Jean Gautreau died last October, at the age of 92. He had just celebrated his family's 51st vintage in charge of Sociando-Mallet. This pureblood son of the Médoc bought Château Sociando-Mallet in 1969, after falling in love at first sight while looking for a vineyard as an investment purchase for Belgian clients. His relentless quest for quality led him to enlarge the vineyard area from 5ha to 80ha by willpower alone; he also restructured it and made sure that it reflected his unique style. His independent mindset meant that he never followed the fashion for over-extracted wines and always kept his prices reasonable. His wines are firm, powerful, and 100% traditional Médoc - in the image of their creator.
We feel great sympathy for his daughter Sophie, who has spent the last few years helping him to run the family business, and for his grandson, Arthur.
In creating this, his second vintage as Director of the estate, François Hugueniot was able to rely on longtime Consultant Oenologist Michel-Bernard Couasnon who, despite being retired, faithfully continues in an advisory capacity, helping to ensure that the 2019 blend did not depart from tradition. According to Hugueniot, this splendid vintage "is like a homage from the land to the man who spent 50 years making it great". The 2019 is more classic and more purebred than the opulent 2018... this is an elegant, powerful and refined vintage.