2014 Château Petit Gravet Aîné (Saint Emilion Grand Cru)
by JJ Buckley Fine Wines
JJB Exclusive: $44.94
Château Petit Gravet Aîné 2014 is something special indeed. Rated 95 points and dubbed “one of the most intriguing St.-Emilions of the year” per Antonio Galloni, this is organic, old-vine Cabernet Franc made in quantities so small it’ll make your eyes water. It’s hard to find this stuff in Bordeaux, let alone in the US, but we’ve managed to get our hands on a tiny parcel of the 650-cases-per-year production. At sub-$45, this represents real value for money.
It may not be a household name, but Petit Gravet Aîné has a well-deserved cult following. The minuscule 2.66-hectare vineyard is one of three tiny Saint Emilion Grand Cru properties run by Catherin Papon-Nouvel. It lies at the foot of the Côte de Pied of Saint Emilion, right next to Canon La Gaffelière. Overlooked by Ausone and a short stroll from the medieval town itself, this is prime Bordeaux real estate!
This is not just any old Saint Emilion, of course. The Petit Gravet Aîné blend is heavy on the Cabernet Franc, and from particularly old vines at that. At 80% Cabernet Franc, very few Bordeaux wines can come close - though Le Dôme and Cheval Blanc come immediately to mind. If you would rather not spend three figures for your Cab Franc fix, Petit Gravet Aîné may be just the ticket.
When we say this stuff is hard to find, we mean it. Production is tiny and a large chunk of it never even leaves Saint Emilion, destined to be served at the family’s restaurant in the medieval village, the charming Chai Pascal. If you’re in the area, we recommend the magret de canard. If not, we’re the only US retailer with this one, so hit us up!