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2008 Le Gay

2008 Le Gay

95 JD

Featured Review
The 2008 Le Gay is a beauty. Still lively colored, with a complex bouquet of blackcurrants, savory cherries, earth, and dried herbs, this beauty hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, fine, elegant tannin, and a silky, layered, seamless texture. It has a beautiful finish and is an incredibly classy, elegant wine. Jeb Dunnuck

Jeb Dunnuck | 95 JD

Critic Reviews

The 2008 Le Gay is a beauty. Still lively colored, with a complex bouquet of blackcurrants, savory cherries, earth, and dried herbs, this beauty hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, fine, elegant tannin, and a silky, layered, seamless texture. It has a beautiful finish and is an incredibly classy, elegant wine.

Jeb Dunnuck | 95 JD
One of the top successes of the vintage, the 2008 Le Gay, a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc (13.5% alcohol) was produced from tiny yields of 25 hectoliters per hectare. Bottled unfined and unfiltered, it exhibits a dense purple color as well as a sweet nose of spring flowers intermixed with blueberries, blackberries, dark raspberries, crushed rocks and white chocolate. Full-bodied, super intense and extremely promising (although it is unusually backward for a 2008), it will benefit from 5-7 years of cellaring and may merit an even higher score in a decade or so. It should last for 30+ years, making it one of the longest-lived wines of the vintage.

Robert Parker | 94+ RP
Racy blackberry and graphite notes are framed by light toast and mineral in this vibrant, expressive red. The ripe tannins are well-integrated and give backbone to the plush texture. There’s beautiful balance, with depth and drive. Drink now through 2020. 1,500 cases made.

Wine Spectator | 92 WS
The 2008 Le Gay has an intense Merlot-driven bouquet that soars from the glass: kirsch, orange zest, rose petal and touches of truffle. The palate is medium-bodied with fine grain tannin, crisp acidity, nicely structured with a structured, saline finish that just lacks the aftertaste that would have clinched the deal. Not bad, though I suspect that decanting, always necessary for this Pomerol cru, would have resulted in a higher score. Tasted blind at Farr Vintners’ 10-Year On tasting.

Vinous Media | 91+ VM
Firm blackberry and bilberry fruits are accompanied by smooth tannins in this lovely wine full of Pomerol typicity. No need to wait any longer to start enjoying this - those luscious cappuccino notes allow for an easy entry into the rich fruit and tannic backbone. Drinking Window 2018 - 2036.

Decanter | 90 DEC

Wine Details for 2008 Le Gay

Type of Wine Bordeaux Red : Picture in your mind a combination of cedar, lead pencil, blackcurrant, plum and mineral aromatics, and texture that caresses your palate like a playful lover. The experience is thrilling from the first whiff to the final seconds of a tannic, generous finish - that is what you'll get from a Bordeaux Red
Varietal Red Bordeaux Blend : The inhabitants of the Bordeaux region of France have been cultivating wine-grapes for thousands of years. Ancient Roman ruins litter the vineyards from Saint Emilion to Graves where the art of blending Bordeaux varietals has been practiced and perfected over a very long history. Bordeaux’s climate, terroir and soils, though varied, provide the optimal growing conditions for the red grape varietals planted in the region.

Rarely listed on the labels as “blend,” the red wines of Bordeaux are perhaps the most artfully designed and celebrated in the world. The calculated art of blending the native Bordeaux varietals is impressively accomplished in the most famous winegrowing region in the world. The phrase Bordeaux Blend which seems to have been coined by British wine merchants in the 19th Century relates as much to wines made from the blend as to the grape variety combination itself.

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec and occasionally Carmenere are the lead characters in the creation of Red Bordeaux Blends. Each plays a part in their own fashion and implemented in various combinations and percentages in each appellation within Bordeaux. Red Bordeaux Blends are majorly composed of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, roughly making up 90% of all Bordeaux Blends. Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec (occasionally Carmenere) are also important components and vital to the production of the region’s red wines.

For simplicity, the winegrowing region of Bordeaux can be divided into three main appellations producing Red Bordeaux Blends; the Left Bank (Medoc), Right Bank and Pessac-Leognan (Graves). The Left Bank has a terroir comprised of a wide variety of gravel, stones, sand, limestone and clay soils on a natural terrain of gentle slopes. This sets the stage perfectly for the production of Cabernet Sauvignon, which is the dominant grape of the Left Bank. For example, Chateau Lafite (Paulliac) is composed of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Right Bank is dominated by clay and limestone with sand and gravel, but the clay in the Right Bank is distinctly its own and adds to the health, growth and vitality of the vines of the varietals grown here. Right Bank wines are typically 80% Merlot-based, which are often denser, richer and mature earlier than those of the Left Bank (with exceptions – Petrus for example). Merlot is a vital component to Pomerol winegrowing and making. Cabernet Franc also plays a major role in the Right Bank, most notably, in Saint Emilion, where the infamous vineyards of Chateau Ausone and Chateau Cheval Blanc are planted to 55% and 52% Cabernet Franc, respectively. Chateaux that produce wines with a majority of Cabernet Franc are considered “old school” producers, but have perfected the use of Cabernet Franc, which was originally used as a blending grape.

