Bharat Cab and the Sociandos: Four Seasons Ritu Barrique Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Maharashtra

Salaam Maharashtra once again! This time with Cabernet Sauvignon from Four Seasons Winery, a project of the Bouvet-Ladubay Empire and the actual Indian owner of B-L, in Pune District. Besides the Maharati Cabernet I had a triumvirate of Sociando–Mallet wines from three different decades.  

Four Seasons Ritu Barrique Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Maharashtra 

The Ritu (Sanskrit for “Season”) appeared to be very dark red-black in its core, faint and on its rim pretty brown’ish. The bouquet was dominated by extremely strong scents of Virginia tobacco, mediocre quality, and fresh Chesterfield cigarette smoke. In the second line I spotted scents of black earth, black pepper, red paprika powder, hints of motor oil and quite a load of pulpy dark cherries. Not a very fruitful impression. At first its taste was very earthy and tobacco’y! After a couple of hours a stronger fruit impression of dark and slightly too sweet cherries evolved. Anyway the strong tobacco component remained throughout the whole evening. Its body and volume wasn’t highly concentrated, but contenting. Its finish was okay and the acid seemed to be well proportionate. The harmony of the flavour pattern was a bit to much imbalanced by the very strong baccy-style. Anyway a very drinkable and very surprising Cabernet Sauvignon from tropical India! Good for tobacco quitters ;-)

Chateau Sociando-Mallet 1988, Haut-Médoc

Somehow it was still alive! Hooray! Very light and bright classical colour! The nose was still expressive and really sophisticated. I got scents of violets, other flowery impressions, some strawberries and even mild smoke. Overall it seemed to be very well aged and showed off with its very delicate-elegant nose. The taste might have been a bit too delicate (or overage). There were hints of bright red fruits and some tannic life left. But really not a lot though! Anyway a very nice experience of a very classical (and not so much alive) Médoc growth!
Epilog: On the second day far more interesting, harmonious and gently-subtle-expressive! Pretty surprising!

Chateau Sociando-Mallet 1996, Haut-Médoc

A lot darker than the 1988 version! The nose was more expressive and more elegant! Predominant violets, some fruit, smoke, very fine hints of tar and some steeliness crawled into my nose. The taste was, as hoped and expected, far more alive! I got flavours of mild and elegant seeming red currant, dark cherries, mild and tamed smokiness, even hints of black olives and tobacco. The body proportion appeared to be very exemplary. By far not as light and bright as the 1988! The 1996 was in a very smooth and gentle condition, but gave me, a Happy-Bordeaux-Layman, the impression: Don't keep it for longer in your cellar! No sense in it. Can't get better!

Chateau Sociando-Mallet (JG) 2004, Haut-Médoc

Far too young and obviously far more modern in style than the older editions! The colour was very dark, almost as red-black as the Indian Cabernet, and totally intransparent. The nose was slightly stinky, a bit oily and rather reserved. The taste was very dense, concentrated, juicy, tannin-tamed, fruitful (a lot of dark cherries and cassis) and fleshy! A slight elegance shortage! Maybe!?! Compared to the older ones a totally different style! Very unexpected! Especially for a 2004 growth! I was more than just a bit shocked about the wine in my glass! Whatever, maybe not quite my shoe, but certainly there is no doubt about its quality – a good wine with a lot of firepower!

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