Chateau Lagrange St. Julien Bordeaux Wine Complete Guide

lagrange Chateau Lagrange St. Julien Bordeaux Wine Complete Guide

Learn everything about Chateau Lagrange St. Julien, Third Growth, with wine tasting notes and wine with food pairing tip. Learn the best vintages, a history of the property, information on vineyards and winemaking. If you want to read about other important, Bordeaux Chateaux: Links to all Bordeaux Wine Producer Profiles

Chateau Lagrange History, Overview

Chateau Lagrange started out life as Maison Noble de Lagrange Monteil as far back as the middle ages. Historical documents mention the future Bordeaux chateau as far back to 1631. During the 18th century, the picturesque estate was the property of the Baron de Brane.

The Baron was better known for counting among his holdings, Brane Cantenac and Brane Mouton, which we are more familiar with as Chateau Mouton Rothschild today. When the Baron was in charge of the estate, the wines were sold as Baron St. Julien.

Like most Bordeaux vineyards, the property passed though numerous hands. For a time, it belonged to John Lewis Brown who owned Chateau Cantenac Brown in Margaux, as well as Chateau Brown in Pessac Leognan.

However, Chateau Lagrange did not become well-known for producing wine until 1842. That is when the owner, Count Duchatel added a drainage system in the vineyard. This helped improve the wine immensely. While drainage in vineyards is commonplace today, that was very forward thinking in 1842.

Deep in debt, the owners began breaking up the estate, selling portions of their vineyard to survive. The first major sale took place in 1840. Those sales caused Chateau Lagrange to downsize from its massive 280 hectares to a manageable 157 hectares. That sale would not be the last time Chateau Lagrange reduced their Medoc vineyards.

In 1970, 32 hectares were sold to Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou. Other parcels were sold to Henri Martin for use in Chateau Gloria. By 1983, the remaining holdings of Lagrange were purchased by the large, Japanese company, Suntory from the Cendoya family, who had owned Chateau Lagrange since 1925.

Chateau Lagrange the Modern Age

The sale was a good decision for the Left Bank chateau. Suntory brought the funds needed to renovate the wine making facilities and replant the vineyards.

Once the new owners took over the property, they spent massive sums of money to modernize the wine making facilities and replant the vineyards. They had no choice as the buildings were dilapidated and of the vineyard was in dire need of replanting.

Under the direction of Marcel Ducasse, the director of Chateau Lagrange from 1993 to 2007, the vineyard expanded from 48 planted hectares to 138 planted hectares. The vine density was also increased as more than 100,000 new vines were added to the vineyard. In 1985, the new owners also began producing a second wine, Les Fief de Lagrange.

Chateau Lagrange made numerous improvements in 2008 and underwent extensive renovations again that included modernizing their entire wine making facilities and cellars in 2013. All the effort and investment expended by Suntory has allowed Chateau Lagrange to produce a much better wine.

Chateau Lagrange Vineyards, Terroir, Grapes, Winemaking

The large 182 hectare estate of Chateau Lagrange is planted to 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot and 6% Petit Verdot. The Petit Verdot was added to the vineyards in 1988. Over the years, the vineyard has continued to increase their percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon.

The vineyard in total has 118 hectares under vine in Saint Julien. The vineyard is one massive block of vines that can be divided into 102 different parcels.

However, the easiest way to think of Chateau Lagrange is by knowing all their vines are dispersed over 2, gently sloping, gravel hillsides, well placed in the west of the Saint Julien appellation, close to Chateau Gruaud Larose and Chateau Branaire Ducru. At the peak of their vineyards, the hillsides reach up to 24 meters, which puts their vines at the highest elevation in the Saint Julien appellation.

Today, the average age of the vines is more than 35 years of age. The terroir is gravel, sand and clay soils.There are also parcels with deposits of iron. The vineyard is planted to a vine density of 8,500 vines per hectare. They use optical sorting technology during the harvest.

Chateau Lagrange Winemaking

To produce the wine of Chateau Lagrange, vinification takes place temperature controlled, stainless steel vats that range in size. The 98 vats range in size allowing for parcel by parcel vinification. The smallest vats are 66 hectoliters with the largest vats coming in at 220 hectoliters.

The grapes are vinified using co-inoculation. The selection of the press wine is performed by adding it on a vat by vat basis. The wine is aged in 60% new, French oak barrels for up to 21 months before bottling.

