|3ème Cru Classé
The sunburn effect meant a loss of 20-25% of the Cabernet, so a lower proportion than they have been aiming for in recent years. 62% Cabernet 32% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot. Rich, serious, full-bodied. Very dark expression, but it remains on the fruit, with plumskin and sloe depth and richness. Lovely purity and vivacity, it will be hard to pin this to 2011 in a few years as it just does not taste like this vintage. I can't quite get over just how good this is - bravo to Bruno Eynard; I don't want to take anything away from what Marcel Ducasse achieved here, but what Bruno has done in the three vintages since he took over is nothing short of amazing. Rating: 93 L&S (Apr 2012)
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The 2011 Lagrange has a bold, quite minty bouquet with outgoing black fruit, touches of camphor emerging with time. The palate is medium-bodied with rounded tannins, fleshy, maybe a little over-extracted, and it just needs more tension and energy towards the finish. Pleasant, but difficult to see how this will evolve and frankly I have encountered better examples. Tasted blind at the annual 10-Year-On tasting. Drinking range: 2022 - 2032 Rating: 88 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (Apr 2022)
A 'shadow vintage' that gets overpowered by 2009 and 2010 in terms of its public image, the 2011 Lagrange remained austere and reserved for a good 6 or 7 years after bottling, but it has softened at this point and is beginning to fly. Real finesse, balance, deliicacy and St Julien signature, making your mouth water with its raspberry and loganberry fruits, softened by tobacco, cool ash and white pepper spice. 43% 1st wine, 60% new oak. Eric Boissenot consultant. Rating: 92 Jane Anson, www.janeanson.com (Feb 2022)
Purple-tinged ruby. Expressive aromas of redcurrant, black cherry, violet, graphite and spice. Lovely texture and vinosity to the saline, soil-driven dark berry and mineral flavors. Conveys a tactile impression of freshness and very precise extraction, finishing with good sappy intensity. Although this Saint-Julien could use a little more fruit concentration, it really is a lovely, balanced wine. A very good Lagrange in a difficult year. Rating: 89 Ian d'Agata, www.vinousmedia.com (Jul 2014)
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 102 stainless vats of differing sizes corresponding to the different parcels by soil type and vine age. Climate change led them to question whether they needed 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, but interestingly Bordes regards its omission from the blend on 2009 as a mistake.
Château Lagrange is one of the larger Médoc estates, much of the vineyard lying a little further inland than many of its Saint Julien rivals. There are still 115ha under vine, 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot and 7% Petit Verdot for the red wine. Wines spend 217-21 months in wood (50%-60% new).
The second wine, produced since 1985, is Les Fiefs de Lagrange, and this accounts for a large proportion of the production, as nowadays only the best parts of the vineyard are ever considered for the Grand Vin. 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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