Winery: Château Malbat
Locale: La Réole (Bordeaux) France
Appellation: Bordeaux Rouge
Site: Vineyards near Le Reòle, sloping down from about 120 m above sea level, clay and calcareous soils.
Grapes: Merlot 70%, Cabernet 30% (varies a bit vintage by vintage for the best result given the specific year's climate), vines average about 30 years of age. Generally the Cabernet gives different characteristics obviously but also helps keep alcohol in check, as the Merlot in this zone often achieves 14% alcohol while the Cabernet generally comes in at 12.5-13%.
Fermentation and Aging: A mix of stainless steel and cement fermentation vats. The wines stay on the skins for as long as one month, before being racked off to settle in stainless steel tanks. All processes are computer controlled. The wines are settled and matured in stainless steel tanks and are then aged in bottle for from a few months to over a year before release to the market.
Notes: Thanks to its very high quality and a fantastic rapport between price and quality, Chateau Malbat has become quite successful in the US market. We often hear comments about how sweet the fruit is and how soft the tannins are, relative to other wines from the area. We couldn't agree more. The price to quality ratio of this wine is consistently astounding.