White Wine of Chateau Lagrange

Additionally, Chateau Lagrange is one of the few Medoc properties to produce a white Bordeaux wine. They have 7 hectares of vines used for planting white Bordeaux wine grapes. Those 7 hectares are planted to 60% Sauvignon Blanc, 20% Semillon and 20% Sauvignon Gris. They removed all of their Muscadelle vines. The white wine of Lagrange, which began production in 1996 is sold under the name of Les Arums de Lagrange.

On average, all together, Chateau Lagrange produces almost 60,000 cases of wine per year. There is a second wine, Les Fief de Lagrange which made its debut in 1985.

In 2012, the estate added a new wine to their portfolio from vines located in the Haut Medoc appellation. Produced from an 18 hectare vineyard they recently purchased in the Haut Medoc appellation, the wine is sold under the aptly descriptive name of Haut Medoc de Lagrange.

The best vintages of Chateau Lagrange are: 2017, 2016, 2015, 2010, 2009, 2006, 2005 and 2000. Perhaps, because of its large size, which gives it various types of terroir, Chateau Lagrange is not always consistent. It is a wine to look for in the top years.

When to Drink Chateau Lagrange, Anticipated Maturity, Decanting Time

Chateau Lagrange is not a wine that is fun too drink on the young side. The wine is too powerful and tannic in its youth. Young vintages can be decanted for an average of 2-3 hours, give or take. This allows the wine to soften and open its perfume. Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment.

Chateau Lagrange is usually better with at least 8-10 years of bottle age. Of course that can vary slightly, depending on the vintage character. Chateau Lagrange offers its best drinking and should reach peak maturity between 10-25 years of age after the vintage.

Serving Chateau Lagrange with Wine, Food, Pairing Tips

Chateau Lagrange is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift.

Chateau Lagrange is best served with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted, braised and grilled dishes. Chateau Lagrange is a perfect match with Asian dishes, hearty fish courses like tuna, salmon, mushrooms and pasta as well as cheese.

www.chateau-lagrange.com

Château Lagrange (St. Julien) Wine Tasting Notes

24 Vintages 151,968 Views Sort by Vintage-Rating

2017Château Lagrange (St. Julien)  (St. Julien)90

Energetic, bright, medium bodied with tobacco and cedar-wrapped red fruits, the wine is tannic with quite a bit of freshness and a crunchy, illuminated finish.

1,641 Views   Tasted
2016Château Lagrange (St. Julien)  (St. Julien)93

Tobacco, cedar, red currants and smokey earth notes create the character. Full bodied, fresh, clean and classic, the wine serves up a concentrated, elegant mouth full of deep, dark, red fruits with freshness. Give this at least a decade before popping a cork.

3,388 Views   Tasted

A Truman Capote In Cold Blood kind of red, Zoe Saldana rolling the tobacco leaf, a bowl of dark red fruits with a few perfect stems of crunchy black currants. There is a freshness to the fruit and ripeness to the tannins that make this vintage a celebrity. The wine has crunch and zest and the finish offers a nice bite of tang and temptation. The wine was made from blending 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot.

4,213 Views   Tasted 93
2015Château Lagrange (St. Julien)  (St. Julien)93

This is a great vintage for Lagrange, as it allowed the fruit to develop to its true potential. There is a true depth of flavor, softness to the wall of tannins, and a fresh, vibrancy to the layers of ripe, crisp red berries that stands out in the glass. This will age for years.

2,107 Views   Tasted

Deep ruby in color, this full-bodied wine is packed with crisp, crunchy cassis and black fruits. The tannins are present but ripe and the fruit has freshness and persistence in a slightly stoic but creamy finish. Only 35% of the harvest was placed into the Grand Vin. This wine was produced from a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot and 8% Petit Verdot, reaching 13.3% alcohol. 90 - 92 Pts

2,578 Views   Tasted 91
2014Château Lagrange (St. Julien)  (St. Julien)89

Fresh, bright and crisp, the cassis and cranberry fruits are made more interesting with the addition of fresh herbs, tobacco and spice. Medium/full bodied, and on the fresh side, this should age nicely.

