This Friday 9 March 2018 we visited the Château Malartic Lagravière.
A long story in Malartic Lagravière ! At the end of the 17th century, the Maurès de Malartic family acquired the Domaine de la Gravière. Then the estate was bought in 1850 by Mrs Arnaud Ricard, who gave it its present name by adding to La Gravière, the name of its former owner, Count Hippolyte Maurès de Malartic, illustrious admiral of the Kings of France. In 1990, it was sold to Champagnes Laurent-Perrier. For more than a century, the wines maintained their reputation and the estate was classified in red and white from 1959. It was in 1997 that the estate really took off with its takeover by Michèle and Alfred-Alexandre Bonnie, a Belgian businessman with a passion for wine. A vast renovation plan was then undertaken both in the vineyard (grubbing-up and replanting, extension with the purchase of 18 hectares neighbouring), in the winery (new winery equipped with stainless steel and small wooden vats) and in the château. It is now Jean-Jacques Bonnie, son of Alfred-Alexandre, who runs the business. Michel Rolland and Athanase Fakorellis are the consulting oenologists.
The vineyard around 53 ha, 7 of which are white, extends over a gravelly soil with a clayey and calcareous shell subsoil. The grape varieties are Merlot (45%), Cabernet Sauvignon (45%), Cabernet Franc (8%) and Petit Verdot (2%) for the red and Sauvignon (80%) and Semillon (20%) for the white. The average age of the vines is 30 years and the planting density is 10,000 vines per hectare. Careful attention is constantly paid, for each plot, to the correct soil-plant balance and perfect respect for the environment (no use of weedkillers or pesticides, organic amendments and minimum quantities…). The protection of the vineyard follows the principles of sustainable agriculture (Agrocert certification obtained in 2008).
Harvesting is manual with double sorting. The very original vat room, rebuilt in a remarkable way at the end of the 90s, is equipped with thermoregulated mini-conical truncated vats allowing to vinify by plot (20 stainless steel vats and 10 wooden vats). The tanks are loaded by gravity. After blending, the wine is aged for 16 to 22 months in oak barrels (50 to 70% new depending on the vintage).
Since 1990, Malartic-Lagravière has produced, in addition to its two great wines, two second wines under the name “Réserve de Malartic” (“Le Sillage de Malartic” until 2006). It is one of only six Bordeaux crus classified in both white and red.
In constant progress, fruit of the passion and efforts of its owners and the remarkable technical work accomplished, they are now among the best wines of the Pessac-Léognan appellation.
Magnificent visit that we will make you share with great pleasure.
Thanks to Stéphanie CORNE for her professionalism and this exciting visit.