1996 3ème Cru Classé Saint Julien
|Grapes||Cab Franc, Cab Sauv, Merlot|
|Classification||3ème Cru Classé|
Like the Fiefs, Cabernet dominates. Classic, tight and straight, but with a richness of texture and velvety feel, and still a considerable freshness of fruit. Really excellent, and the spice of wood that the carefully managed élevage at Lagrange will bring to it will undoubtedly do wonders. Marcel Ducasse is rightly proud of it, and says that for him it is the best vintage yet of Lagrange. ‘The grand publique may prefer the 1990, but I do not like wines that are so thick (épais) - this is more like a true Médoc. Rating: 92 L&S (Mar 2005)
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Wonderful aromas of blackberry, light spices and currant follow through to a full-bodied palate, with chewy tannins and a long finish. Rating: 91 James Suckling, The Wine Spectator(Sep 2007)
This impeccably run, Japanese-owned property has fashioned a superb 1996. Opaque purple-colored, with a backward yet promising nose of classically pure cassis intermixed with pain grille and spice, this medium to full-bodied, powerful yet stylish wine possesses superb purity, a nicely-layered feel in the mouth, and plenty of structure. It will not be an early-drinking St.-Julien, but one to lay away and enjoy over the next 2-3 decades. 2006-2022 Rating: 90 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, www.RobertParker.com(Mar 2005)
Bright medium ruby. Highly complex aromas of blackberry, violet pastille, eucalyptus, leather and game. Wonderfully sweet but with terrific grip, even a touch of youthful austerity. Very classy, subtle wine with terrific inner-mouth energy. Builds very slowly on the back half, finishing with noble, fine-grained tannins and terrific grip. This makes the 1995 seem almost cooked by comparison. Still needs at least five or six years of cellaring. 'We always had unusual tastes in this wine, like eucalyptus and menthol, due to the cool September nights,' noted Ducasse. Rating: 93 Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar(Sep 2004)
St Julien Troisième Cru Classé 1855 The fortunes of Château Lagrange were revived with the purchase of the estate by japanese spirits giant Suntory in 1983. Before that, the 20th Century had been a difficult time. Some vineyard had had to be sold off (to Ducru-Beaucaillou and Gloria) and the reputation had slipped considerably. Marcel Ducasse was employed to run the estate, and the new owners pumped in investment.
Marcel retired after the 2008 vintage and the succession passed to his maitre du chai, Bruno Eynard. Bruno gave way in turn to Matthieu Bordes in 2014. Change has been rapid, with a new building program and the cuverie with an extraordinary 92 vats of differing sizes corresponding to the different parcels by soil type and vine age. Climatic change has led them to question whether they need as much Petit Verdot as they have in the vineyard. In recent vintages it has been easy to ripen the Cabernet Sauvignon fully, and since they seek elegance, it would seem right to emphasise the Cabernet and leave out the Petit Verdot which is really there to boost the power.
Château Lagrange is one of the larger Médoc estates, lying a little further inland than many of its St Julien rivals. There are still 115ha under vine, 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot and 7% Petit Verdot for the red wine. Wines spend 20 months in wood (50%-60% new).
The second wine, produced since 1987, is Les Fiefs de Lagrange. A small amount of white wine, Les Arums de Lagrange, is produced too, named after the arum lilies around the lake in front of the château
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