2,587 Views   Tasted

With more softness than expected, this medium-bodied wine tastes like you’re biting into a handful of fresh, juicy, ripe, crisp, red fruits with a spray of cassis on top. 88-90 Pts

2,712 Views   Tasted 89
2013Château Lagrange (St. Julien)  (St. Julien)87

Medium bodied, with light, bright, crisp red cherries and cranberry, this light, classically styled wine ends with a touch of cedar and peppery, sweet and tart red berries in the finish.

1,184 Views   Tasted

Light, bright and spicy, this wine is dominated by cherry and fresh strawberry and will be best in its youth. The wine was made from a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot. 86-88 Pts

1,383 Views   Tasted 87
2012Château Lagrange (St. Julien)  (St. Julien)89

Slightly strict, with a classic lean, the crisp, crunchy fruits and tannins should come together and could develop into a softer, more nuanced wine with a few years of age.

4,044 Views   Tasted

Using 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot, the wine reached 13.5 alcohol. The wine was produced from the lowest yields in the history of the estate at 38 hectoliters per hectare. Only 35% of the harvest was used in the grand vin. Spicy blackberries, cedar and cassis notes end with a tannic, crisp, medium-bodied, cassis filled finish. 89-91 Pts

2,920 Views   Tasted 90
2011Château Lagrange (St. Julien)  (St. Julien)89

The earthy, cranberry, tobacco and cassis perfume pairs with smoky, dark, red berries, herbs and spice in the finish.

1,933 Views   Tasted

Cassis, cedar, earth and vanilla scents with medium body and round tannins. Soft ripe, cherries are found in finish. 89-91 Pts

2,604 Views   Tasted 90
2010Château Lagrange (St. Julien)  (St. Julien)91

Continuing to develop incely, the showy nose is filled with oak, cassis, spicy, fresh blackberries and thyme. The finish tannic, but the tannins are ripe. The blend of 75% Cabernet and 25% Merlot demands at least another decade in the cellar.

5,281 Views   Tasted

Soft blackberry, olive, herb, cocoa, oak and black plums open to a fresh, full bodied wine. From a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Merlot, there is some drying sensations in the fresh, crisp, red and black fruit, olive tapenade finish.

4,595 Views   Tasted 90

Lagrange is a powerful Bordeaux wine, packed with ripe dark berries and cassis. This concentrated coca and ripe berry flavored St. Julien wine offers freshness and a licorice cassis filled finish. 90-92 Pts

4,742 Views   Tasted 91
2009Château Lagrange (St. Julien)  (St. Julien)90

Oak, licorice, smoky blackberries and cocoa aromas lead to a medium bodied, soft, sweet, round wine with potential. The wine is much better served at close to cellar temperature. The wine was made from a blend of 73% Cabernet Sauvignon and 27% Merlot.

5,862 Views   Tasted

Smoke, black pepper, ripe black cherry, earth and plum notes create the aromatics. From a blend of 73% Cabernet Sauvignon and 27% Merlot, this fresh, medium, earthy, crunchy, cassis filled, tannic wine is beefy in style. It will take time for the tannic wine to develop. This is more classic in style than many 2009 Bordeaux wines.

7,814 Views   Tasted 91
2008Château Lagrange (St. Julien)  (St. Julien)88

From a blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot, the wine offers secondary character with its truffle, tobacco, cassis, smoke and citrus nose. But there is a definite sense of under ripeness in the nose and on the palate that could become more noticeable in the future.

3,751 Views   Tasted
2007Château Lagrange (St. Julien)  (St. Julien)89

Quite successful for the vintage, this is in its primetime drinking window. Medium bodied, with crisp, red fruits, earthy notes, cedar wood and tobacco, the finish is bright, with hints of pepper, and green herbs, paired with red fruits. There is no reason for further aging.

3,170 Views   Tasted
2006Château Lagrange (St. Julien)  (St. Julien)90

Made from a blend of 59% Cabernet Sauvignon and 41% Merlot, the wine is showing some signs of maturity in the nose but not in the mouth, as it's still strict and tannic. On the palate, the wine is firm, masculine and straight forward, with a fresh, juicy cassis personality.

3,681 Views   Tasted

It takes some effort to find the coffee, tobacco and cassis scents as the wine is still tight. The wine is medium/full bodied, tannic and demands another 3-5 years of cellaring before coming around. Interestingly, this is one of the rare vintages with no Petit Verdot in the blend.

