2017 5ème Cru Classé Pauillac


80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot. 75% new oak. A firm favourite in the L&S camp. Slightly muted nose. Nice juice on the palate. Very precise dark fruit flavour - deep and succulent. Well balanced small, dark fruit berries and then a nice perfumed lift. Essence of framboise and some floral notes. Some mineral and green notes too. The tannins are ripe and the wine finishes with some moreish toasty oak. Jooyful wine with heart and bounce. Rating: 92 L&S (Apr 2018)

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A lighter-framed vintage that will be ready to drink before the classic 10 year window. You see hints of this immediately in the plum colour, with shadings of a lighter raspberry around the rim even at four years old. The fruit is savoury blackcurrant and bilberry, with sculpted tannins that make their presence felt. Elegance and finesse show the Cabernet dominance, and the slate and smoke edge give complexity. Needs a few years but I would keep checking in, because there will come a point - as with the 2007s before it - that this will offer succulent drinking pleasure, and for me it is one of the clear standout successes of the 2017 vintage in Pauillac. Harvest September 15 to 29. 75% new oak, technical director Christel Spinner, consultant Eric Boissenot. Drinking range: 2021 - 2040 Rating: 94 Jane Anson, (Oct 2021)

The 2017 Grand-Puy-Lacoste is pretty and gracious, but it is also a little light in feel. There is good energy to the 2017, and plenty of Cabernet Sauvignon character. Today, the 2017 comes across as a bit austere and not especially charming. Let's see what happens with some time in bottle. Drinking range: 2025 - 2037 Rating: 91 Antonio Galloni, (Mar 2020)

The 2017 Grand-Puy-Lacoste was bottled at the end of June. Brambly black fruit, wild hedgerow, cedar and a touch of wild mint. This is classic "GPL". The palate is very well balanced with brine-tinged black fruit and a fine bead of acidity. It is beautifully focused with a refined, lightly spiced finish. You have to give this wine time in the glass because it really starts to "flow" after 5-10 minutes. Excellent. Drinking range: 2023 - 2050 Rating: 93 Neal Martin, (Feb 2020)

The 2017 Grand Puy Lacoste was picked from 15 to 29 September cropped at 45hl/ha, matured in 75% new oak. It has a clean, precise and conservative bouquet that takes time to open. I like the mineral tension here, the focus, and hints of freshly shucked oyster shell emerging with time. The palate is medium-bodied with fine grain tannin, fresh in the mouth with plenty of cedar and tobacco-infused red and black fruit that drive a long, slightly peppery finish. It is a quintessential Grand Puy Lacoste, sans the frills of the 2016 and yet you can already imagine this being drunk to the very last drop in about ten years time. It is simply a very likeable Grand Puy Lacoste in the making. Tasted twice with consistent notes. Drinking range: 2022 - 2042 Rating: 91-93 Neal Martin, (May 2018)

80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot. Colour of blackcurrant juice. Fresh and peppery with lots of pure, fine cassis on the nose. Dark and pure. Silky, moreish, not that much more intense than the second wine Lacoste Borie but a little more persistent and more depth in the middle. Fine tannins, soft and supple. Fresh on the finish. Pure and persistent in its relative delicacy. Drinking range: 2025 - 2037 Rating: 17 Julia Harding MW, (Apr 2018)

These guys often over-deliver in challenging years, and have done so yet again. As you would expect in a vintage that has produced such an excellent Lacoste Borie, this GPL is exceptional, a real success that's juicy and carefully extracted. It has weight and impact, with a Pauillac tannic hold and presence. It's one of my wines of the vintage, and a must buy. The balanced, sculpted, juicy black fruits fully deliver personality and signature style. Harvested 15-29 September, yielding 45hl/ha. 80% new oak. Drinking range: 2025 - 2038 Rating: 94 Jane Anson, Decanter (Apr 2018)

The 2017 Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste is an 80/20 split of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot that was harvested between the 15th and 29th of September. Yields were a solid 45 hectoliters per hectare. This medium-bodied, fresh, lightly textured 2017 is a perfect example of the vintage with its charming, ripe, yet more mid-weight style. Classic Pauillac cassis, lead pencil, leafy herbs, and gravelly minerality all emerge from the glass. It’s going to benefit from just short-term cellaring and keep for a decade or more. Rating: 89-92 Jeb Dunnuck, (Apr 2018)

Very pretty and focused with a tight and refined palate of juicy tannins and a savory finish. Elegant. Rating: 92-93 James Suckling, (Apr 2018)

This is crunchy and lively, offering a bright herbaceous note mixed in with red and black currant fruit. There's good iron-driven cut on the finish. A bit backward, but the pieces are there for a textbook, mineral-driven Pauillac. Rating: 91-94 James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator (Apr 2018)

François-Xavier Borie and his director Christel Spinner didn't have any trouble with frost this year. "There was no frost in Pauillac really", says François-Xavier, "maybe just 16 hectares at the very west of the appellation, but none elsewhere, and none in our vineyard". Here they started picking the Merlot on September 15th followed by the Cabernet Sauvignon on September 21st, finishing up on the 29th. The yield was a healthy 45 hl/ha, and the élevage will be in 75% new barrels. As for the blend, this was established in December 2017, and is 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, a higher figure than both 2016 and 2015, and 20% Merlot. It has a lovely elegance to the fruit, fresh and savoury, with a little grilled red cherry. The palate shows a very refined texture, poised and delicately pointed, with a very soft and supple composition through the middle. It feels quite delicate, with red cherry and dried cranberry fruit, framed with a little cherry-stone precision. It has a light- to medium-bodied texture, with a silky elegance, and a well-judged and moderately grained tannic core. This has, I suspect, made the very best of this difficult vintage. Rating: 91-93 Chris Kissack, (Apr 2018)

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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