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2025 - 2045
Reviewed by Lisa Perrotti-Brown
The deep purple-black 2020 Malartic Lagraviere leaps from the glass with vibrant notes of Bing cherries, black raspberries, ripe plums and boysenberries, plus suggestions of pencil lead, wild sage and crushed rocks. Medium-bodied, the palate has lovely energy and freshness, offering a solid backbone of grainy tannins to support the lively red and black fruit layers, finishing savory.
The tentative blend is 50.4% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47.8% Merlot, and 1.8% Cabernet Franc, with only 38% of production going into the grand vin. The alcohol is 14% this year.
Commencing with the 2020 vintage, the estate has chosen a new bottle for the grand cru and second vin, highlighted by an engraved ship, the symbol of the estate.
The 2020 Malartic Lagravière, whose picking was completed on September 24, before the rains, has a bright, vivid nose of mineral-infused red fruit mixed with hints of blueberry and cassis. Very focused and precise, this is an aromatically sophisticated Pessac-Léognan. The palate is medium-bodied with graphite-tinged black fruit, hints of wild mint coming through, and lively and tensile toward the finish. This is one of the best vintages of Malartic Lagravière that I have encountered out of bottle. Ignore at your peril.
(50% CS, 48% M, 2% CF; 26hl/ha; 14.2% ABV; 65% new)
Very ripe black and red fruit, but you can sense the gravel aromas, too; lovely balance, rich, fresh, finely tannic; ample and deliciously juicy, with a nice length of flavor, and with a lovely fruit-cored persistence, all within the refined frame of firm tannin. Lovers of Malartic’s ebullient style need have no concerns; the up-front generosity is still there, but the fruit is a touch fresher, the presentation has been tightened, tautened, refined, it is an adjustment of focus, not a change of image. 2025–40+.
Lots of blackberry, cherry and walnut aromas and flavors. Some tar, too. It’s full-bodied with chewy tannins that are polished and energetic.
Full bottle 1,305 g. Cask sample taken 6 April and I'm afraid it is written that it should be tasted before 10 April, five days ago… 50.4% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47.8% Merlot, 1.8% Cabernet Franc. Considerable changes to vinification and ageing here, not least shortening vatting times and careful tannin management in the press wines.
Dark purplish crimson. Much more mineral than fruity on the nose. But very luscious fruit on the palate. With racy texture and notably fine tannins. Strongly saline finish. Distinctive and already rather appetising. Approachable young.
The 2020 Malartic Lagravière is a powerful, tightly wound wine. There is perhaps a bit less opulence than in years past, but that just gives the wine an extra kick of energy and vibrancy that is quite attractive. Inky red cherry fruit, rose petal, spice, cedar and cinnamon all grace this beautifully taut wine from the Bonnie family. Tasted three times.
Dark garnet in color, the wine grabs your attention with its display of flowers, currants, espresso, smoke, licorice and incense. Full-bodied, rich and concentrated, the wine is lush and polished, with waves of opulent dark fruits that keep on coming. Fresh and expansive, creamy and deep, this is going to rival many of the best vintages produced here. Give this at least 5-7 years in the cellar and enjoy it for the following 2 decades after that. 96-94
Based on a blend of 50.4% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47.8% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc that hit 14.2% natural alcohol, the 2020 Château Malartic-Lagravière offers a gorgeously pure nose of both red and blue fruits as well as lots of floral and mineral nuances. Still aging in 65% new French oak, it's medium to full-bodied and has the vintage’s rich, concentrated style yet gorgeous purity of fruit as well as ripe, polished, building tannins. It's one seriously good 2020 that will impress with short-term bottle age and keep for 25 years or more. It's up with the crème de la crème of the appellation. Tasted three times with consistent notes.
Tasted by Jane Anson(at Primeur week tastings in Bordeaux, 01 May 2021)
Concentration and intensity to the cassis and bilberry fruits. Well expressed, carefully extracted and there is good balance with a crushed mint freshness on the finish. Really starts to show subtle floral edging with time in the glass. It has a silky texture and a finessed fresh core that holds interest from beginning to end. Another successful year at this estate. Tasted twice, and this is one of the successes of the appellation. A yield of 26hl/ha (24hl/ha Cabernets, 28l/ha Merlots) compared to 46hl/ha last year. 65% new oak, harvest from 9 to 24 September. Second year with Eric Boissenot as consultant.
Drinking Window 2029 - 2044