A bit on this special cuvee before I comment on the wine and glasses. From Leve's website:
The base wine is also matured in 100% new French oak. This is one Bordeaux that generally handles its new oak rather well.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 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.
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.