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Chateau Maucaillou 1996

Medium ruby with some tinges of mahogany at edge; attractive soft nose of tobacco, mushrooms, beef and savoury notes. Quite elegant with sophistication. Lightish, lacks intensity but quite charming and enjoyable with a soft palate and ripe tannins. Earthy Graves like quality to it and not at all austere as you may expect a Moulis from this year. Scores reasonably good as it got a CT88. We are told it got a WS89 too, but we cannot substantiate that, with the lack of sufficient information.

Château Maucaillou, literally ‘bad stones’ (Mauvais Cailloux) in translation, produces soft, round and attractive Moulis, quite an achievement in an appellation that tends to produce stronger generally more austere wines. It does age well too, producing Bordeaux with good earthy fruit and genuine complexity. Given this Maucaillou remains a shrewd buy as it is not that far behind either Chasse-Spleen or Poujeaux in quality but is less expensive. 1996, like so many in Moulis this vintage and if you still can get hold of it, is also an excellent buy for the rare old palate. This vineyard is close to St. Julien.

Vineyard size is 87 hectares, not Bad for a Cru Bourgeois Superieur , with 75% on Guntz gravel, 25% on clay limestone planted with 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot.

Fermentation in temperature controlled vats with a three week maceration. 18-21 months in oak, 30-40% of which is new in the case of Vintage 1996.

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