2014 Côtes de Francs
|Sub-district||Saint Emilion & Satellites|
A good value Bordeaux Merlot from this tiny, eastern Right Bank appellation (northern neighbour of Côtes de Castillon, if you're struggling to find it). Round and approachable with spicy, cedary black fruit, an attractive leafy freshness, light dry tannins and a clean-lined finish. Lauriol is essentially a second wine, made from the younger vines of the highly-rated Château Puygueraud. Rating: 88 www.thewinegang.com (Oct 2017)
*Case Price: Mix any 12 bottles of wine or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits or Fortified to get the 'case price' for each bottle.
The Côtes de Francs, an appellation dating only from 1967, is to the east of Saint Emilion, and is the smallest of the Bordeaux appellations at a mere 450 hectares. Georges Thienpont. who arrived here from Oudenaarde in Flanders in 1946, was responsible for the revival of the Côtes de Francs appellation which is dominated by Château Puygueraud. Georges began the replanting of the vineyards in the 1970s and the first wine was produced in 1983. Georges' son Nicolas, who is also responsible for La Prade, Pavie Macquin, Larcis Ducasse and the white wine Les Charmes Godard, has made the wine here ever since. His cousins run Vieux Château Certan, Le Pin, and l’If, so this property is nothing if not well-connected. Château Puygueraud is mainly Merlot with, however, a proportion of Cabernet that is quite high for the region as well as a touch of Malbec with its peppery character. In 2005, all the Cabernet Sauvignon was pulled up and Cabernet Franc was planted instead. This variety is better suited to the terroir of the Cotes de Francs, and gives a distinctive aromatic brightness and definition to the wines. Château Lauriol is principally the second wine of Château Puygueraud, made from the younger vines. It is also more gently oaked and is ready to drink younger, and very ‘digestible’ wine.
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