It’s hard not to admire the brilliant Jean Gautreau, who has run this great terroir and estate (just to the north of St-Estèphe’s Château Montrose) with meticulous perfection for decades. The 2005 is a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc. Offering beautifully sweet crème de cassis and blueberries, this is concentrated essence of blue and black fruits, with some underlying minerality, a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, and stunning texture, length and purity. This is superb Sociando Mallet, with surprisingly sweet tannin, which is even more remarkable in this vintage of high and occasionally hard tannins. Give it another 4-5 years of cellaring, and drink it over the following 30 years. (RP)
Good full medium red-ruby. Complex nose offers black raspberry, licorice, minerals and a whiff of leather. Brooding, ripe and deep, with terrific volume for Sociando. The black raspberry, licorice and dark chocolate flavors are full and rich but remain this side of exotic. In fact, this boasts superb balance even if it's youthfully backward today. Expands impressively on the back half, finishing with big, broad tannins and an impression of real power. Cellarmaster Faure notes that he's enjoying the '98 and '99 today, but that the 2000 and 2001 are currently quite closed. This 2005 is likely to require at least seven or eight years of patience. (ST)
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