Malartic-Lagraviere Changes Style for 2019 Vintage

Chateau Malartic-Lagraviere, a leading producer in the Pessac-Leognan appellation of Bordeaux, said it has taken a `new approach’ in the production of its 2019 vintage which marks `a significant change of style.’

It made the comment in a newsletter emailed earlier this month, which said the wines represented a `superb, generous, very expressive vintage.’ The 2019 wines would normally have been presented to the world wine trade in early April, but the Bordeaux En Primeur wine week was cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The wine team at the estate said it had been actively working on preparing the 2018 reds for the next bottling in June, moving barrels to the vat room in preparation for the final blending. That leaves only the 2019 wines remaining in the barrel room.

Malartic-Lagraviere has been owned by the Bonnie family since 1997 and is a wine estate south of the city of Bordeaux encompassing 53 hectares (131 acres) under vine producing 150,000 bottles a year, according to data in the 15th edition of the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux handbook.

Its red vines are planted with 45 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 45 percent Merlot, 8 percent Cabernet Franc and 2 percent Petit Verdot while its whites are made from vineyards planted with 80 percent Sauvignon Blanc and 20 percent Semillon.

Turning to the outlook for 2020, the wine team said first buds emerged in mid-March and there was some anxiety when temperatures became `critically low’ on March 27 and March 31. Minimum temperatures fell close to freezing on both those days, according to data on meteorological website

`Fortunately the frosts did not cause much damage,’ the wine team said in the newsletter, while saying they were continuing to remain watchful at that time. `We do not have any means of protecting the vines against frosts, since our terroirs are not usually affected,’ they said. Buds were opening between March 19 and April 7.

Infoclimat data indicated that while temperatures also dipped on April 3, they have since risen considerably.

The Malartic-Lagraviere vineyard team also reported that they took delivery of two young draft horses in December, aged three and four years old, which are taking over from their previous horse.

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I am a journalist writing about the Bordeaux wine market.

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