Chateau Grand Mayne 2004, St Emilion GCC
The 2004 Grand-Mayne has a ripe mix of red and black fruit(blackberry, strawberries and cherries) with good definition and depth. The palate profile reflects the nose- medium-bodied with firm tannins cloaked in dense fruit- 2004 brings a lifted acidity that carries the wine to a balanced and structured finish. Like 2002, 2004 showed no greenness and rawness yet a sense of roundness on the finish. There are secondary tones of coffee and toast followed by some meatiness, pointing to excellent development over the past 20 years in bottles and still holding up well. The vintage 2004 is as stable.
We always believe it is one of the best-value Right Bank in the traditional style(partial oak fermentation and extended storage of more than 18 months) with evident reformation towards modern style(towards 100% new oak at times). The 21-hectare St. Emilion vineyard of Grand Mayne plants 75% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon with vines that average close to 30 years of age with 5,500 vines per hectare, hence there is always some complexity and intensity.
The vineyard of Chateau Grand Mayne lies to the west of Saint Emilion, at the foot of the plateau, hence specific structure and greenness sometimes. Even though the vineyard is in one large block of vines, Chateau Grand Mayne results from two different terroirs, thus the diversity of taste. Grand Mayne has vines planted in clay and limestone soils on the hillsides, which reach 55 meters at its peak. A portion of these vines borders Chateau Beau-Sejour Becot(a rich, full and tannic style). Further down the hillsides at the base of the slopes and in the flats, you find sand over clay which abuts Chateau Laroze(the form of soft, fragrant and fruity).
There are consistent ratings and scores around the 92 points standard, for example:
Tom Caravan 92
(2005) Very deep and opaque. Silky, crushed blackberry and deep, ripe cherry nose. Lots of lift on this one, with floral notes and kirsch-like qualities. There's a dark chocolate background, but the fruit is lovely and powerful. Smooth, silky and medium-bodied, with a raft of juicy, chewy black cherry and cherry skin fruit. A natural plum skin bites to this wine, with elegance and coolness to the core of fruit, but a dark, quite a dramatic underpinning of liquorice depth adding structure. Well-balanced, with spicy tannins and good acidity in the finish, but that aromatic quality of pure fruit persisting(edited, tasted Jan 2005)
The deep, dark ruby-red pigmentation is almost opaque. The wine's aromas have a nice clean, modern-style with lifted red fruit (strawberries) & vanilla. Fresh acidity lifts red fruit on the palate, but oak influences take over quickly. The wine is of mid-weight with fine tannins. Alcohol is balanced & the finish shows clean fruit with appropriate length. (Edited, tasted 2011)