The 2009 Gracia competes handsomely with the spectacular 2005 and 2000 vintages. A slightly more evolved and fleshy effort, the inky/purple-hued 2009 (75 % Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon) is a massive, thick powerhouse with 14.5% natural alcohol. Proprietor Michel Gracia often makes a wine that is similar to that of his friend, the proprietor of Ausone. Blueberry, blackberry, licorice, forest floor, smoke and graphite aromas jump from the glass of this unctuously textured, layered, multidimensional St.-Emilion. Displaying an inner core of extract (yields were only 19 hectoliters per hectare) and not a hard edge to be found, this youthful 2009 tastes more like a barrel sample than a finished wine. It will benefit from 5-10 years of cellaring and should last for 3-4 decades. (RP)
Blackberry with earth and spices follow through to a full body, with velvety tannins and a long caressing finish. Plenty of ripe fruit underneath the structure. Try in 2017.
Bright, deep ruby-red. Sexy blueberry, mineral and smoky oak aromas are lifted by a violet topnote. Fat, sweet, dense and plush but not monolithic, showing good spicy lift and delineation to the superconcentrated black fruit and smoky oak flavors. Finishes with very suave tannins and a hint of chocolate mint. This may well surpass Michel Gracia's outstanding 2005 release, as the new wine shows flamboyant early personality. (ST)
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