Now under the ownership of the Cognac family Tesseron, the Chateau Lafon-Rochet 4th Growth St-Estephe star is sure to rise. The Tesserons took Pontet Canet to a new level of excellence with biodynamic viticulture and attention to detail. Their 45 hectares are broken into 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc. Merlot plantings are being increased to further push the house style into the plush and silky sphere.
“Mid ruby with hardly any ageing. Quite full and ripe and dense and attention grabbing. Big, bold fruit followed by St-Estèphe freshness. Lots to get your teeth into here… Very youthful. Very flattering. Quite sweet for a St-Estèphe.” 17.5/20 points. Jancis Robinson 12/2011.
The Northern most appellation in the 1885 classification the higher levels of clay makes for denser wines with good fruit richness and plush palate. St-Estephe only has five classified growths but it is a case of quality 0ver quantity.
The noble variety of Bordeaux’s left bank. Firm tannins, a streak of acidity and punctuated by flavours of cassis, violets, spice and leather. The best examples can age for the long term. Although Cabernet does often require blending with Merlot, Cabernet Franc or Shiraz to fix the hole it has in its middle palate.
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.
Is actually one of the parents of Cabernet Sauvignon… along with Sauvignon Blanc (oh! The name makes sense now!). It is most famous for being the third most important grape in quality Bordeaux but also excels in the Loire Valley (where it lived before it went to Bordeaux), especially Chinon and Saumur. The wines are bright red in colour, highlight aromatic with raspberries, rose petals, violets along with tobacco, cassis and some herbal elements. The best examples can live as long as any great wine.
Almost the perfect vintage for the Left Bank and Cabernet Sauvignon. The wines will be looking mature but the best (and best stored) will have plenty of life in them yet.