In a nutshell: A rich, graceful and pleasingly mature Left Bank Claret.
The lowdown: Dominque Haverlan produces reds from a number of châteaux in the Graves appellation building up a considerable expertise along the way. Vieux Châteaux Gaubert is his original property and the wines produced here are quite ageworthy. A blend of equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot it's aged for 12 months in 40% new oak following fermentation. The nose has quite a level of complexity with some savouriness among the ripe dark fruits while the palate is ripe and juicy with blackberry, coffee and a touch of dry spice. The soft, ripe tannins give it a delicious succulence.
When to drink: Nicely developed it's ready for drinking now and over the next two or three years. Great with game dishes, or grilled red meat.
Dominique Haverlan started out in 1988 with the purchase of, the then run down, Vieux Château Gaubert in the small town of Portets in the Graves region to the south of Bordeaux. Over the next few years he restored both the buildings and vineyards and this estate has become the base for his stable of other châteaux in the left bank appellations of Graves and Pessac-Léognan.
Through steady growth and acquisition Vignobles Haverlan now count Châteaux De La Brède, Haut-Pommarède, Granbd Bourdieu, Civrac Lagrange and La Prade among their portfolio in addition to their original estste. Specialising in the southern Left Bank region of Bordeaux their reds are meticulously made with a good longevity, while their dry whites, generally blends of Semillon and Sauvignonn Blanc, are absolutely characteristic of what are Bordeaux's most important white wine appellations.