|Grapes||Cab Sauv, Merlot, Petit Verdot|
55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot. First look, bright and pure, a lovely plush and expressive fruit, silky with excellent juice in the middle, fresh acidity: this is lovely. At the Château, preceded by a tasting of the 2015s, there's more stuffing and intensity to the 2016, as well as more weight and volume, and it is long and directed too. Very impressive. Seems more powerful than Lagrange 2015! A great year to fill your boots - in magnums too. Drinking range: 2024 - 2035 Rating: 89-91 L&S (Apr 2017)
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The 2016 Les Fiefs de Lagrange, which actually comes from 35-year-old vines nowadays, is a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot and matured in 20% new oak. It has a very intense bouquet, especially for a Deuxième Vin, with pure black cherry, crème de cassis and crushed violets. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp acidity, quite tensile in the mouth and full of joie de vivre. You cannot really go wrong with Les Fiefs, and I bet it will be a great value once released. Drinking range: 2020 - 2040 Rating: 90-92 Neal Martin, www.robertparker.com (Apr 2017)
Not that concentrated crimson. Light and dry. Respectable and quite dry. Far from heavy. Quite demandingly dry. Drinking range: 2023 - 2030 Rating: 16 Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com (Apr 2017)
An open-knit style, with bright anise and açai notes out front, backed by cassis and crushed cherry fruit flavors. Shows a dusting of vanilla on the finish. Rating: 88-91 James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator (Apr 2017)
Solid core of juicy fruit here with currant and stone character. Medium to full body, firm tannins and a bright finish. Second wine of Lagrange. Rating: 92-93 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com (Apr 2017)
This is a sexy, well polished wine, deep and rich with blackcurrant fruit and a ripple of freshness. There is nice balance, making for an easy drinking yet impactful wine. Effortless. Drinking range: 2027 - 2050 Rating: 90 Jane Anson, Decanter (Apr 2017)
The 2016 Les Fiefs de Lagrange is a delicious second wine from Lagrange. Plump, forward and juicy, the Fiefs is everything a second wine should be. Aromatically expressive and pliant, with midweight structure and impeccable balance, the 2016 is a winner. Rating: 88-91 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com (Apr 2017)
Rating: 90 Tim Atkin MW, www.timatkin.com (Apr 2017)
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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