Jean Gautreau discovered Sociando-Mallet in the village of Saint-Seurin-de-Cadourne - qualifying it for the Haut-Médoc appellation - in 1969 when looking for a wine estate to buy on behalf of a Belgian client. It was love at first sight, despite the fact that the property was in a sorry state. However, the terroir was excellent and the domain afforded a magnificent view overlooking the Gironde Estuary. Jean Gautreau immediately decided to acquire it for himself for 250,000 French francs.
There were only 5 hectares of vines at the time. The buildings were in bad shape and there was no barrel cellar – just a small vat room and garage. With help and advice from Gérard Cler, a previous employee at the château, Jean Gautreau made an acceptable first vintage and a superb second one. He was helped by the fact that Sociando-Mallet's extraordinary terroir, consisting of Günz gravel with clay subsoil, is propitious to growing excellent Cabernet Sauvignon and producing wines with wonderful freshness. Jean Gautreau expanded the vineyard year after year by buying vines from his neighbours. Seeking the best possible quality, he also renovated the estate’s buildings, built a barrel cellar, and gradually improved the choice of grape varieties, matching the appropriate ones to each vineyard plot.
Today, the property comprises 83 hectares, producing nearly 450,000 bottles a year of Château Sociando-Mallet and the second wine, Demoiselle de Sociando-Mallet. Jean Gautreau sold his négociant business in 2000 and now focuses entirely on managing his wine estate.
The Demoiselle de Sociando-Mallet is produced from the younger vines of the property and the plots whose soil is more favourable to the production of very good Merlot. This grape variety represents half of the final blend of this wine. The vines for the Demoiselle cover around 20 hectares and receive the same care - and are tended in the same way - as the rest of the vineyard throughout the year.
The demoiselle is a type of dragonfly found in the Médoc. Like the dragonfly, this wine of the same name is light and elegant.
2006 was A very demanding vintage that played with the vinegrowers’ nerves right up to the harvest. The hot and wet weather of September meant a rapid decline in the state of the bunches, and only a rigorous and strict selection on entry to the cellar allowed the producer to preserve the quality of the estate's wines.
The ageing of the Demoiselle de Sociando-Mallet is carried out mainly in vats, to preserve the freshness and fruitiness of the Merlot.
~55% Merlot, ~40% Cabernet Sauvignon, ~5% Cabernet Franc.
The Demoiselle de Sociando-Mallet 2006 shows a lovely crimson ruby colour, this wine offers enticing aromas of red fruit, cherry, raspberry, with a touch of vanilla from the oak. In the palate, it reveals a round and supple structure and is well-balanced.
This easy-drinking wine can be enjoyed young or old. It is an ideal match for grilled meat and fish or shellfish dishes.