TN: 1996 Chateau Sociando Mallet Cuvee Jean Gautreau - Out of GrasslGlass Stems

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Robert.A.Jr.
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TN: 1996 Chateau Sociando Mallet Cuvee Jean Gautreau - Out of GrasslGlass Stems

#1 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » January 13th, 2019, 4:38 pm

The Cuvee

A bit on this special cuvee before I comment on the wine and glasses. From Leve's website:
In 1995, Sociando Mallet produced a special wine that was at the time, intended to only be produced in that one vintage, Sociando-Mallet Cuvee Jean Gautreau.

The wine was made from a barrel selection and was aged in 100% new, French oak barrels. To produce the wine, Jean Gautreau pulled the eighty best barrels from over 1,500 barrels.

Those barrels were aged separately. Then, out of those 80 barrels, Gautreau pulled what he considered the top 15 barrels. Those 300 cases were bottled for his own pleasure and were not originally intended for sale.

https://www.thewinecellarinsider.com/bo ... do-mallet/
The base wine is also matured in 100% new French oak. This is one Bordeaux that generally handles its new oak rather well.

The 1996 Wine

Gorgeous Bordeaux perfume with its musk, rich wet earth, cassis and some pencil shavings, almost Pauilliac in quality. A richer, riper nose than the base cuvee, to the best that I can recall, not showing some of the green and tobacco notes to which I have become accustomed in this Chateau. The palate does show some herbal qualities, but moreso, a rich, dense, textured palate presence, tangy red fruits, some spice and deep dark fruits. Massively tannic still at this stage, dry crisp finish. Love the nose and palate but the finish is a bit detracting. Not yet sure whether this is a maturation or aeration thing or the new oak, will follow this over tonight and some tomorrow. I am trying this on pop and pour.

The Glasses


I have been enjoying this wine out of my regular Schott Zwiesel and two GrasslGlass glasses, the 1855 and the Cru. As you would expect, the 1855 is designed for, inter alia, Bordeaux. The Cru is designed for Pinot and Nebbiolo. The first thing you notice about the glasses are the weight, dramatically lighter than the Schott. The base of the glass is also larger, which for fumble fingers like me and Brig, is a good thing. The crystal materials are fine, thin, much leaner than the Schott. I cannot comment on durability yet, but that is always a concern for me as my wife and I, and our maids, tend to break wine glasses with great regularity. I think that I would personally wash these glasses by hand.

Visually, these Grassl glasses are beautiful, quite lyrical. The Schotts look like the product of German engineering, more about function than form. Wine in the glass, the hue of the wine is darker in the Schott, given the sloped bowl, whereas the Grassl glasses have a broader base to the bowl. The wine appears lighter, giving the viewer greater clarity.

The nose is most focused from the Cru. It has the greatest taper from bowl to mouth. I could not discern a major difference in the nose between the Schott and the 1855. That said, my rather large nose hits the edge of the Cru's mouth. The Cru also shows the most tannin. I have no explanation for that, I'm neither a designer of glasses nor a scientist. That's just my impression. Of the three, ultimately I would choose the 1855 for this maturing Sociando. I also prefer the aesthetics and ergonmics of the 1855 over the Cru, of course that is highly personal.

Thanks to Chris for allowing me to try these wonderful designs. I will circle back tomorrow when I finish the rest of this wine. I also have the Liberte and Mineralite, which are for different wines, but will try them as well for this and perhaps those wines for which they are intended.

"Alfert was clearly raised in an outhouse in the Loire. . . ."

Kenny H (circa 2015)

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Chris Freemott
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Re: TN: 1996 Chateau Sociando Mallet Cuvee Jean Gautreau - Out of GrasslGlass Stems

#2 Post by Chris Freemott » January 13th, 2019, 6:39 pm

Robert, thanks for the notes. Have the 'help' put them in the dishwasher, use the China setting and don't let them touch.

No comment on your nose. LOL

Report back when you get time on the L&M!!!

Cheers sir.

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Re: TN: 1996 Chateau Sociando Mallet Cuvee Jean Gautreau - Out of GrasslGlass Stems

#3 Post by Julian Marshall » January 14th, 2019, 1:03 am

Glad you managed to find some, Robert! I'll be interested to read the follow-up because it doesn't sound as if you preferred this to the normal SM (?).

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Re: TN: 1996 Chateau Sociando Mallet Cuvee Jean Gautreau - Out of GrasslGlass Stems

#4 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » January 14th, 2019, 5:14 pm

Julian Marshall wrote:
January 14th, 2019, 1:03 am
Glad you managed to find some, Robert! I'll be interested to read the follow-up because it doesn't sound as if you preferred this to the normal SM (?).
So I've concluded this wine needs time, alot more time. It's totally a maturity issue, not the new oak or the quality of the fruit. It was even tight today when I first poured it two hours ago, and it is finally starting to open up. This wine drinks like a 2005, with very powerful Cabernet fruit. A bruiser of a wine. I have two more bottles, sticking them away for five years minimum. Will pop a 1995 over the next week or so. May drink it side by side with a base cuvee, but need my drinking buddy MarcF to help.

"Alfert was clearly raised in an outhouse in the Loire. . . ."

Kenny H (circa 2015)

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Re: TN: 1996 Chateau Sociando Mallet Cuvee Jean Gautreau - Out of GrasslGlass Stems

#5 Post by Marc Frontario » January 14th, 2019, 5:18 pm

Help is on the way brother man!!...I'll look for that Alfert Bat light illuminating in the night sky.
Find something you love....and let it kill u

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Re: TN: 1996 Chateau Sociando Mallet Cuvee Jean Gautreau - Out of GrasslGlass Stems

#6 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » January 14th, 2019, 5:21 pm

I'll let the security guards know!

"Alfert was clearly raised in an outhouse in the Loire. . . ."

Kenny H (circa 2015)

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Re: TN: 1996 Chateau Sociando Mallet Cuvee Jean Gautreau - Out of GrasslGlass Stems

#7 Post by Craig G » January 14th, 2019, 5:25 pm

As I mentioned in another thread, my 96 was corked, but I agree it needs a lot of time. If you can find the 97 I recommend trying it. It was excellent and so much more approachable.
“I want to halve your babies” — King Solomon

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Re: TN: 1996 Chateau Sociando Mallet Cuvee Jean Gautreau - Out of GrasslGlass Stems

#8 Post by Julian Marshall » January 15th, 2019, 8:28 am

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
January 14th, 2019, 5:14 pm
Julian Marshall wrote:
January 14th, 2019, 1:03 am
Glad you managed to find some, Robert! I'll be interested to read the follow-up because it doesn't sound as if you preferred this to the normal SM (?).
So I've concluded this wine needs time, alot more time. It's totally a maturity issue, not the new oak or the quality of the fruit. It was even tight today when I first poured it two hours ago, and it is finally starting to open up. This wine drinks like a 2005, with very powerful Cabernet fruit. A bruiser of a wine. I have two more bottles, sticking them away for five years minimum. Will pop a 1995 over the next week or so. May drink it side by side with a base cuvee, but need my drinking buddy MarcF to help.
Cheers - very interesting indeed - pretty impressive that a 96 should still be so closed, even if it’s frustrating for now. Looking forward to reading about the 95.

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Re: TN: 1996 Chateau Sociando Mallet Cuvee Jean Gautreau - Out of GrasslGlass Stems

#9 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » January 15th, 2019, 9:32 am

Surprised me as well, even the color of the wine and meniscus was one of youth.

"Alfert was clearly raised in an outhouse in the Loire. . . ."

Kenny H (circa 2015)

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