2022 Château La Lagune, Haut-Médoc, Bordeaux
The 2022 La Lagune really takes a while to settle in the glass. It eventually sheds its veneer of oak to reveal attractive blackberry, sous-bois and pencil box aromas, and an exotic element loitering just off-stage. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe tannins that lacquer the mouth. Quite dense and muscular, yet it retains definition and plenty of freshness on the finish. It will require bottle age, but it should evolve into a fine La Lagune.
Drink 2030 - 2060
Neal Martin, Vinous.com (April 2023)
The 2022 La Lagune is a very pretty, understated wine with lovely aromatics and a mid-weight structure. La Lagune is a bit disjointed in this tasting, showing only modest depth and complexity relative to the norm. All that said, the 2022 is a very fine effort for a year with hail issues. Yields were just 25 hectoliters per hectare. Tasted two times.
Drink 2027 - 2047
Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com (April 2023)
Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2022 La Lagune is a little shy to start off, needing some coaxing to bring out evocative scents of creme de cassis, redcurrant jelly, and kirsch, followed by touches of tar and smoked meats. The medium to full-bodied palate is laden with rich, ripe, black fruits, supported by firm, grainy tannins and well-judged freshness, finishing long and earthy.
Drink 2027 - 2047
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Independent (May 2023)
Impressive La Lagune, with depth and reach, manages to deliver intense tannic architecture, with Left Bank power and concentrated cassis and bilberry fruits, with fresher pomegranate, citrus zest, mandarin oil, tobacco, cigar box all adding complexity. Supple tannins also, and plenty of them, with bitter almond notes adding focus on the finish. Ageing potential here, and an impressive vintage for the property. Harvest September 9 to 26. Owner Caroline Frey.
Drink 2029 - 2044
Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com (May 2023)
Reminding me, like the 2019, of a modern-day version of the lovely 1990, the 2022 La Lagune bursts with aromas of dark berries, cassis, liquorice and violets. Medium to full-bodied, supple and fleshy, it's a broad, sensual wine with velvety tannins and a suave, charming profile. With 13.8% alcohol, it remains classically proportioned, with a rather high pH of over 3.8 likely contributing to its open, giving style this year.
William Kelley, Wine Advocate (April 2023)
Reserved nose with a floral edge. Pure and layered on the palate with balancing freshness. Tannins finely honed. Builds to a long and persistent finish. Potential for ageing.
Drink 2030 - 2042
James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com (April 2023)
This is long and fresh with a linear feeling to the rich fruit, showing plums, redcurrants and spices, with chocolate and walnuts. Medium to full body. Fine tannins. This is the first year being certified biodynamic by Biodyvin and furthermore, La Lagune is always excellent in hot years.
James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (April 2023)
One of the best Haut-Médoc out there, the 2022 Château La Lagune reveals a dense purple hue as well as a classic Médoc bouquet of blackcurrants, leafy herbs, fresh earth, and chocolate. Medium to full-bodied on the palate, it has a layered, concentrated mid-palate, ripe tannins, and a great finish. A stunning wine, it will have 30 years of longevity if properly stored.
Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com (May 2023)
About this WINE
Chateau La Lagune
Château La Lagune is a 3éme Cru Classé property that produces some of the finest wines in the Haut-Médoc AC. La Lagune's history dates back to 1715 when its handsome château was constructed. The vineyards were first planted in 1724.
La Lagune had hit hard times and fallen into disrepair when Georges Brunet bought it in 1954. He replanted the vineyards and totally renovated the chai. By the time he sold it to the Ayala Champagne firm in 1961, the property had been transformed.
La Lagune is the first property you pass driving out of Bordeaux on the Route de Vins. It is in fact only 15 kilometres from Bordeaux city. There are 72 hectares of vineyards planted with Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), Merlot (20%), Cabernet Franc (10%), and Petit Verdot (10%). The grapes are fermented in temperature-controlled, stainless steel tanks and the wine is then aged in oak barriques (70-80% new) for 15-18 months.
Despite being as visually unprepossessing as the rest of the Médoc (despite its grandiose châteaux) this large red-wine appellation of Haut-Médoc is home to some of the world’s greatest wines. Its 4,500 hectares of vineyards form a largely continuous strip that follows the Gironde from St Seurin-de-Cadourne, just north of St Estèphe, to Blanquefort in the northern suburbs of Bordeaux.
All the great communes of the Left Bank fall within its boundaries: Margaux, St Julien, Pauillac and St Estèphe, as well as the up and coming Moulis and Listrac. These are labelled under their own, more illustrious and expensive appellation names. Châteaux labelled simply as Haut-Médoc rarely reach such heights, but nevertheless offer consistently good quality and offer some of the best value in Bordeaux.
Haut-Médoc wines tend to be firm and fine with generous fruit and a nice minerality – what many would consider ‘classic Claret’. They come from loftier vineyards and offer higher quality and more complexity than those labelled simply as ‘Médoc’. Almost all wines are a blend of the principal varieties – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc – which helps producers hedge their bets if the slightly capricious climate causes one variety to fail. Small amounts of Petit Verdot, Malbec and even Carmenère are also used.
The higher proportion of sand and gravel to the south tends to produce finer wines, while the heavier clay and gravel north of Margaux yields sturdier examples. The best Haut-Médocs are found north of Ludon, a village just below Margaux. These include five classified Growths: Third Growth Ch. La Lagune, underperforming Fourth Growth Ch. la Tour Carnet and Fifth Growths Ch. Cantemerle, Ch. Camensac and Ch. Belgrave – as well as a number of fine Cru Bourgeois. Ageing ability varies but the lesser wines are usually delicious after three to four years, lasting around a decade, while the Cru Classés have a drinkability window of around six to 15 years.
Recommended Châteaux (labelled as Haut-Médoc): Ch. Beaumont, Ch. Belgrave, Ch. Cantemerle, Ch. Peyrabon
Cabernet 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.