95 Points - Lisa Perrotti-Brown (RobertParker.com)
Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Lagrange sashays out of the glass with notions of candied violets, cassis, underbrush and warm black plums with waves of Black Forest cake, cedar chest and yeast extract scents. Medium to full-bodied, the bags of perfumed black fruits are solidly structured with super ripe, grainy tannins, finishing long and layered.
Château Lagrange is situated in the Saint-Julien appellation of Bordeaux and was classified as one of fourteen Troisièmes Crus (Third Growths) in the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855. Since 1983, Château Lagrange has been owned by the Japanese liquor giant, Suntory. The company purchased the château for $6.4million from the Cendoya family, who had owned it for almost 60 years. Soon after the purchase, Suntory started a huge regeneration project, both in the vineyards and with the wine making facilities. Many people say the success of the Château is not only due to the money put into the Château, but also because Suntory hired two top French oenologists Émile Peynaud and one of his former students, Marcel Ducasse to run and manage the estate. The name Lagrange comes from the name of the château during the Middle Ages which was the Noble House of Lagrange Montei. With 300 acres of vines grown, Château Lagrange is the largest of the classified growths. Bruno Eynard runs the estate today taking over this role from Marcel Ducasse. The vineyards are planted predominately with 65% Cabernet Sauvignon and with 28% Merlot and 7% Petit Verdot. Château Lagrange also has a small vineyard of 9.8 acres planted with white varieties (53% Sauvignon Blanc, 36% Semillon, and 11% Muscadelle).
Bordeaux is not only the most famous wine producing region in France but in the world, with the most prestigious châteaux and wines in the industry. Its history dates back to the Roman times and today is the largest producing region of fine wines. Vineyards in Bordeaux are known by châteaux and therefore the name of each individual château is an important brand.
Many top wines are sold ‘En Primeur’ meaning that they are sold in the barrel prior to bottling. Almost 90% of the wine produced in Bordeaux is red (called ‘Claret’ in the UK) from over 8,500 producers. The main reason for the success of the wine production in Bordeaux is the perfect combination of climate, with long hours of sunshine ideal for ripening the grapes and well-draining gravel soil. Appellations are an important part of the Bordeaux culture and the region has 54 appellations recognized by the AOC, the Appellation d’Origine Controlle.
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