Learn everything about Chateau Sociando Mallet, Haut Medoc with wine tasting notes and wine with food pairing tips. Learn the best vintages, a history of the property, information on the vineyards and winemaking. If you want to read about other important, Bordeaux Chateaux: Links to all Bordeaux Wine Producer Profiles
Chateau Sociando Mallet, History, Overview
Sociando Mallet takes its name from two previous owners. A nobleman from the Basque region, who was known as Sossiondo founded the estate in 1633.
In time, the name of the property was changed to match the phonetic sound to Sociando. The estate was confiscated and sold during the French Revolution. There was a time in the early 1800’s when the property was known as Sociando-Lamothe.
In about 1850, the land was sold to a captain in the navy who following the custom of the day, renamed the estate using his name of Mallet, and Chateau Sociando Mallet was born.
Chateau Sociando Mallet, The Modern Era
Jean Gautreau was born in 1927 in Lesparre, France. He did not come from a wine background. He discovered Bordeaux when he went to work as a Negociant in 1948. By 1957 he opened his own Negociant firm. Next, Jean Gautreau came up with the idea to provide mobile bottling trucks to chateau.
The modern age of Chateau Sociando Mallet began in 1969, when it was purchased by Jean Gautreau from the Tereygeol family for 250,000 French Francs, in part, on the advice Jean Michel Cazes of Chateau Lynch Bages in Pauillac.
When Jean Gautreau bought Sociando Mallet in 1969, the property had fallen into poor condition.
The cellars, winemaking facilities, vineyards and even the chateau, which was uninhabitable all needed work. As far as the vineyard, much of the land had gone fallow, as they had not been tended for years.
In fact, when Sociando Mallet was originally purchased by Jean Gautreau, less than 7 hectares were under vine. Today, the vineyard has almost 85 hectares, with much of that being cultivated with vines!
Jean Gautreau quickly began alternating the expanding of the vineyard with additional purchases and replanting selections of his newly purchased vines. He was also simultaneously remodeling and renovating the winemaking facilities.
He added new, temperature controlled stainless vats and repaired the older concrete vats. Jean Gautreau also constructed a new, modern, tasting room with natural lighting and an incredible, unobstructed view of the Gironde.
At first, as he already owned his own negociant company, Jean Gautreau sold the entire production on his own. In time, this shifted, an the wines were eventually sold through to other negociants on the Place de Bordeaux.
Sadly, in November, 2019, after 50 years of managing Sociando Mallet, Jean Gautreau passed away. He was 92 years old. His daughter Sylvie Gautreau and grandson Arthur Gautreau are now in charge of managing the estate.
Chateau Sociando Mallet Vineyards, Terroir, grapes, Winemaking
Previously, the vineyard included a higher percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon and less Merlot, as well as a portion of Petit Verdot. As you can see, the Petit Verdot vines have been removed and more Merlot has been planted.
If the old adage is true, that all the best vineyards in Bordeaux have a prime view of the Gironde, Chateau Sociando Mallet, with its unobstructed view of the water from both directions has a privileged terroir. The vineyards are situated north of the Saint Estephe appellation.
Being that far north in the Left Bank means they have a cooler climate than even their neighbors, just due south in St. Estephe, so they would naturally harvest later in most vintages and perform well in the hot dry years.
Although, cooler years would then, also make it difficult for the grapes to develop full ripeness.
Located in the far north of the Haut Medoc appellation in the village of Saint Seurin de Cadourne, the terroir is gravel, with a subsoil of clay, sand and limestone soils.
The vineyard of Sociando Mallet is planted to to a vine density of 8,333 vines per hectare. On average, the vines are close to 30 years of age.
Today, the majority of Bordeaux wine producers believe in green harvesting to control yields and add concentration. But that is not the case with Sociando Mallet. They have some of the highest yields in the entire region at close to 80 hectoliters per hectare in some vintages.
Jean Gautreau prefers to allow nature to decide on the level of the yields at Sociando Mallet. At Sociando Mallet, while they do prune in the winter, they do not green harvest or de leaf in the summer, like most estates.
Those high yields at Sociando Mallet are part of what gives the wine its rustic and often green character, as well as its charm, according to the many fans of the estate.
Winemaking at Sociando Mallet
The wine of Sociando Mallet is vinified in a series of temperature controlled, stainless steel vats and a small portion of traditional cement tanks. Malolactic fermentation takes place in vat.
Chateau Sociando Mallet is aged in a combination of mostly 100% new, French oak barrels and the remainder is aged in tank. On average, 95% of the harvest is aged in mostly new, French oak barrels, while the remaining 5% of the harvest is aged in tank for about 12 months.
