2005 3ème Cru Classé Saint Julien

Colour Red
Origin France, Bordeaux
Sub-district Haut Médoc
Village Saint Julien
Classification 3ème Cru Classé
ABV 13%

46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Merlot, 9% Petit Verdot. Taut, dry, tannic, powerful dense and very correct. Dry and firm, and showing, despite the high Merlot content, a strongly vigorous Cabernet character. Intense, sweet fruit, linear and direct with a long tannic finale. All there but needs time. Rating: 92-92 L&S (Apr 2006)

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This was the first vintage in which they used mostly Cabernet Sauvignon. Sweet and raw and very callow but there is so much here! Too early really to judge this wine. It seems to have so much raw material to work with. Drinking range: 2015 - 2035 Rating: 18++ Jancis Robinson MW OBE - (Feb 2010)

A very fresh, well-defined nose with blackberry, damson, graphite and cedar – natural and elegant. The palate displays superb concentration even compared to the strong line-up of Saint Julien 2005s. Cedar and blackberry on the entry, a little earthiness that I have not notice previously but still that superb balance and focus with a harmonious finish. Succinct. Wonderful. Drink 2012-2030. Rating: 94-94 Neal Martin, (Jun 2009)

Good ruby-red. Superripe, full-blown aromas of plum, currant, chocolate, tobacco, minerals and earth. Lush, silky and sweet, with concentrated dark fruit, mineral and spice flavors that saturate the palate. Surprisingly healthy acidity gives this definition and grip. Very nicely balanced at a high level of richness. Serious but thoroughly ripe tannins are buffered by the wine's fat fruit. (May/June 2007) Rating: 91-92 Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar (May 2007)

This is a disappointment. The nose lacks vigor and definition, a rather dull mellange of black toasty fruits. The palate is better with blackcurrant, cedar and redcurrants, with a firm, masculine grip on the finish. It just lacks a natural feel. Who knows, it may sort itself out after bottling. Rating: 19?/25 Neal Martin, (May 2006)

"The key to the 2005 vintage is that it was a drought year but with cool nights in August and September," said director Marcel Ducasse. 46% cabernet sauvignon, 45% merlot and 9% petit verdot) Good full ruby. Brooding aromas of cassis, menthol, chocolate and espresso. Dense and sweet but juicy, with a floral nuance and nicely integrated acidity lending precision to the dark fruit and violet flavors. There's a medicinal austerity here, but the fruit is unusually glossy and sweet for a young Lagrange, showing more early personality than usual. Finishes with lovely breadth and persistence. An excellent early showing. Rating: 89-92 Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar (May 2006)

Black-red, deeply concentrated fruit with suppleness and lift, fine, pure expression of perfect ripeness in the vineyard, complex and long, very good. Drink 2010-25. Rating: ****/17.5 (May 2006)

Aromas of currants, berries, licorice and spice. Full-bodied and very velvety, with wonderful, high quality tannins. Long finish. Balanced and classy. Rating: 92-94 James Suckling, The Wine Spectator (May 2006)

Once again the provocative words 'the best ever made' appear in my tasting notes. In twenty-eight years, I have never tasted a Lagrange as amazing as this 2005. Its dense ruby/purple color is accompanied by pure notes of creme de cassis, cedar, spice box, and a hint of cherries. Full-bodied, powerful, and opulent, with high tannin as well as extract in addition to great freshness, definition, and length, this long-lived beauty should be at its finest between 2012-2030. Rating: 91-91 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, (Apr 2006)

Château Lagrange

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

This wine isn't currently part of a mixed case, but you can always browse our full selection of mixed cases here.
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