A lovely estate on the west side of Pomerol, Château La Grave dates back to the early 19th century. As indicated by its name, the soil is almost pure pebble. The vineyard marks the beginning of the one mile long gravelly strip which crosses the plateau of Pomerol, then Cheval Blanc and ends at Château Figeac. La Grave could be considered the equivalent of a third growth in the Médoc and ranks amongst the top Pomerol. His very first personal acquisition, Christian Moueix purchased the estate in June 1971 and gave a great deal of attention to the restoration of the château, cellar, and vineyard. Today, as part of the Ets Jean-Pierre Moueix properties, it receives the same meticulous care as the other family’s top châteaux.
The illustrious and famed Bordeaux negociant firm of Ets. Jean-Pierre Moueix was founded in 1937 and holds exclusive rights to sell and manage some of the greatest vineyards on the right bank of Bordeaux. The properties of Jean-Pierre Moueix can be found in the appellations of Pomerol and St. Emilion with each estate being carefully selected by Christian Moueix. The Moueix family have defined a style of winemaking distinguished by integrity and total devotion to the expression of each individual vineyard.
85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc
A strict and merciless parcel selection precedes the harvest which is conducted entirely by hand, vine by vine, and often bunch by bunch. A sorting table is used systematically to assure a selection of only the healthiest grapes. Vatting and maceration are conducted according the needs of the vintage; racking into barrels is immediate following fermentations in a minimum of 50% new oak. The wines are clarified (racked) by hand every three months and remain in barrel for 18 months before bottling.
Red garnet color with a dark hue. The nose is discrete at the beginning and becomes intense with a nice purity after it opens up. Small red fruits, fresh cherry and currant aromas are very pleasant. The palate is already very smooth and silky with round tannins perfect for a great evolution in the bottle.
A Snap-shot of the 2014 Vintage by Markus Del Monego MW
2014 had an early start with budbreak around 10 days ahead of the 10 years average. End of May flowering started on the early terroirs in heterogeneous conditions, whereas the later varieties such as Cabernet-Sauvignon and Franc as well as later terroirs took advantage of a warm and sunny period beginning of June. July and August where quite cool and humid and in the second half of August the vintners prepared themselves for a vintage even worse than 2013 but at the end of August everything changed. A spledid indian summer througout September and October saved the quality. Harvest started for the white grapes started three days later than in 2012 but two weeks later than 2011. For the red grapes the harvest startet with Merlot at the end of September and ended with the Cabernets in the second half of October. The cool climate during summer provides a higher acidity, the indian summer is responsible for the right ripening.
The dry white wines are on a very good quality level showing crisp acidity and ripe flavours. The noble sweet white wines also take advantage of the higher acidity balancing the opulent sweetness. Therefore this vintage seems more on the elegant side. The presentation of red wines depends very much on the grape varietes and terroirs. Overall the red wines are on a higher quality level than the three previous vintages. Saint-Emilion is excellent on the plateau calcaire and shows in general very good wines.
In Pomerol the centre of the plateau was in advantage over the surrounding areas. Fronsac was a very positive surprise for 2014. In the Médoc the southern part proved to be more heterogenous than the northern part, where especially Saint-Estèphe was homogenous and excellent. South of Bordeaux Pessac-Léognan presented a very homogenous picture of a very good quality level with outstanding wines from Haut Brion and La Mission Haut Brion.
One last observation: This vintage digests oak in a great way. The oak is even not obvious in wines with a 100% new oak barrels for maturation. Now there are roughtly twelve month to follow for the maturation of the 2014s untill the bottling in 2016. A lot can happen in this period. Let us see how the wines will present themselves after bottling, it will be a very interesting tasting again. 2014 is not a great vintage like 2005, 2009 or 2010 but it will be able to secure a position as one of the very good vintages of Bordeaux.