On average, the estate produces close to 35,000 cases per year of Sociando Mallet. The estate also makes a second wine, previously sold under the name of Lartigue-de Brochon. Brochon was the name of a previous owner of the vineyard during the 1800’s. Today, the second wine is La Demoiselle de Sociando Mallet.
The Best Vintages of Sociando Mallet are: 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2014, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2005, 2003, 2001, 2000, 1996, 1990, 1989, 1982.
Chateau Sociando Mallet, Cuvee Jean Gautreau
in 1995, Sociando Mallet produced a special wine that was at the time, intended to only be produced in that one vintage, Sociando-Mallet Cuvee Jean Gautreau.
The wine was made from a barrel selection and was aged in 100% new, French oak barrels. To produce the wine, Jean Gautreau pulled the eighty best barrels from over 1,500 barrels.
Those barrels were aged separately. Then, out of those 80 barrels, Gautreau pulled what he considered the top 15 barrels. Those 300 cases were bottled for his own pleasure and were not originally intended for sale.
However, when he discovered he was running out of room, the wines were sold in the marketplace. Sociando-Mallet Cuvee Jean Gautreau is difficult to find.
But it might not sell for much a premium over the standard wine. Since that initial production, in 2013, Jean Gautreau decided to release several other vintages of the wine that covered the years 1996 to 2006.
When to Drink Chateau Sociando Mallet, Anticipated Maturity, Decanting Time
Chateau Sociando Mallet needs time before it can be enjoyed. Young vintages can be decanted for an average of 2-3 hours. This helps the wine soften and open its perfume. Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment.
Chateau Sociando Mallet is usually better with at least 8-10 years or more of bottle age. Of course that can vary slightly, depending on the vintage character.
Chateau Sociando Mallet offers its best drinking and should reach peak maturity between 8-25 years of age after the vintage.
Serving and Decanting Chateau Sociando Mallet with Wine, Food, Pairing Tips
Chateau Sociando Mallet is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift. The wine of Chateau Sociando Mallet is best served with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted, braised and grilled dishes.
Chateau Sociando Mallet is a perfect match with Asian dishes, hearty fish courses like tuna, mushrooms and pasta as well as cheese.
Chateau Sociando Mallet is one of the most popular Cru Bourgeois Classified Bordeaux wines. Until recently, Sociando Mallet had a reputation for selling their wine at low prices.
Due to high demand, that is no longer the case. The wine of Sociando Mallet has a distinctive rustic, brawny, classic and sometimes herbaceous style that appeals to some tasters more than others.
Château Sociando-Mallet Wine Tasting Notes
20 Vintages 152,606 Views Sort by Vintage-Rating
|2018||Château Sociando-Mallet (Haut-Médoc)|
Tobacco leaf, cigar wrapper, fresh herbs and black currant create the core of the wine. Full-bodied, powerful, tannic and juicy, the fruit and tannins are ripe, there is a roundness to the texture coupled with density and flesh to the fruit that really shines this year. 92-94 Pts
8,465 Views Tasted Apr 19, 2019
|2017||Château Sociando-Mallet (Haut-Médoc)|
Piquant red fruits with a firm wall of tannins greet you in the mouth. This OG, classic wine is going to need cellaring before it's able to be enjoyed.
7,866 Views Tasted Apr 26, 2018
|2016||Château Sociando-Mallet (Haut-Médoc)|
Deep in color with dark red fruits, earth and tobacco and an herb and olive note, this wine has good weight and density. The tannins are round and polished and the finish is packed with dense, dusky fruits.
6,847 Views Tasted Apr 29, 2017
|2015||Château Sociando-Mallet (Haut-Médoc)|
Firm, taught, bright and crisp, the crunchy cranberry and cassis show a tartness that is going to please those that also appreciate the herbal character found in this wine. 86 - 88 Pts
9,963 Views Tasted Apr 26, 2016
|2014||Château Sociando-Mallet (Haut-Médoc)|
Firm, bright, crisp and fresh, with blackberry, tobacco, smoke and spicy cassis in its character, the wine is full bodied, tannic and should age well. 88-90 Pts
12,060 Views Tasted Apr 21, 2015
|2013||Château Sociando-Mallet (Haut-Médoc)|
Spice, leaf, herb and red fruit in character, this is a light, user-friendly style of Sociando Mallet that will drink well early. 86-88 Pts
8,669 Views Tasted Apr 23, 2014
|2012||Château Sociando-Mallet (Haut-Médoc)|
Dark in color, with good concentration of flavor, this blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc produced an herb tinged, peppery, earthy, leafy, herb and cassis filled, classically styled wine that will need time to soft and come together.
