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N°164

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Château Lagrange

21/03/2019
Home to grand Cabernet Sauvignons

Matthieu Bordes, the director of Château Lagrange, takes pleasure in standing in front of the acres of vines, some of which are over 45 years old. This discreet Classed Grand Cru of Saint-Julien offers bucolic surroundings; ponds, ganders, sheep included. No show off, it took over the Japanese discretion. The Japanese family-owned beverage group Suntory became the owner of the estate in 1983 and gave it back its nobility, patiently and stubbornly. A restructuring estimated at 35 million euros, which made of it the largest project in the Medoc between 1984 and 1986. The vineyard of 118 hectares–half less before the take-over–extends on two hills of Günzian gravels mixed with sand or ferruginous clay. Replanted at a density of 8,700 to 10,000 stocks per hectare, the entire property is planted with one million stocks, of which 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot and 6% Petit Verdot. A great terroir, a great entrepreneur and the belief that 80% of the quality of a wine is made in the vineyard, turn this chateau into one of the greatest Saint-Julien.

Paolo Basso et Matthieu Bordes

As a matter of course, Matthieu Bordes advocates the by-plot approach and the soil research determined more than one hundred separate plots–for as many vats! Concerning the cultural methods, the chateau applies an asserted eco-friendly approach which led its director and the vineyard manager to experiment biodynamics on several hectares. The director recalls that global warming “confirmed by the measurements of our meteorological station made since 1996” will have immense consequences on the wine and the types of wines sought-after. He is surprised to harvest Cabernet Sauvignons, known to mature late, now at 13 degrees, whereas 40 years earlier they did not exceed 10 degrees! The blends are affected since for the first time the 2017 of Château Lagrange includes 78% Cabernet Sauvignon ... This will not prevent the wine, according to Best Sommelier of the World Paolo Basso visiting the chateau, to remain extremely digestible, elegant and supple, also confirming that ripe Cabernet is indeed the greatest variety of Bordeaux!

Henry Clemens

 

Paolo Basso’s impressions

Château Lagrange 2016, Saint-Julien
Intense nose with fruity notes of blackberries, cherries and blackcurrant. The woodiness is very delicate and in the background compared to the fruitiness. Light discrete spices. Linear and straightforward first taste, high acidity which brings a great freshness, medium+ body without opulence and warmth, elegant and refined. Compact and vigorous young tannins. Long finish still fine and delicate with a touch of austerity. A wine against the trend with regard to the hot vintage, with its linear, fresh and tense style. We can talk about a certain classicism and a timeless style. Ageing: 2023-2040.

Château Lagrange, 2018 (en Primeurs), Saint-Julien
A nice fruity expression, peony, blackcurrant, blackberries, green pepper. Nice round and sweet first taste, reflection of the hot vintage. Creamy and rather voluminous, a rich and tasty mid-palate, a discreet acidity due to the vintage, tight and gourmet tannins of good maturity, an intense and persistent finish. A great vintage that will be ready to drink immediately and whose high alcohol content will seduce. Ageing: 2023-2040.

 

www.chateau-lagrange.com