2016 Ch. Lafon-Rochet, St Estèphe

2016 Ch. Lafon-Rochet, St Estèphe

Product: 20168007010
Prices start from £285.00 per case Buying options
2016 Ch. Lafon-Rochet, St Estèphe

Description

Dark, inky purple, the nose is reserved with notes of brambles and blackcurrant. It has a lovely masculine structure. On the palate, it is rich but very nicely balanced and a lovely cassis note shines through. It finishes with a fruit-driven, iron-like grip. It still feels very fresh.

Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon 67%, Merlot 25%, Cabernet Franc 6%, Petit Verdot 2%
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6 x 75cl bottle
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12 x 37.5cl half bottle
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About this WINE

Chateau Lafon-Rochet

Chateau Lafon-Rochet

Château Lafon-Rochet is a 4ème Cru Classé St-Estèphe estate that has been owned by the Tesseron family since 1959. The property had been neglected and Guy Tesseron extensively replanted, as well as building a completely new château in "chartreuse" style. Today Lafon-Rochet is run by Albert and Michel Tesseron.

Lafon-Rochet's vineyards (Cabernet Sauvignon 56%, Merlot 40%, Cabernet Franc 4%) lie on clay-gravel soils and are superbly sited in the south of the commune opposite Château Lafite. The wines are matured in oak barriques (40% new) for 18 months.

Lafon-Rochet's wines were, for many years, criticised for being excessively tannic and austere and generally were considered to lack charm. In the last decade or so, improved viticultural techniques and a greater percentage of Merlot in the final blend has led to purer expressions of fruit and the wines being generally more supple and elegant. Lafon-Rochet needs at least 10 years of bottle ageing to show at its best.

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St Estephe

St Estephe

St Estèphe is the northernmost of the most important communes of the Médoc and borders Pauillac on its southernmost border, with only a gully and stream separates it from Ch. Lafite. To the north lies the Bas-Médoc.

St Estèphe is defined by the depth of its gravel, which is ubiquitous but of varying depths and occasionally very shallow, when clay predominates. This keeps the soil cooler and wetter than its counterparts so that the wines can appear fresh in lighter vintages, but superbly successful in hot, dry years. 

The best châteaux in the south of the commune have the deepest soil and the thickest gravel. Cos d'Estournel has an exceptional terroir with its vineyards being located on a south-facing ridge of gravel with excellent drainage. 

St Estèphe is the least gravelly of main Médoc communes and in the north of the commune the vineyards are heavier and more clay-based leading to a rustic style of wine being produced.

The wines can appear austere in youth with a discernable ferric note at some châteaux, but the best typically display good depth of colour, pronounced acidity an tannins in youth and are exceptionally long-lived. At their best, they are the equal of almost any Bordeaux. The well-regarded St Estèphe co-operative controls the production of about half the appellation.

Recommended Châteaux
Cos (Ch. Cos d'Estournel), Ch. Montrose, Ch. Calon-Ségur, Ch. Lafon-Rochet, Ch. Les Ormes de Pez, Ch. Beau-Site, Ch. Cos Labory, Ch. Phélan-Ségur

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Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

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.

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Reviews

Customer reviews

Wine Advocate91-93/100

Critic reviews

Wine Advocate91-93/100
The 2016 Lafon Rochet is a blend of 25% Merlot, 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Petit Verdot and 6% Cabernet Franc cropped at 46 hectoliters per hectare and matured in 50% new oak. The harvest was between 1 October and 20 October. The alcohol is 13.6%, which is just a little higher here than say Cos d'Estournel or Montrose. It has a very succinct bouquet with blackberry, bilberry and light oyster shell aromas, classic in style, more reserved than I found the 2015 Lafon Rochet last year. The palate is medium-bodied with powerful tannin on the entry, a keen line of acidity (3.65 pH), fine symmetry with a pleasant rondeur on the finish sprinkled with black pepper and tobacco. This is a very fine Lafon Rochet from Basile Tesseron and his team.
Neal Martin - 28/04/2017 Read more