2023 Château La Lagune, Haut-Médoc, Bordeaux

2023 Château La Lagune, Haut-Médoc, Bordeaux

Product: 20231012026
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2023 Château La Lagune, Haut-Médoc, Bordeaux

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Description

Blend: 65% Cabernet Sauvignon; 35% Merlot.

The 2023 vintage marks the 20th year for Ch. La Lagune under Caroline Frey’s ownership and stewardship. The estate has been certified biodynamic since 2022 and the summer conditions were challenging; the crop is restricted at 30hl/ha.

There is more Cabernet in the blend than in 2022. The tannins are particularly firm, indicative of the sandier soils of the Haut-Médoc, but there is also considerable interest and complexity in the aromas, with lifted notes of rose and allspice. The building blocks are all in place for a wine of real substance.

Drink 2029 - 2044

Our score: 16.5/20

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Critics reviews

Jane Anson93/100

Concentrated spiced plum, billowing red and white roses fragrance, opening to a confident tannic architecture, and an expansive but controlled delivery of textured autumnal fruit. Rose stems and grippy tannnins suggest full ripeness was challenging, but this has character and depth, and lift through the palate. Caroline Frey owner, 30hl/ha yields.

Drink 2030 - 2048

Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com (April 2024)

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Antonio Galloni, Vinous92-94/100

The 2023 La Lagune is a serious wine, but it is also quite backward. Dark red cherry, plum, spice, leather and dried herbs open with some coaxing. The 2023 is going to need time to come together. Its aromatic intensity and overall persistence suggest it has a bright future. Tasted two times.

Drink 2028 - 2048

Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com (April 2024)

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Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW88-90+/100

La Lagune 2023 has a deep garnet-purple color. It pops from the glass with notes of fresh, juicy plums, black cherries, and redcurrants, leading to hints of wild thyme, black olives, and damp soil. Medium-bodied, the palate delivers just enough black fruit and savory flavors, with a chewy texture and a minerally finish.

Drink 2027 - 2037

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent (April 2024)

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Jancis Robinson MW16.5/20

65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot. Cask sample.

Restrained nose with a minty edge. Suave texture of tannin and adequate fruit. Firm on the finish if a touch dry. Balanced and everything in place.

Drink 2030 - 2040

James Lawther MW, JancisRobinon.com (April 2024)

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Wine Advocate90-92/100

The 2023 La Lagune, a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Merlot, reveals bright aromas of dark wild berries, flowers, cassis and spices. Medium-bodied, supple and enveloping, with a perfectly balanced mid-palate, it’s elegant and charming with an ethereal, fruity finish. This is an excellent rendition of this terroir.

Drink 2025 - 2040

Yohan Castaing, Wine Advocate (April 2024)

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James Suckling94-95/100

A subtle yet plush La Lagune with black olives, blackberries and hints of chocolate and hazelnut. Medium body with fine, polished tannins and a savory finish. There's a crunchy feel to it and it’s layered and deep at the end. 65% cabernet sauvignon and 35% merlot. No petit verdot.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (April 2024)

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About this WINE

Chateau La Lagune

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.

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Haut-Medoc

Haut-Medoc

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

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Cabernet Sauvignon Blend

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.

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