Matteo Recommends...

Matteo Montone
World Best Young Sommelier 2019

Each month award-winning Sommelier Matteo Montone shares his recommendations on wine and the wine industry.

Chateau Gazin and its magic terroir

Before the present lockdown I had the privilege to visit Bordeaux and a selection of top Chateaux.

Chateau Gazin is located on the plateau, the best terroir in Pomerol.  The “magic” of the terroir is due to its unique soil composition. On the plateau the soil is mainly clay and gravel with subsoil made up of layers of clay with iron and blue swelling clay, which gives  Merlot in particular great structure, elegance and minerality. The plateau is famed as the source of the best Merlot in the world. (Chateau Gazin’s VIP neighbour is Chateau Petrus).

(pic1, The row on the right is Chateu Gazin while the row on the left is Chateau Petrus).

Chateau Gazin covers 26 hectares of vine planted with 90% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Cabernet Franc.

The wine here is made in a very traditional Bordeaux style: fermentation in small cement vats and then aged for 18 months in oak barrels (50% new), malolactic fermentation in casks and fining with white eggs. The Chateau is run by Nicolas who is bringing the Chateau to another level with site selection and a deep knowledge of his terroir.

With such an incredible terroir, the wine is definitely “made in the vineyard” not in the wine cellar.

After visiting the vineyard and cellar, we finally tasted different vintages.

One amongst all blew me away: the 2009 Chateau Gazin is one of the best Merlots that I have had in the past 12 months.

On the nose the wine was showing pronounced aromas of ripe damson plum black spices and truffle.

Rich tannins had fully integrated, with supple texture and a great balance between concentration and freshness.

This wine can age for other 20 years, but, unless you like your wine very mature in character, I would say it is already drinking superbly.

If you want to try this amazing vintage, you can find it at Grand Vin Wine Merchants UK, and at £88 it is very reasonably priced.  For comparison 2009 Chateau Petrus is around £3,000.

Alternatively you can try their second wine, L’Hospitalet de Gazin, available at Corney and Barrow.

I would recommend the 2014 for £32. It is not a highly acclaimed vintage but can offer immediate pleasure and the wine is already very approachable.

The nose is showing blueberry and blackberries with layers of black spices, moka and truffle.

Firm tannins, bright acidity with good weight and a savoury finish.

I would recommend serving this wine at a temperature between 18 – 20 degrees in a Bordeaux glass.

To match I’d keep it simple:  ribeye steak served with mushrooms and  truffled mashed potatoes.

The tannins of the wine cut through the richness of the steak texture and the wine’s savoury character complements the aromas of the mushrooms and mashed potatoes. (if you need some greens have a salad starter!)