Château Grand-Puy Lacoste 2014
• Domaine: Château Grand-Puy Lacoste
• Appellation: Pauillac
• Classification: Fifth Growth, 5ème Grand Cru Classé
• Origin: Left Bank, Bordeaux, France
• Importer: Laguna Cellar
The philosophy at Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste is all about a mixture of tradition and precision. This Pauillac property is currently run by the well-respected Borie family and has been since 1978. Though the estate was classified as a Fifth Growth, François-Xavier Borie believed the terroir at Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste truly had the potential to produce wines that were the same quality level as some of the top Pauillac estates. It turns out his instincts were right. Under Borie’s leadership, Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste produces phenomenally elegant wines that are considered benchmark expressions of Pauillac terroir.
Part of the name Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste derives from the geography of the estate. The French word, “Puy,” loosely translates to, “small hill,” which is used to describe the estate’s hilly terroir. Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste is one of the oldest properties in the Médoc, with records of the very first plantings dating back to the 1500s. The majority of the credit for forming Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste goes to the Dejean Family in the 1700s. The Dejean family was one of the more active families in Bordeaux and they also owned what later became Château Lynch Bages.
The estate was passed down from generation to generation, largely through to the female side of the family. It was classified as a Fifth Growth in 1855 and eventually purchased by the Dupin Family in 1932. During the 1930s, large parties were held at Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste as the Dupins were renowned for their excellent hospitality. Eventually, the estate went to the Borie family in 1978 and they were responsible for initiating a renaissance at Grand-Puy-Lacoste. They renovated the vat room and implemented an extensive replanting program. Some of the changes included the addition of 90 temperature controlled stainless steel tanks for vinification of the wines.
Francois Xavier-Borie currently lives at the estate with his wife, Marie-Helene and managing Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste is very much a family affair. This is highly unusual, as few families in the Médoc actually live on property and spend a significant amount of time overseeing operations at the winery. The Borie family is one of the more well-known families in Bordeaux, and a talent for viticulture runs within the family bloodline. Francois’ younger brother, Bruno Borie, oversees the illustrious “Super Second,” Château Ducru-Beaucaillou, with the help of his sister, Sabine.
Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste is a 90-hectare property, with plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. The estate has some very famous neighbors, including Château Lynch-Bages to the West and Château Pontet-Canet to the South. In the mind of Francois-Xavier Borie, the best techniques are meaningless if the wine doesn’t express terroir. Needless to say, a lot of attention is paid to their vineyard practices. Winemaking is a team effort helmed by the Borie family and their consultant oenologist, Eric Boissenot – one of the most respected consultants in Bordeaux. Like many of the top Pauillacs, the wines of Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste demand time in the cellar. They are full-bodied, juicy and powerful with tremendous ageability -- the perfect wine for Pauillac lovers.
"The 2014 Grand-Puy-Lacoste has a much more approachable nose than usual, vibrant with red cherries, wild strawberry and cedar aromas, backed up with mineral-soaked blackberry fruit. This gathers momentum wonderfully in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin. The acidity is very well judged with purity and elegance on the finish, if not the structure or backbone commonly found is very top vintages. I've been a bit conservative with my score at the moment, but I am sure it will prove its worth with 3-5 more years in bottle, hence the plus sign. One to watch." - Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate (3/31/2017, Interim Issue), Ratings: 92+
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