Château Lagrange 2018
• Domaine: Château Lagrange
• Appellation: Saint-Julien
• Classification: Third Growth, 3ème Grand Cru Classé
• Origin: Left Bank, Bordeaux, France
• Importer: Laguna Cellar
The story of Château Lagrange is all about second chances. The famed Third Growth property has a comeback story that rivals the tremendous resurgence tale of Château Margaux. Interestingly enough, this Saint-Julien estate has quite a bit in common with the Margaux First Growth. Both properties had promising origins and phenomenal terroir, but had their fortunes fall over the years. That being said, both Château Lagrange and Château Margaux were resurrected from the depths by families and companies that were fully committed to producing some of the highest quality wines on the market. In the case of Château Lagrange, it was the Suntory company that brought the estate to staggering new heights. Many of the wines from Château Lagrange are considered a phenomenal value, and savvy wine buyers should not miss adding the fine offerings from this estate to their collection.
Château Lagrange had fairly humble beginnings. Reports of the vineyards originated in 1631, and eventually the property was acquired by the Baron de Brane in the 1700s. The Baron had multiple properties and it was very clear he had an eye for exceptional terroir. He owned Château Brane Cantenac, and Château Brane Mouton, a property that is known as the incomparable Château Mouton Rothschild today. The estate rose to prominence when it was acquired by Count Duchatel who added a drainage system to the vineyard. Though this may not seem like an incredibly novel concept, in the 1800s it was revolutionary. Eventually, Château Lagrange was classified in 1855 as a Third Growth estate. The estate declined in quality and changed hands multiple times. Some of the choicest parcels were sold off to other châteaux such as the Super Second darling, Château Ducru Beaucaillou and Château Gloria. In 1983, Château Lagrange was purchased by the large Japanese distillery Suntory (known for its top-quality beer and out-of-supply cult whisky, Yamazaki) and that’s when the incredible transformation really began.
Suntory spared no expense in revitalizing the once defunct château. They modernized the winemaking facilities and took on the massive undertaking of replanting the vineyards. Under the direction of Marcel Ducasse, whose reign at Château Lagrange encompassed 1993 to 2007, the vineyards expanded from 48 to 138 hectares. Château Lagrange is planted with 35-year-old vines on average that mostly consist of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petit Verdot. Interestingly enough, Château Lagrange also has some white varietals planted on the estate as well. One can find plantings of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Sauvignon Gris planted on the gravely soil.
The enthusiastic winemaker, Kenji Suzuta, oversees the viticultural process and crafts energetic and stunning wines. Château Lagrange yields about 60,000 cases of its wine on a yearly basis. These wines are incredibly powerful and tannic in their youth, requiring some time to age in bottle. After about 8-10 years or so, they soften and reveal their aromas of black currant, cedar, and a distinctive herbal quality. The quality of Château Lagrange continues to improve with each passing vintage, yet the prices still remain affordable, proving offerings from the estate are worthy additions to any cellar.
"Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2018 Lagrange explodes from the glass with bombastic notes of crème de cassis, chocolate-covered cherries and baked red and black plums with suggestions of rose oil, cedar chest, pencil lead and hoisin. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has fantastic vibrancy for the ripeness, packed with juicy black fruits and compelling tension with a finely grained texture to support, finishing on a lingering mineral note. Nicely done!" - Lisa Perotti-Brown, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (3/31/21, End Of March 2021, The Wine Advocate) Rating: 95, Drink: 2025-2045
"The 2018 Lagrange is off the charts. Bold, plush and beautifully resonant in the glass, the 2018 possesses tremendous richness and textural intensity. Super-ripe dark cherry, plum, espresso, mint and licorice build in a racy, sumptuous Lagrange loaded with personality. The 2018 is one of the best recent vintages I have tasted. Tasted two times." - Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, (April, 2019), Ratings: (92-95)
"Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2018 Lagrange opens a little closed and broody, slowly revealing cedar chest, tar, pencil shavings, camphor and fragrant earth scents with a baked plums and warm cassis core plus a hint of yeast extract. Full-bodied and jam-packed with black fruits and earthy accents, it has a solid frame of firm, chunky tannins and just enough freshness, finishing on a persistent mineral note." - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (4/23/2019, Bordeaux 2018 Issue), Ratings: (93-95)+
|Stock Status||In Stock|