Enjoying wine - perspectives on wine buying, collecting, tasting, a study in wine marketing & branding; observations, experiences and ruminations of a winegeek & frequent traveler. Sharing so others can 'unwindwine' for greater wine discovery, understanding and appreciation.
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
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
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.
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,
Bright garnet-purple colored, medium to
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.