April 2009, Score: 94-97
This extraordinary, multi-dimensional 2008 Gracia boasts abundant notes of blue and blackberries, roasted coffee beans, chocolate, incense, and forest floor. Layered, deep, full-bodied, and concentrated, with fresh, lively acids that provide vibrancy and precision, this beauty finished at 13.5% natural alcohol. One of the most extraordinary St.-Emilions of the vintage, it well worth searching out and buying. It can be drunk over the next two decades or more.
St Emilion, Red Bordeaux
South of Pomerol lies the medieval, perched village of St Emilion. Surrounding St Emilion are vines that produce round, rich and often hedonistic wines. Despite a myriad of soil types, two main ones dominate – the gravelly, limestone slopes that delve down to the valley from the plateau and the valley itself which is comprised of limestone, gravel, clay and sand. Despite St Emilion’s popularity today, it was not until the 1980s to early 1990s that attention was brought to this region. Robert Parker, the famous wine critic, began reviewing their Merlot-dominated wines and giving them hefty scores. The rest is history as they say. Similar to the Médoc, there is a classification system in place which dates from 1955 and outlines several levels of quality. These include its regional appellation of St Emilion, St Emilion Grand Cru, St Emilion Grand Cru Classé and St Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé, which is further divided into “A” (Ausone and Cheval Blanc) and “B” (including Angélus, Canon, Figeac and a handful of others). To ensure better accuracy, the classification is redone every 10 years enabling certain châteaux to be upgraded or downgraded depending on on the quality of their more recent vintages.