Pessac-Leognan (Graves) enjoys a temperate climate, natural hygrometry influenced by the ocean, and has a terroir composed of gravelly soil over a clay subsoil on sloping, hilly terrain. Natural drainage due to the hilly terrain as well as the gravelly soil structure are perfectly attuned to the Cabernet Sauvignon grape vine, which prospers under these conditions. Pessac reaps the benefits of having the terroir of both the Left and Right Bank as it contains gravel and clay. The clay sub-soil allows the growth and success of Merlot, as well as Cabernet Franc. It is home to the only First Growth not in the Medoc. The 50-hectare vineyard of Haut Brion is planted to 45.4% Merlot, 43.9% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9.7% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot.

The percentage of Petit Verdot and Malbec may be lesser in quantity, but not in quality. They are vital to the region’s creation of Red Bordeaux Blends. The combination of Bordeaux varietals is legendary in the region, around the world and has influenced winegrowers worldwide to plant and vinify wines which resemble those of Red Bordeaux Blends.

Country France : Wine is the lifeblood that courses through the country of France, pulsing with vigorous pride and determination. Viticulture is not just a hobby or an occupation in France; it is a passion, a cherished tradition that has been passed down through generations of wine stained hands. Winemaking is a beloved art that has been ingrained in the culture, an aptitude instilled in sons by fathers and the hallmark for which France’s reputation was built, allowing it to be renowned as, arguably, the most important wine producing country in the world.



For centuries, France has been producing wines of superior quality and in much greater quantity than any other country in the world. It boasts some of the most impressive wine regions, coveted vineyards and prestigious wines on earth. The regions of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhone, Sauternes and Champagne have become the benchmark, for which others aspire to become. Legendary producers such as Chateaux Margaux, Domaine De La Romanee Conti, Chapoutier, d’Yquem and Dom Perignon are idolized world-wide.



France has stamped its name on nearly every style of wine, from the nectar-like sweet Sauternes to hedonistic Chateauneuf Du Papes classic Bordeaux and Burgundy, to its sparkling dominance in Champagne. Many of the most infamous grape varietals in the world, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay originated in France and are not only beloved, but utilized in the creation of some of the greatest wines on earth. French wine production commands the attention of the wine market year after year. With over 860,000 hectares under vine, and numbers close to 50 million hectoliters of wine produced annually, France dominates the market and sets the standard for not only product quality, but also quantity.



France’s many contributions to the world of wine have been absolutely indispensable. The country is the originator of the term “Premier Cru,” coined the term Terroir (a French term so complex there is no literal translation) and has laid the blueprint for a structured appellation system, which others have implemented in their own countries. French vineyard techniques and winemaking practices are mimicked world-wide. California vintners have been replicating Rhone style wines for decades, South America has adopted the French varietal of Malbec and countries around the world are imitating Burgundian styled Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.



With vast diversity in terroir, France is home to some of the most hospitable winegrowing locations on earth. The combination of topography, geology, climate, rainfall and even the amount of sunlight combined with the long historical tradition of winegrowing and making, has allowed the vintners of France to not only hone their skills, but learn from nature to create a product that like the world in which it resides… is very much alive.


Subregion Pomerol

Overview

Producer Chateau Le Gay : Chateau le Gay has a long and interesting history in the appellation of Pomerol, dating back to 1845. At the time, it was known as Domaine du Gay. The property takes its name from its location as the lieu-dit in which it resides is called le Gay.

This once larger estate was prised of parcels of land throughout years of its formative days. In 1872, the Greloud family recognizing its exceptional terroir, purchased a parcel of le Gay which abetted in the formation of the legendary Chateau Lafleur. Once again, in the 1950s, parcels were sold to Jean Pierre Moueix which were used to increase the size of Chateau La Fleur Petrus.

In 2002, Chateau le gay would take a great stride forward in both quality and in holdings. The estate was purchased by Catherine Pere Verge, known as the grand woman of Pomerol. She was already the owner of several Right Bank Pomerol estates such as Chateau La Violette, Chateau Montviel, Chateau Feytit-Lagrave and Chateau Tristan, when le Gay was acquired.

After concluding the 25-million dollar purchase, her first important decision was to increase the size of the vineyards. This was hastily accomplished by planting an additional 3.4 hectares on lands that were not being used. These vines would begin being blended into the Grand Vin in 2006. The next move was to bring in Michel Rolland as their consultant, who suggested the hiring of Marcelo Pelleriti as winemaker. Their relationship was well established and had been working together at another Pere Verge family estate in Mendoza, Argentina. By 2005 the quality and style from this great terroir had taken a giant leap forward.

The terroir of clay and gravel soil located on the Pomerol Plateau is perfectly suited for the varietals planted. The 10.5-hectare vineyard is planted to 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. Its best terroir is located next to Chateau La Fleur Petrus. The older vines are planted to a density of 5,500 vines per hectare, while the young vines are planted to 9,900. When vines are replanted, it is to the density of the young vines. Le Gay has old vines averaging close to 50 years of age with some that were planted back in 1956.

Sadly, Catherine Pere Verge passed away in 2014, but her memory and driving spirit lives on at Chateau le Gay. Her son, Henri Parent, who is now in control of operations is working to maintain the legacy of the family name and reputation of Chateau le Gay. The goal is for modern era le Gay to ascend to the incredible quality of the legendary wines of the 1940s and 1950s.

The wines of Chateau le Gay are concentrated, deeply flavored and provide opulent, sensuous textures. Over the past few decades it has become one of the top Pomerol estates to watch and purchase as the wines have incredible quality, character, ageability and offered at a fair price. In good years, the wine will reach peak maturity between 10-40 years after the vintage. Le Gay produces a second wine named Monoir de Gay and is produced from the youngest vines in the vineyard. On average, le Gay produces 1,500 cases per year.

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