Professor of Oenology at Bordeaux University, Jean-Christophe Barbe is mostly famous for his outstanding Sauternes (Decanter 2015 Sweet Bordeaux Trophy over £15), but also produces some stunning reds, albeit on a fairly small scale. Although the domaine is mainly planted with white grapes, Jean Christophe has set aside a 1.3 hectare vineyard of red varieties, which is sold as ‘Château Mahon-Laville’.
Jean-Christophe’s original 1.3 hectares of red grape varieties are located at Laville on a plot of land called Mahon, hence the name. Soils are predominantly clay and the average age of the vines is 15 years. The work that goes into it – leaf stripping to expose the fruit, crop thinning before véraison to lower yields and aid ripeness – all add to this great value wine.
The grapes were hand picked then spent three to four weeks on skins fermenting at 28°C-30°C. Malolactic fermentation took place in stainless-steel tanks at temperatures of 22°C followed by ageing for 12 months in barrel. This wine has a classic Bordeaux nose with ripe, supple fruit on thepalate and a grip on the finish that reminds you that you are drinking a claret.Additional informations (PDF)