Hospitalet de Gazin is the second label of Chateau Gazin. An outstanding estate to say the least. Hospitalet was created to allow the quality of the Grand Vin to increase but let Gazin use wine that was still perfectly enjoyable. Normally I am cynical about second wines in Bordeaux. They tend to be over-priced or under-qualitied but this is one I regularly enjoy. Gazin itself shares boundaries with Petrus and L’Evangile meaning that the pedigree is there to make great wine. The fact that Gazin sold 12.5 acres to Petrus only heightens the excitement. 26 hectare on the prime site of the Pomerol plateau means that Merlot is strongly favoured, making up 90% of the vineyard plantings. Cabernet Sauvignon is 7% and Cabernet Franc 3% .
“A dark, winey style, with flavors of steeped plum, kirsch and black cherry preserves, notes of singed spice and apple wood and a long, licorice-framed finish. Features a bit of chewy grip, but there’s ample flesh at the core for balance.” – 90 Points Wine Spectator, August 20, 2014.
Merlot dominates here ably supported by Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon a distant (and sometimes non-existant) third. There is only 800 hectare of vines and almost 150 producers and Pomerol is the only major appellation of Bordeaux to eschew a ranking system. The quality at the top level are arguably better than any other Bordeaux but it can vary.
It gets a tough time most of the places it is grown. But in Pomerol and Saint-Emilion Merlot not only dominates but makes some of the best wines in the world. Perfume, silky and plush. Cabernets Franc and Sauvignon season the wines with structure and acid but in some places, like Petrus, they are almost not needed.
Largely over looked after the amazing 2009s. Is this better than 2000, 2005, 2009? Is it more like the famous vintages to follow up the greats such as 1996 and 2001? All I know is that after tasting the first shipment of 2010s my customers requested a second tasting and fast. See Decanters notes of the vintage here.