the Rocade. I am still sometimes surprised, however, when I am reminded of how short the distance between one estate and the next can be. My visit to Château Sociando-Mallet just a week or two ago is a case in point. This is the most northerly château on my tasting itinerary, and as such it can often seem wild and remote. But having made the dash from St Julien up to St Estèphe in order to keep my appointment at Château Montrose (my second appointment, as described in my 2013 St Estèphe primeurs report), I decided I may as well continue northwards towards the little village of Saint-Seurin-de-Cadourne, where Château Sociando-Mallet is to be found. Just eight minutes later I had arrived. And, on tasting the 2013 and 2012 vintages, I realised the visit was well worth what was ultimately a minor detour.

Please log in to continue reading:

Subscribe Here / Lost Password