Château Rauzan-Gassies 2018
• Domaine: Château Rauzan-Gassies
• Appellation: Margaux
• Classification: Second Growth, 2ème Grand Cru Classé
• Origin: Left Bank, Bordeaux, France
• Importer: Laguna Cellar
A pair of angel’s wings grace the label of Second Growth producer, Château Rauzan-Gassies. It is said that the terroir here is sacred – miraculously protected from the hailstorms and violent frosts that often plague the Margaux region of Bordeaux. Because of this, those at the Château wanted to pay homage to their good fortune and the ability to avoid any significant damage from the notoriously bad weather in Bordeaux. Though Château Rauzan-Gassies has fallen out of favor for many years, the most recent vintages starting with 2017, 2018, and 2019 have scored highly from demanding wine critics such as Wine Advocate. Perhaps those wings on the label are aiding them in some way -- changing the tides of fortune in their favor.
This Château has a rich history that dates back to the Lords of Gassies who owed allegiance to Château Margaux – it’s famous neighbor. Rauzan-Gassies was initially a part of the vast Rauzan estate. The Rauzan estate was split off into two parcels in 1785 due to irreconcilable differences between the sons of the Lord of Gassies. Over the centuries, the Rauzan estate was sectioned off into even smaller parcels and gave birth to Château Rauzan-Ségla, Château Marquis de Terme and Château Desmirail. Château Rauzan-Gassies was classified as a Second Growth in 1855 and nearly a century later was sold to the Quié family who still runs the estate today.
The 28.5-hectare vineyard of Château Rauzan-Gassies sits on the Left Bank of the Gironde. It is blessed with mild, maritime climate and the 35-year-old vines of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot are planted here. These vines take well to the porous, gravely soil and their best parcels are located near the Château itself. Interestingly enough, Château Rauzan Gassies is one of the few Second Growths that harvests with machine technology; only 50% of their harvest is actually done by hand. That may change, if they aim to produce wines today's drinkers appreciate: less machine, more nature.
In terms of vinification, the winemaking team at Château Rauzan-Gassies practices co-inoculation a winemaking process where alcoholic fermentation and malolactic fermentation take place at the same time. Malolactic fermentation is the process where the tart tasting malic acid – the sour element that exists in the grape must – converts to softer, more buttery, lactic acid. This is a process that happens universally in the red winemaking process and sometimes happens with white wines like Chardonnay. Because of this process, the wines at Château Rauzan Gassies are soft, and smooth with a lingering finish.
New investments have been made at Château Rauzan-Gassies. In 2008 they opened a beautiful new tasting room that overlooks the vineyards, and in 2018 they finished a highly expansive modernization of their cellars. It is clear the investment and hard work that was put into revitalizing the estate has paid off. In recent years, their 2017 vintage that scored an impressive 94+ points on Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. The 2018 and 2019 vintages continue to dazzle and score in the 90 points or higher range, proving that Château Rauzan-Gassies is finally turning things around.
"Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2018 Rauzan-Gassies rocks up with flamboyant notions of kirsch, blackberry preserves, warm cassis and Chinese five spice with touches of black tea, red roses and menthol plus a waft of molten chocolate. Medium to full-bodied with a firm frame of ripe, fine-grained tannins and fantastic freshness, it has a solid core of rich fruit, finishing long with perfumed red and black fruit layers." - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (4/23/2019, Bordeaux 2018 Issue), Ratings: 93-95
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Pavillon Rouge du Château Margaux 2017Special Price $195.00 Average US Price $240.00
Château Rauzan-Segla 2015Special Price $124.95 Average US Price $162.00
Château Rauzan-Segla 2018Special Price $159.95 Average US Price $200.00
Château Durfort-Vivens 2016Special Price $95.95 Average US Price $100.00