Saturday, November 20, 2021

Château LaGrange St Julien Bordeaux 2018

Château LaGrange St Julien Bordeaux 2018 high achiever in a stellar highly ranked vintage

I wrote earlier about our getaway weekend in the City (Chicago) and stopping in VinChicago, a family-run wine merchant since 1934. I wrote recently that they offer an alternative to the mega-merchants with carefully selected producer's and labels at competitive prices for high QPR (quality-price-ratio) values. Their extremely knowledgeable staff consists of certified Sommelier and Advanced Sommelier. While they closed their local Naperville store location, (they still operate three Chicagoland locations), we keep in touch via their newletters and on-line presence. They deliver wine purchases or conduct curbside pick-ups at location that is conveniently near our home.
Château Lagrange estate
Visiting the VinChicago retail location, we picked up several odd lot labels no longer listed on their web, and several other labels to 'try before we buy' (for cellaring). We had already acquired this label from the big box wine and beverage superstore for our collection, but picked up a couple more bottles, taking advantage of the discount pricing at VinChicago.
Another one of those selections was this St Julien Bordeaux that we drove by during our Bordeaux trip to the appellation in 2018. The wines that we tasted during that trip are now being released and we're now tasting and collecting them, several of which we actually got to taste from the barrel during our winery estate tours on that trip. 

Our Châteaux estate tours and wine tastings that week included several of our favorite producers: Super Second Léoville du Marquis de Las Cases, Second Growth producers Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou, Gruaud Larose and Léoville-Poyferré, as well as Fourth Growths Château Beychevelle  and Château Branaire-Ducru.
We visited the Château Lagrange' St Julien Bordeaux estate as we toured the area across the appellation. Château Lagrange’s vineyards on the beautiful estate stretch over gravelly slopes covering the highest point of the Saint-Julien appellation set back a mile or so from the Gironde River estuary and the village of St Julien-Beychevelle.
Château Lagrange St Julien Bordeaux 2018 
We hold nearly a decade of this label dating back to the 1981 birthyear vintage release for our daughter Erin's birthyear. This may be among the finest vintages of  Château LaGrange ever produced! 
I have written often in these pages that in a top vintage, all boats rise with the tide such that second and third labels of top producers, or secondary producers, often are also excellent and offer substantial QPR - quality price ratio values. 
The 2018 St Julien Bordeaux is such a vintage and this label is such a value offering. All the top labels of the appellation are highly rated - 97, 98, 99 and even 100 points - and are collectables for acquiring, early drinking, and for cellar collections. This label offers similar quality at a fraction of the prices of the Super Second growths. 
This release was rated 97 points by Jeb Dunnuck, 95 points by Robert Parker's Wine Advocate and 94 points by Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, Decanter and Vinous. 
Bright garnet-purple colored, medium to full-bodied, big, rich, elegant, integrated and balanced bright vibrant blackberry, black currants and plum fruits with crème de cassis, mocha chocolate, spice, cedar and graphite pencil lead silky tannins, and a great mid-palate. This offers instant gratification for early drinking but should age gracefully for a decade or more. 

RM 94 points.