|Subregion||France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > St Julien|
This château 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 1980s 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.
Representing only 39% of the estate's production, the 2021 Lagrange is very promising indeed, mingling aromas of wild berries and blackcurrants with notions of loamy soils, pencil shavings and violets. Medium to full-bodied, ample and seamless, with fine depth at the core, powdery tannins and lively acids, it saw a cool vinification and contains a record 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, much of which was picked late, between the seventh and 12th of October. It's a brilliant effort from Matthieu Bordes and his team. Tasted five times, twice at the estate.
The 2021 Lagrange was picked from 12 September to 12 October at just 30hL/ha and matured in 60% new oak. The Grand Vin represents 39% of the crop. It offers light red berry fruit on the nose, with a touch of mint developing over time. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannins, well-balanced, not a powerful Saint-Julien but it conveys a sense of finesse. Drink this over the next 12-15 years.
When pushed by us for comparisons, Matthieu Bordes, the general manager and wine-maker of Lagrange, finds this a vintage similar to 2012 - but with more concentration, a rounder version of 2014 and a slightly less ripe version of 2015. Led with a strong 84% Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend. Bright ruby-purple. Firm black fruit on the nose together with smoky charred wood. The palate is classic St Julien, with blackcurrant leaf, cedar and fresh blackcurrant fruit. This is honest, classically structured claret with just a whiff of exotic wood spice to add some sweetness. Compact but long on the finish, it will appeal to lovers of traditional Médoc wines.
A firm and silky red with medium body, fresh acidity and an orange-peel and berry aftertaste. Refined and bright.
The 2021 Lagrange is a blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, and 2% Petit Verdot, with this grand vin representing 39% of production. Deep garnet-purple colored, it delivers pronounced notes of black cherries, redcurrant preserves, and black raspberries, plus suggestions of cracked black pepper, mossy tree bark, and licorice with a waft of tar. The light to medium-bodied palate is elegant and refreshing, featuring a light grip of grainy tannins and seamless freshness to support the red and black fruit layers, finishing on a peppery note. The pH is usually lower than this year's 3.6.
Bright, vivid raspberry and cassis fruit, savoury and sculpted, clear cinnammon, fennel and clove spice. Not exuberant or overdone, working with the vintage and retains the St Julien feel of balance and finesse. This is the 2nd note I am publishing for this wine, as I tasted it at the château during a vertical a month ago, and this is one point higher, boding well for increased weight over ageing. Harvest September 27 through to October 12, with no Cabernet picked until October. The weight of the berries reduced by 30% in the last week before picking because the weather got so much better. 35hl/h yield, 50% new oak. Eric Boissenot consultant.
84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot. Even more Cabernet than 2019 (80%). Cask sample.
Open and aromatic with dark fruit to the fore. Palate shows good density, again with attractive fruit and a firm but ripe tannic frame. Drives on the finish. Some potential here. (JL)
Drink 2028 – 2040