4,332 Views Tasted May 7, 2015
|2010||Château Sociando-Mallet (Haut-Médoc)|
Tannic, tough and tight, this powerful, classically styled, cassis and herb dominated, tannic, austere, Bordeaux will require a long time to develop and become civilized.
9,771 Views Tasted May 8, 2013
|2009||Château Sociando-Mallet (Haut-Médoc)|
One of the more backward, tannic, hard wines of the vintage, the crisp fruits and earthey, peppery, structured personality do not lead to much pleasure today. Let this sleep for 5-10 years and the experience should be better.
6,528 Views Tasted Jan 23, 2014
|2007||Château Sociando-Mallet (Haut-Médoc)|
Austere and green with a strong cedar and herbal note, paired with a lean, strict character to the red fruits and tannins in the finish that creates a wine, others will enjoy much more than I did.
4,639 Views Tasted Sep 2, 2017
|2006||Château Sociando-Mallet (Haut-Médoc)|
Medium bodied, with a rustic, stern, masculine leaning to the tannins, the wine is still young. Showing tobacco, cedar chest and blackberry notes on the nose, with a crisp, chewy, blackberry, earth, pepper and cassis thread in the finish, give this at least 5 more years, or longer to come around.
5,143 Views Tasted Sep 12, 2015
|2005||Château Sociando-Mallet (Haut-Médoc)|
Big and powerful, but lacking refinement, there is a lot of tannin to overcome before this becomes much fun to drink. Cassis, blackberry, earth, tobacco and herbs are in abundance, but there is a touch of green and the tannins display some rusticity as well. The wine was produced from a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc.
14,217 Views Tasted Aug 1, 2011
|2004||Château Sociando-Mallet (Haut-Médoc)|
Crisp red, sweet and tart fruits, firm tannins and an austere personality with a cassis and cranberry finish that reminds me of what some tasters would call classic.
4,661 Views Tasted Jan 4, 2015
|2003||Château Sociando-Mallet (Haut-Médoc)|
The drying tannins, jammy berries and herbal notes are not the best combination for a wine. Fans of this estate will probably enjoy this wine much more than I did.
6,083 Views Tasted Dec 18, 2013
Already approachable, this slightly rustic, big, old styled Bordeaux lacks elegance and has a bitter note in the finish I find off putting. Others that are fond of this style will probably enjoy it.
4,880 Views Tasted Jun 1, 2010
|2001||Château Sociando-Mallet (Haut-Médoc)|
This concentrated, full bodied, classically styled, tannic wine serves up a big helping of blackberry, cassis, fresh herbs, tobacco, leaf and earth, along with the structure to age and develop for years. This is one of the few Left Bank wines from this vintage that can use more bottle age.
4,109 Views Tasted May 20, 2013
|2000||Château Sociando-Mallet (Haut-Médoc)|
I know many people that enjoy this throwback to how Bordeaux wines used to be made. The nose displayed too much vegatal and herbal notes for my taste. On the palate, the wine feels hard and austere. The tannic finish has some green mixed in with the red and black fruits along with cranberry. If you like this style of wine, give it another decade in the bottle.
10,161 Views Tasted Dec 6, 2011
Pepper, black cherry and BBQ spice notes were in the perfume. Concentrated with fruit, there were some green flavors and drying tannins in the finish.
9,324 Views Tasted Mar 5, 2010
|1996||Château Sociando-Mallet (Haut-Médoc)|
Classic, old school styled wine, with firm, strict tannins and a strong, cedar, tobacco, leaf, green pepper and cassis nose. Full bodied, but with an austere, stiff leaning, you can either drink this now, or age it further, for more secondary character.
3,512 Views Tasted Dec 15, 2017
|1995||Château Sociando-Mallet (Haut-Médoc)|
Firm, crisp, crunchy, red fruit, strict tannins and a strong note of cedar, herbs green pepper, tobacco leaf, cranberry and red plums are on the nose and palate. This is very old-school in nature, so some will like this more than I did.
3,204 Views Tasted Nov 15, 2019
|1990||Château Sociando-Mallet (Haut-Médoc)|
Full bodied, with a rustic edge to the tannins, the aromatics pop with their earthy, cedar wood, leaf, herb, olive tapenade, cassis and tobacco profile. Drink this classic styled claret now, or age it another 5-10 more years.
4,444 Views Tasted Sep 5, 2014
|1982||Château Sociando-Mallet (Haut-Médoc)|
There is a serious streak of green flavors in this wine. It's concentrated and full bodied, but the tough tannins and herbaceous quality were in full force. Fans of very traditional Bordeaux will probably enjoy this a lot more than I did.
3,728 Views Tasted Mar 17, 2013