Having been lucky enough to drink a lot of old wines from La Lagune, I am rather fond of this estate. La Lagune 3rd Growth is owned by the Frey family who also out Jaboulet in the Rhone and a big share of Billecart Salmon Champagne. The have 90 hectare to work with. Consisting of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 10% Petit Verdot. The wines have lovely perfume with a fairly bold and structured palate. Definitely these are wines to keep.
Lifted nose with cassis, red currants and wafts of flowers and oak. The palate is juicy, elegant, long and understated. This is a wine built for long term aging and not immediate gratification. Having tasted more than a few older examples I can only heartily recommend you leave these wines for 15 years. Thank me later.
A catch all appellation that is about 60km long on the left bank of Bordeaux. There are few classified vineyards in this generic appellation and no discernible regional style. There are however, a handful of wonderful wines that are often overlooked, are great value and ultimately are great Bordeaux.
The main grape of Bordeaux’s left bank. Cabernet is late ripening and full of acid and tannin. The great wines are structured but finessed with beautiful cassis, violets and it also transmits the flavours of the soil it is grown in really well. Cabernet isn’t a drink now variety, it really needs 10 or more years to show its best. But when you get there, WOW! Often blended with Merlot, Cabernet Franc or in Australia Shiraz to fill out its mid-palate referred to as the ‘Cabernet doughnut’.
It gets a tough time most of the places it is grown. But in Pomerol and Saint-Emilion Merlot not only dominates but makes some of the best wines in the world. Perfume, silky and plush. Cabernets Franc and Sauvignon season the wines with structure and acid but in some places, like Petrus they are almost not needed.
Often the fifth wine on the depth chart of Bordeaux’s magical quintet. In the great years it is an amazing variety to work with, but often in the great years it is not needed. It can add body, structure and acidity but lacks some charm for a single variety wine. But in the hands of a skillful blender it can really lift a wine or in some cases, a particular site can make Petit Verdot sing a song like no other.
The wines of vintage 2014 are said to be balanced but without the concentration of 2010, the vintage so good we did the dinner twice. The wines of 2014 are quite reasonably priced; some of the classics are the same price as Mount Mary. Cape Mentelle, Leeuwin Estate or Wantirna Estate. I bought some 2014 but stuck to classic producers who never disappoint (Like the Vieux Chateau Certan, Troplong Mondot, La Lagune and Grand Puy Lacoste).