The 2015 Grand Puy Lacoste did not perform to the level I expected. That said, it has a wonderful bouquet of vibrant blackberry and raspberry fruit, rose petals and graphite, all very complex and engaging. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannin. It still has some vanilla-y oak to be assimilated, but it displays a very smooth texture and fine precision toward the finish. A little more showy and modern in style than previous vintages. I would give this at least five years in bottle. Tasted blind at the Southwold 2015 Bordeaux tasting.
Neal Martin, vinous.com (Jan 2019)
The 2015 Grand-Puy-Lacoste is medium garnet-purple colored with a nose of red and black currants, cedar chest and roses with a touch of dusty earth. The medium-bodied mouth is chewy, with lively fruit and good balance.
Drink 2019 - 2032
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate (Feb 2018)
Tasted blind. Fragrant. Cool and zesty and very well put together. Really quite refined and fresh. Not trying to be a blockbuster but the balance is superb.
Drink 2024 - 2042
Jancis Robinson, jancisrobinson.com (Feb 2019)
This is on the charming side of the spectrum, with a rounded hint to the mix of violet-infused plum and cherry fruit, accented by notes of singed cedar and sandalwood. Light black tea and warm cast iron accents pervade the finish, returning this to a more typical Pauillac profile. Best from 2020 through 2032. 10,000 cases made.
James Molesworth, Wine Spectator (Mar 2018)
Swathed in spicy and toasty oak aromas, this has a wealth of superbly expressed red and dark berries, flowers and mint. The palate delivers a very assertive and energetic array of dark berries and spiced plums with a fresh, focused, vibrant finish. Superb wine. Try from 2023.
James Suckling, jamessuckling.com (Feb 2018)
Steven Spurrier - decanter.com - April 2016
About this WINE
Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste is a 5ème Cru Classé Pauillac estate which has for many years been consistently outperforming its classification. Grand-Puy-Lacoste is located a couple of kilometres west of the town of Pauillac and is owned and run by François-Xavier Borie.
Grand-Puy-Lacoste's 90 hectares of vines (Cabernet Sauvignon 75%, Merlot 25%) are in one block surrounding the substantial 19th century château and lie on deep gravel beds over limestone. The grapes are fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats and the wine is then matured in oak barriques (50% new) for 18 months.
Grand-Puy-Lacoste combines marvellous cigar box perfume with rich blackcurrant and cassis fruit and velvety power which is the epitome of top class Pauillac at its very best.
Pauillac is the aristocrat of the Médoc boasting boasting 75 percent of the region’s First Growths and with Grand Cru Classés representing 84 percent of Pauillac's production.
For a small town, surrounded by so many familiar and regal names, Pauillac imparts a slightly seedy impression. There are no grand hotels or restaurants – with the honourable exception of the establishments owned by Jean-Michel Cazes – rather a small port and yacht harbour, and a dominant petrochemical plant.
Yet outside the town, , there is arguably the greatest concentration of fabulous vineyards throughout all Bordeaux, including three of the five First Growths. Bordering St Estèphe to the north and St Julien to the south, Pauillac has fine, deep gravel soils with important iron and marl deposits, and a subtle, softly-rolling landscape, cut by a series of small streams running into the Gironde. The vineyards are located on two gravel-rich plateaux, one to the northwest of the town of Pauillac and the other to the south, with the vines reaching a greater depth than anywhere else in the Médoc.
Pauillac's first growths each have their own unique characteristics; Lafite Rothschild, tucked in the northern part of Pauillac on the St Estèphe border, produces Pauillac's most aromatically complex and subtly-flavoured wine. Mouton Rothschild's vineyards lie on a well-drained gravel ridge and - with its high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon - can produce (in its best years) Pauillac's most decadently rich, fleshy and exotic wine.
Latour, arguably Bordeaux's most consistent First Growth, is located in southern Pauillac next to St Julien. Its soil is gravel-rich with superb drainage, and Latour's vines penetrate as far as five metres into the soil. It produces perhaps the most long-lived wines of the Médoc.
Ch. Lafite-Rothschild, Ch. Latour, Ch. Mouton-Rothschild, Ch. Pichon-Longueville Baron, Ch. Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Ch. Lynch-Bages, Ch. Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Ch, Pontet-Canet, Les Forts de Latour, Ch. Haut-Batailley, Ch. Batailley, Ch. Haut-Bages Libéral.
Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.
In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.
In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and Australia.