2020 Château Lagrange, St Julien, Bordeaux

2020 Château Lagrange, St Julien, Bordeaux

Product: 20201012013
 
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2020 Château Lagrange, St Julien, Bordeaux

Description

Cabernet Sauvignon 74%, Merlot 24%, Petit Verdot 2%

Director Mathieu Bordes states that this is an historically small vintage; yields are 26hl/ha. Lagrange was one of the few estates whose harvest extended into early October; the wine shows a great deal of concentration, especially of tannin. Although you would not categorise the wine as “modern”, there is nonetheless a polish and succulence here that is very appealing. Up front, there is lots of creamy cassis fruit and a deliciously heady palate, almost of Chambord. This is very classy but well-built for the long term.

Drink 2028-2045

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Critics reviews

Jane Anson93/100
Antonio Galloni, Vinous91-94/100
Neal Martin, Vinous93-95/100
Neal Martin, Vinous93-95/100
Wine Advocate94-96/100
Jancis Robinson MW16/20
James Suckling93-94/100
Jeb Dunnuck94-96/100
Michael Schuster92-94/100
Jane Anson93/100
A perky, bright and enjoyable Lagrange, showing some angularity and austerity to the tannins but at the same time it is bright with clarity of direction, firm and concentrated fruits and juicy on the finish. A little subdued, but this is a quality Lagrange with extremely carefully placed fine tannins and fruit - it shows the essence of St-Julien balance, and one that will not need the full 10 years to come around. 50% less volume than usual. Tasted twice.

Drink 2027 - 2042

Jane Anson, Decanter.com (May 2021) Read more
Antonio Galloni, Vinous91-94/100
The 2020 Lagrange (Saint-Julien) is bright, punchy and wonderfully energetic. Red-toned fruit, sweet spice, cedar and pipe tobacco are all beautifully delineated in this mid-weight, vibrant Saint-Julien. I very much like the depth and tension in this barrel sample.

Drink from 2028 to 2040

Antonio Galloni, Vinous (June 2021) Read more
Neal Martin, Vinous93-95/100
The 2020 Lagrange has a sensual, beautifully defined bouquet of mineral-infused black fruit, briar, touches of wild mint and crushed stone, conveying wonderful energy and precision. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins, tensile and focused, delivering plenty of energy and an almost steely but persistent finish. This is a classy Lagrange from winemaker Matthieu Bordes and his team. I always feel this Saint-Julien is underrated, but it will challenge the best 2020s from the appellation.

Drink 2028 - 2050

Neil Martin, vinous.com (April 2021) Read more
Neal Martin, Vinous93-95/100
The 2020 Lagrange has a sensual, beautifully defined bouquet of mineral-infused black fruit, briar, touches of wild mint and crushed stone, conveying wonderful energy and precision. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins, tensile and focused, delivering plenty of energy and an almost steely but persistent finish. This is a classy Lagrange from winemaker Matthieu Bordes and his team. I always feel this Saint-Julien is underrated, but it will challenge the best 2020s from the appellation.

Drink from 2028 to 2050

Neal Martin, Vinous (May 2021) Read more
Wine Advocate94-96/100
Deep purple-black in color, the 2020 Lagrange leaps from the glass with vibrant notes of redcurrant jelly, ripe blackcurrants and minted blackberries, followed by nuances of dark chocolate, star anise and mossy tree bark. The medium-bodied palate is both super intense and super elegant, featuring exquisitely ripe, fine-grained tannins and seamless freshness to frame the bright, crunchy black and red fruits, finishing long and mineral laced.

Drink from 2025 to 2050

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (May 2021) Read more
Jancis Robinson MW16/20
Cask sample taken 2 April. 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, aged for 21 months in barrels of which 60% were new. Bright, deep crimson. Nose a little smudgy with a hint of acidity and then sweetness. Tannins notably well masked. Very dry, even austere, uncompromising finish.

Drink 2028 - 2043

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com (April 2021) Read more
James Suckling93-94/100
Blackberry and currant with light graphite undertones. It’s medium-bodied with fine, creamy tannins and a flavourful finish.

James Suckling, jamessuckling.com (April 2021) Read more
Jeb Dunnuck94-96/100
A wine that excels in the appellation, the 2020 Château Lagrange has a slightly modern vibe, with plenty of oak, yet still brings classic Bordeaux tobacco, lead pencil, and earthy minerality as well as pure cassis fruits. Medium to full-bodied, balanced, and just about seamless, it’s going to require 5-6 years of bottle age but should cruise for 20-25 years in cold cellars.

Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com (May 2021) Read more
Michael Schuster92-94/100
Mineral-backed, ripe black-fruit Cabernet Sauvignon; full, vital in acidity, very fine if firm in tannin; long and juicy, opulent and vivid at once, all framed by a firm, close-grained tannin, lovely length to taste, and mouthcoating fragrant length.A finely honed combination of density, flesh, and firmness, classic in the best sense.

Drink 2030 - 2050

Michael Schuster, The World of Fine Wine (May 2021) Read more

About this WINE

Chateau Lagrange

Chateau Lagrange

Château Lagrange was for many years perceived as a tired, underperforming St Julien château that was unworthy of its 3ème Cru Classé status.

In 1983 it was purchased by the Japanese Suntory Group which set about renovating the vineyards and the winery. Lagrange rose to become a model estate and even today few Bordeaux properties can match Lagrange, with its huge barrique chais and its state of the art cuvier with its 56 temperature-controlled, stainless steel cuvées.

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St Julien

St Julien

St Julien is the smallest of the "Big Four" Médoc communes. Although, without any First Growths, St Julien is recognised to be the most consistent of the main communes, with several châteaux turning out impressive wines year after year. 

St Julien itself is much more of a village than Pauillac and almost all of the notable properties lie to its south. Its most northerly château is Ch. Léoville Las Cases (whose vineyards actually adjoin those of Latour in Pauillac) but,  further south, suitable vineyard land gives way to arable farming and livestock until the Margaux appellation is reached.  

The soil is gravelly and finer than that of Pauillac, and without the iron content which gives Pauillac its stature. The homogeneous soils in the vineyards (which extend over a relatively small area of just over 700 hectares) give the commune a unified character.

The wines can be assessed as much by texture as flavour, and there is a sleek, wholesome character to the best. Elegance, harmony and perfect balance and weight, with hints of cassis and cedar, are what epitomise classic St Julien wines. At their very best they combine Margaux’s elegance and refinement with Pauillac’s power and substance.

Ch. Léoville Las Cases produces arguably the most sought-after St Julien, and in any reassessment of the 1855 Classification it would almost certainly warrant being elevated to First Growth status.

Recommended Châteaux: Ch. Léoville Las CasesCh.Léoville Barton, Ch Léoville Poyferré, Ch. Ducru-Beaucaillou, Ch Langoa Barton, Ch Gruaud Larose, Ch. Branaire-Ducru, Ch. Beychevelle

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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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