|Subregion||France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > St Julien|
This Chateau is the largest of all the classed growths with 117 hectares of vines (4 of which are planted with white varieties). Top quality Saint Julien has been produced here since the late 1980's when it was bought by the Suntory group of Japan. This quality level is partly achieved by the production of a very good second wine, Les Fiefs de Lagrange, which in most vintages makes up more than 50% of production. The red varieties are planted 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot. Director Matthieu Bordes told us that In 2018 the berries here were the smallest ever seen. The colour is the darkest ever, the alcohol the highest ever at 14.6 degrees. The wine reminds him of a "rounded version of 2010". The blend is 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot.
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Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2018 Lagrange explodes from the glass with bombastic notes of crème de cassis, chocolate-covered cherries and baked red and black plums with suggestions of rose oil, cedar chest, pencil lead and hoisin. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has fantastic vibrancy for the ripeness, packed with juicy black fruits and compelling tension with a finely grained texture to support, finishing on a lingering mineral note. Nicely done! Drink 2025-2045.
The 2018 Lagrange appears to have gained a little more opulence since I tasted it in barrel. Quite precocious for the vintage, it presents lush black fruit with hints of menthol, a bouquet you might assume comes from a warmer growing season, though it is still well defined and focused. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins, fleshy and ripe, demonstrating beautiful balance and poise toward the finish. I suggested that it might drink sooner than its peers, and this affirms that to be the case. One of the more approachable Saint-Julien wines, yet it is endowed with the substance to last. Drink 2023-2045.
Extremely perfumed and refined with black olives and cherries. Floral undertones. Full-bodied, yet reserved. Stone and dry-earth character to the dark fruit on the palate. Juicy and creamy-textured finish. Best after 2025.
Black chocolate and intense blackberry and bilberry fruits, clove and black pepper spice, touches of cigar box, sage, bay leaf and pencil lead. The berries in 2018 were the smallest ever, from the northeast wind that arrived in September and took 1hl/h of yield out every day - which together with the high alcohols meant that extraction had to be carefully controlled in the cellar. Successful and enjoyable. 3.42ph, 54% first wine, 50% new oak. Eric Boissenot consultant.
Tasted blind. Correct and neat. Ripe enough with quite a tannic charge. Ticks the boxes. 14.5%
Drink 2027 – 2043
67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot; 50% new oak. Barrel sample.
Black core. Pretty black and red fruit on the nose and an attractive layer of crushed rocks. Even a touch of cassis leaf. Juicy and fresh on the palate, a little bit raw but lots of energy and more freshness than most. (JH) 14.6%
Deep ruby, with focused and precise cassis and nutmeg on the nose. The palate is juicy and pure, with blue and black fruits at the core. The tannins are sumptuous and ripe but moutchoating, making for a fleshy and rich finish that will need time to unfurl. The length on the finish suggests very good potential.
The 2018 Lagrange is deep in colour. It has a plush and generous bouquet with blueberry and black cherry fruit, a touch of clove and menthol developing with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins and very pure fruit. This has a Burgundy-like allure and though there is some new oak dominating the finish, there is sufficient fruit to support that. This is potentially a very lovely Lagrange, one that I suspect will drink sooner than other recent vintages. (3.53pH, 14.6% alcohol). Drink 2021-2040.
This is a very velvety-textured Lagrange with blackberry and purple-fruit character. Lavender and black-tea undertones. Full body. Long and caressing.
Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2018 Lagrange opens a little closed and broody, slowly revealing cedar chest, tar, pencil shavings, camphor and fragrant earth scents with a baked plums and warm cassis core plus a hint of yeast extract. Full-bodied and jam-packed with black fruits and earthy accents, it has a solid frame of firm, chunky tannins and just enough freshness, finishing on a persistent mineral note.