5,316 Views   Tasted 90
2005Château Lagrange (St. Julien)  (St. Julien)90

Concentrated, structured, tannic, firm and built to age, this powerful, masculine St. Julien is still young. Time and effort were needed before the earthy, coffee, blackberry, fresh herb and tobacco personality began to emerge. This demands at least 5-8 years in the cellar for everything to come together.

10,733 Views   Tasted
2004Château Lagrange (St. Julien)  (St. Julien)88

Slightly rustic tannins, classic in style, with a firm character, red berries and cranberry in the finish.

3,166 Views   Tasted
2003Château Lagrange (St. Julien)  (St. Julien)89

Just now starting to dry out a bit, there is still plenty of tobacco, cassis, cranberry and earthy notes in the nose, but this is not for long term aging. The tannins are firm and the finish is slightly drying in the end notes.

4,501 Views   Tasted

With its showy nose of coffee bean, cocoa powder, black cherry, plum jam, tobacco and earth, the wine is starting to soften and open up. From a blend of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot and 10% Petit Verdot, this stylish wine is probably my favorite of Lagrange to date.

5,845 Views   Tasted 91
2001Château Lagrange (St. Julien)  (St. Julien)91

This has developed quite nicely with its tobacco, smoke, cigar box, blackberry and cedar wood personality. The tannins are ripe, the fruit is ample and fresh, finish with a spicy, cassis and pomegranate note. While fun to taste now, this will get better with a few more years in the bottle.

3,537 Views   Tasted
2000Château Lagrange (St. Julien)  (St. Julien)85

Earthy, with blackberries and tobacco in the nose. This medium bodied wine has a distinct green pepper note that is off putting. There is some rusticity to the tannins in the finish. Previous bottles have been better.

5,123 Views   Tasted

Notes of leaf, olives, tobacco and spicy cassis open to a soft, tannic, full bodied wine that finishes with elements of cocoa powder and fresh cassis. Time will probably add to this wine. I’d give it at least another few years.

6,011 Views   Tasted 89

Still deeply colored, with scents of cassis, fennel, earth, stone and spice, this impressive, full bodied wine remains young, fresh and tannic. Masculine in style, additional cellaring will soften this St. Julien wine a bit.

10,903 Views   Tasted 90
1996Château Lagrange (St. Julien)  (St. Julien)91

Fully mature and showing quite well with its tobacco, cigar box, cedar, leaf and cassis charms, there is nice, spice and fresh component in the finish giving it lift and length. The wine was produced from a blend of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot and 7% Petit Verdot.

3,283 Views   Tasted
1995Château Lagrange (St. Julien)  (St. Julien)90

As this approaches its 25th birthday, while not exactly rounded out, the wine has softened. The nose has an herbal leaning, with cedar and tobacco leaf accents to the bright red fruits, while the palate is a nice juicy bite of sweet and tart red fruits.

318 Views   Tasted
1990Château Lagrange (St. Julien)  (St. Julien)90

Big, muscular and tannic, the wine offers tobacco, cassis, black cherry and forest floor scents. Traditional in style, from a blend of 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Merlot and 12% Petit Verdot, this solid wine is fully mature.

7,757 Views   Tasted
1989Château Lagrange (St. Julien)  (St. Julien)87

With a strict leaning, the wine is better on the cedar, leaf, tobacco, wet earth and peppery, red berry nose, than on the austere palate. Fans of older, classic vintage will probably enjoy this more than I did.

3,745 Views   Tasted
1986Château Lagrange (St. Julien)  (St. Julien)87

Masculine, tannic and on the lean side, the wine is on the austere, cranberry, cassis and tobacco, old school style range of Bordeaux.

3,631 Views   Tasted
1982Château Lagrange (St. Julien)  (St. Julien)85

Past fully mature, and starting to drop fruit, the wine shows more of its tobacco, earth, cedar, olive, herb and peppery profile, than red fruit. This firm, simple wine, requires drinking before the remaining fruit fades away. Drink up, as this is not going to get better.

3,849 Views   Tasted
1961Château Lagrange (St. Julien)  (St. Julien)70

Very little fruit remains, most of what you find is bright, crisp, crunchy, spicy, peppery, tart red berries and cigar box, tobacco and wet earth character. Drink up.

2,060 Views   Tasted