The latest in our series about the great wines of Bordeaux, France takes us the Château La Gaffelière in St. Emilion.
Refusing to bend to fashion trends, Château La Gaffelière is still a traditional family owned vineyard, and claims it's signature is that it is inscribed between tradition and modernity - using the best of both worlds to produce world class wines.
The respect of the terroir is linked to the origins of the estate. The currents owners, Comte de Malet-Roquefort & Alexandre de Malet-Roquefort were born here in this vineyard with its unique location backing onto the southern hillside of St Emilion.
The blend of wines from the slope and the foot of the hillside produces a nectar, which is powerful, racy and silky.
It is a harmony that is found in each vintage of the estate.
It's a wine that likes to show its finesse and elegance - The result of a know-how passed down through generations.
The family de Malet Roquefort has run the estate with passion for more than 3 centuries, with a single purpose: upgrading the vineyards whilst producing an amazing ageing wine.
Chateau la Gaffeliere evokes a great wine, a 1st Great Growth since the beginning of St Emilion’s classification in 1959.
The wine comes from an exceptional terroir, a “golden triangle” nested between the hills of Pavie and Ausone.
Currently, the estate extends to over 32 ha including 22ha in 1st Grand Cru Classé.
Our plots are located on 3 different areas :
The asteriated limestone plateau : clay layers and green marls 3 to 5 meters thick jammed between two limestone bedrocks. The plateau rises 90m above sea level.
From the 16°C, limestone was extracted on a large scale ; the stones were used to build the Bordeaux monuments and mansions.
The hill side, south and south-west facing : it is a favourable position for vine growing because it combines a nice exposure for ripeness and a slope for a natural water drainage.
Furthermore, the Fronsac molasse (clay subsoil) helps to regulate the water input and the mineral feeding of the plant.
The foot of the hillside : made of deep carbonates sands. This soil is fragile but healthy. It requires special care and a precise work to bring out the finesse of the grape.
The Vines and The Fruit...
Since 2000, La Gaffelière started an important replanting program. Now the vines are able to age peacefully to a median of 35 years.
The work methods employed have evolved to offer an environment-friendly viticulture. The agricultural methods are well thought-out and the vineyard's actions are sound in order to accommodate for the most gentle solutions.
The vineyard is composed by 75% merlot and 25% cabernet franc.
To produce the wine of Château La Gaffelière, vinification of the wine takes place in temperature controlled, stainless steel tanks. The grapes are whole berry fermented. Malolactic fermentation takes place in French oak barrels.
The wine of Château La Gaffelière is aged in an average of 70% to 80% new, French oak barrels, where the wine remains on its lees for about 12 months. In total, the wine spends between 18 to 20 months in barrel, depending on the character and quality of the vintage.
On average, slightly more than 4,000 cases of Château La Gaffelière are produced every vintage.
Château La Gaffelière offers its best drinking and should reach peak maturity between 15-35 years of age after the vintage.
Château La Gaffelière is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift.
Château La Gaffelière is best paired with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted braised and grilled dishes. Château La Gaffelière is also good when matched with Asian dishes, hearty fish courses like tuna, mushrooms and pasta.
Blend Bistro & Wine Bar currently is stocking a beautiful 1989 vintage of Château La Gaffelière as part of our Prestige Wine Collection - Now 30 years old, it is at its peak maturity and perfect for drinking right now.