Chateau Gracia 2004

Bordeaux,St Emilion

Sculptor/stone mason Michel Gracia has turned in another astonishing performance. His friendship with Alain Vauthier (Ausone’s proprietor) has no doubt resulted in some serious discussions on wine quality. Cropped at a remarkably low 20 hectoliters per hectare and made from a blend of 80% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc as well as a dollop of Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2004 boasts an Ausone-like perfume of black fruits, crushed rocks, and spring flowers. In the mouth, it’s full-bodied, powerful, rich, pure, and beautifully layered. Bottled unfined and unfiltered, there are only 358 cases of this tour de force in garagiste winemaking. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2030. - WA93+

The Winery

Gracia is a true Garage wine! It is produced inside the village of St. Emilion in a small space, located on a tiny back alley that is next to a working garage. The estate is owned by Owned by Michel Gracia. Michel Gracia is an interesting man, who knows everyone and everything about St. Emilion. In part, that is because he is also a contractor and stone mason that has worked for Cheval Blanc, Petrus and several other well known properties in the region.

Chateau Gracia was born in 1994 when Michel Gracia purchased 1.5 hectares of vines in great terroir, not far from Troplong Mondot. Thanks to prodding by Jean Luc Thunevin and Alain Vauthier of Ausone, he began producing his own wine with the 2007 vintage. In 2001 Michel Gracia added another 1.3 hectares of vines to his holdings that are situated not far from Angelus. In 2005, Gracia added .3 hectares of vines that are now to 10,000 vines per hectare, which is extremely high for St. Emilion.

The small, 2.84 hectare St. Emilion vineyard of Gracia is 80% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. The terroir is clay and limestone soils. The vines are old, averaging close to 40 years of age. This Right Bank, Bordeaux vineyard is planted to a vine density of 5,500 vines per hectare.

The amount of effort required to produce this small wine is extensive. Chateau Gracia sees a 28 to 30-day maceration period. Vinification takes place in a combination of small, temperature controlled, stainless steel vats and Taransaud oak tanks. Yields are always low. On average, they are often only 25 hectoliters per hectare and at times, they are even lower!

Malolactic fermentation takes place in 100% new, French oak barrels. The wine of Chateau Gracia is aged in 100% new oak barrels. As you can expect, not much wine is made as on average, there is close to 350 cases of wine produced here per vintage.

Michel Gracia also produces Les Angelots de Gracia. Les Angelots de Gracia is not a second wine, it’s a unique St. Emilion wine produced from its own fruit sources. The wine of Les Angelots de Gracia experiences the same care and technique required to make Chateau Gracia. - Information from The Wine Cellar Insider

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