2008 3ème Cru Classé Saint Julien
|Classification||3ème Cru Classé|
Again the subtle sweetness that is also in the Fiefs. This is more closed on the nose, but also more serious, more powerful, again the damson fruit, but this is even sweeter and riper - plummy. Really impressive, really concentrated cassis and such rounded tannins. Rating: 92-92 L&S (Apr 2009)
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Tasted ex-chateau and single blind in Southwold. With yet another strong performance under blind conditions, the Lagrange 2008 continues as one of the most consistent performers in this consistent commune. It has a slightly bretty nose that subdues the fruit, notes of iodine and violets emerging with time. The palate is medium-bodied with firm, ripe tannins, well balanced with a much cleaner entry than the nose suggest. It improves all the time in the glass but those tannins will take years to melt. Impressive. Tasted January 2012. Rating: 93-93 Neal Martin, www.robertparker.com (Jan 2012)
Medium-deep ruby. Perfumed nose is very typical of Saint Julien: black cherry, blackcurrant and violet, nicely lifted by inky and black pepper nuances. Smooth and creamy on the palate, with a luscious feel to the ripe black cherry and blueberry flavors. Offers a distinctly ripe fruit quality and harmonious acidity and finishes long, with polished tannins. Rating: 89-92 Ian d'Agata - Stephen Tanzer website (May 2009)
The rather overt oak often found in this cuvee seems to have been considerably tamed in the 2008. It is more charming, displaying a plush texture along with sweet cassis and black cherry fruit intertwined with intriguing notes of Christmas fruitcake, spice box, and herbs. There is plenty of sweet tannin in this medium-bodied effort, but unlike the tannins in the right bank wines, the tannins in most of the northern Medocs are more prominent, largely because these wines possess high percentages of Cabernet Sauvignon. Five to eight years of patience will be required, and the 2008 Lagrange should last for 25 years. Rating: 90-92 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, www.RobertParker.com (Apr 2009)
Crimson. Sweet and aromatic on the nose. Very flattering. Fine tannins and lots of flesh without being specious. A bit forward but attractive in the short term. 2012-19 Rating: 16.5 Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com (Apr 2009)
Subtle and perfumed, with currant and cassis. Full and chewy, with a solid core of fruit and tannins. Long and caressing. Very well done for the vintage. Rating: 88-91 James Suckling, The Wine Spectator (Apr 2009)
A blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot with just 40% of the Grand Vin. Harvest: 6th October finished 23rd October. The nose is far more introverted than in previous years but well defined with blackberry, cassis, just a touch of mocha and cedar. Tightly coiled. The palate has it all going on: beautifully fine tannins, wonderful balance and purity, this is an exquisite Lagrange that is bursting with energy. Bon vin! Tasted twice with consistent notes. Rating: 92-95 Neal Martin, www.robertparker.com (Apr 2009)
Black-red, finely concentrated blackcurrant fruit, quite smoky, good supple, ripe fruit, good purity and ripeness, harmonious and elegant. Drink 2014-22. Rating: 16.5**** www.decanter.com (Apr 2009)
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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