|5ème Cru Classé
Creamy red and black fruit with more than a hint of vanilla, like a patisserie with dark jam. Supple and appetising, it has lovely balance and a touch of grip which keeps it going nicely on the finish. Rating: 92-93 L&S (Apr 2016)
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Traces of butterscotch-smoked sweetness that shows the warm conditions of the year. Garnet and ruby in colour, there is an attractive sense of uplift, and the terroir impact is clearer than it was En Primeur, as always happens with the best estates after a few years in bottle. The classic Pauillac character is starting to assert itself, with crushed mint, cedar, slate, smoked earth and cardamon alongside blueberry, bilberry and cassis fruits. After half an hour in the glass it deepens in complexity, revealing the most gorgeous floral aromatics. 75% new oak. Drinking range: 2021 - 2040 Rating: 95 Jane Anson, www.janeanson.com (Oct 2021)
The 2015 Grand Puy Lacoste did not perform to the level I expected. That said, it has a wonderful bouquet of vibrant blackberry and raspberry fruit, rose petals and graphite, all very complex and engaging. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannin. It still has some vanilla-y oak to be assimilated, but it displays a very smooth texture and fine precision toward the finish. A little more showy and modern in style than previous vintages. I would give this at least five years in bottle. Tasted blind at the Southwold 2015 Bordeaux tasting. Rating: 92 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (Jul 2019)
Swathed in spicy and toasty oak aromas, this has a wealth of superbly expressed red and dark berries, flowers and mint. The palate delivers a very assertive and energetic array of dark berries and spiced plums with a fresh, focused, vibrant finish. Superb wine. Drinking range: 2023 - Rating: 96 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com (Feb 2018)
Château Grand Puy Lacoste
Pauillac Cinquième Cru 1855.
If there's an estate that can rival Lynch Bages for the crown of most over-performing 5th Growth, it would be Grand-Puy-Lacoste.
The "Grand Puy" is the low gravelly hill on which the vineyards sit. In 1750 a portion were sold to Pierre Ducasse and became, obviously, Château Grand Puy Ducasse while the rest, after a couple of name changes owing to inheritance by daughters, became Château Grand Puy Lacoste.
The Borie family bought into Grand Puy Lacoste in 1978 and began quite a renaissance for the property.
Just a few kilometres from the town of Pauillac, the vineyards of Chateau Grand-Puy-Lacoste total roughly 36 hectares (90 acres) with Cabernet Sauvignon making up 75% of the total plantings and the rest belonging to Merlot (20%) and Cabernet Franc (5%). Typical of the region, the vineyard consists of a deep gravel top soil on a limestone base.
Production is about 12,000 cases of wine in an average year. Fermentation takes place in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks, and then the wines are placed into oak barrels (50% new) for 18 months of aging.
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