Château Gazin 2015
• Domaine: Château Gazin
• Appellation: Pomerol
• Origin: Right Bank, Bordeaux, France
• Importer: Laguna Cellar
Château Gazin is a must-know producer for Pomerol fans. Not only because the quality of the wine here is top notch, but also because it is a great value option compared to some of the more exorbitantly priced producers in this Right Bank commune. For oenophiles who understand and choose wine based on the promise of terroir, Château Gazin has some phenomenal terroir indeed. This estate is neighbors to the stars of this region, including the iconic Château Pétrus. With its elegant, sensual and age worthy wines, Château Gazin is a hidden gem of a producer and an essential for any Merlot lover.
Legend has it Château Gazin had a connection with the Knights of Templars, inspiring the unique design of its logo. The property was many things before it was a vineyard including a hospital. Château Gazin’s inception as a vineyard dates to 1772, when vines were purchased and planted by Antoine Feuilhade. The estate changed hands many times before it was bought by the descendants of the current owners in 1917. Eventually, the Bailliencourt family purchased it in 1946, along with another estate in the neighboring commune of Saint Émilion -- Château La Domenique. Château Gazin eventually lost 5.5 hectares of vines to its neighbor, Château Pétrus. To save money, the estate switched over to machine harvesting which caused the quality of the wine to further decline. When Nicolas Bailliencourt took over managing the property in 1984, he made a series of changes including eliminating machine harvesting and hiring Thomas Duclos as a consultant in 2013. The trajectory of this estate continues to improve, and critics are taking notice.
The vineyards at Château Gazin are planted in one single block which is highly unusual for Pomerol. It is one of the larger estates in the region, coming in at 26.5 hectares. The estate is planted with vines that are approximately 30 years old on average. Here, the vineyard hosts a mixture of vines that consist of 90 percent Merlot, followed by an additional 7 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 3 percent Cabernet Franc. Château Gazin is said to have the same blue clay that can be found at Château Pétrus. Château Gazin has some of the highest elevations in Pomerol, with peak elevations coming in at 40.5 meters. They use traditional practices in the vineyard and try to focus on sustainability as much as possible. Some sustainable pest control techniques implemented at Château Gazin include mating confusion. The oldest vines at this property were planted in 1942. The vines are all harvested by hand and sorted twice for the choicest berries prior to vinification. The wine is fermented in cement vats before being aged in New Oak barrels. Château Gazin leases these barrels, which is an unusual occurrence for Pomerol.
The wine of Château Gazin is considered elegant, with aromas of tobacco and vanilla. It is often better with a little bit of bottle aging – usually 8 to 12 years – and younger vintages do require just a bit of decanting.
"The 2015 Gazin has a perfumed bouquet with layers of black cherry, raspberry coulis and truffle scents, more welcoming and sensual than the wines a decade ago from barrel when they intermittently felt under-ripe. There is none of that here for sure. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit on the entry. There is excellent structure here, a masculine Gazin with plenty of grip, counterbalanced by abundant tertiary, tobacco-tinged black fruit. There is real salinity towards the finish, completing a superb wine by Nicolas de Bailliencourt and his team. Do not overlook this Pomerol. It is one of the subtler expressions of the 2015 vintage and one that I am sure will develop beautifully in cask." Neal Martin, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (4/27/2016, Issue 224), Rating: 94-96, Drink: 2020-2050
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