Source: jamessuckling.com. Issue Date: Monday, February 13, 2017 (JS-89)
Quite an oaky nose with some coconut as well as vanilla, but on the palate this is rich and quite well balanced. The finish is just slightly edgy.
Chateau Malmaison, in the Moulis-en-Medoc appellation, is one of the oldest estates in the Medoc. Grapes have been grown here, thanks to a handful of different owners and a sizeable religious community, since the Middle Ages. This property, which adjoins Chateau Clarke, was purchased by Baron de Rothschild in 1978. Thanks to his impetus, the vineyard was restored to its former glory. He named the wine after his spouse, the elegant Baroness Nadine de Rothschild, who is also passionate about gardening. The vineyard now covers 33 hectares (81.54 acres) of clay limestone soil, which is ideal for Merlot, the predominant grape variety. Chateau Malmaison allies delicacy, suppleness and elegance with a rich and fruity bouquet.
VARIETAL COMPOSITION: 80% Merlot; 20% Cabernet Sauvignon
AREA: 33 ha (81.54 acres)
SOILS : Limestone and clay with some gravelly plots
VINE DENSITY: 7,000 vines/ha
VINE AGE: 30 years
CULTIVATION: Natural grass cover, double Guyot
HARVEST DATES: Merlot from September 21 to October 4; Cabernet Sauvignon from September 26 and 27
HARVEST: Hand and mechanical picking with hand selection of the grapes (before and after destemming)
FERMENTATION: The grapes are put into vats via gravity flow, followed by cold soaking and fermentation in both oak and stainless steel tanks. Moderate extraction adapted to each vat by pumping over and delestage (rack and return).
AGEING: 16 months, 30% in new barrels, 70% in second fill barrels
Deep crimson color. The nose is expressive and intense, with fresh fruit (black currant and plum) aromas, a touch of menthol, and delicate hints of oak. The wine starts out rich and full-bodied, going on to show considerable elegance and a fine balance between well-focused, velvety tannin and acidity that contributes freshness and length.