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Chateau Laforge 2010

Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
  • RP94
  • WS91
  • JS91
  • WE90
0% ABV
  • RP92
  • WE91
  • RP89
  • RP93
  • WE91
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Winemaker Notes

The six-hectare vineyard of the Saint-Emilion Grand Cru uniquely draws together the three terroirs of the Saint Emilion Appellation. Around ninety percent of the vineyard is composed of old-vine Merlot with the rest being Cabernet Franc. The result is Chateau Laforge – a substantial wine with a rich purple color, elegant, and memorable.
Blend: 92% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Showing slightly better from bottle than barrel (and it performed admirably there), the 2010 Laforge emerges from three major soil types in St.-Emilion – gravel, sand and hard limestone. It is largely a Merlot-based wine, with only about 8% Cabernet Franc added in. A big, forceful, classic, full-bodied St.-Emilion with sensational depth, the 2010 displays plenty of black fruit, hints of incense, graphite, and forest floor, and perhaps even a suggestion of black truffle. It is deep, full-bodied, opulently textured, yet the tannic structure comes through in the finish. This is another sensational effort from proprietor Jonathan Malthus. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2032.
WS 91
Wine Spectator
Solid, with linzer torte and cassis notes woven together and lined with a sappy melted licorice note. Plenty of sweet spice fills in on the finish, which is dense but caressing in feel overall. Best from 2014 through 2024.
JS 91
James Suckling
Fruity and straightforward. Full and velvety. Beautiful layers of tannins and fruit.
WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
Smoky ripe fruit, big and bold fruit with some firm tannins. The wine is packed with ripe berry fruits.
Barrel Sample 88-90 Points
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Chateau Laforge

Chateau Laforge

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St. Emilion

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Marked by its historic fortified village—perhaps the prettiest in all of Bordeaux, the St-Émilion appellation, along with its neighboring village of Pomerol, are leaders in quality on the Right Bank of Bordeaux. These Merlot-dominant red wines (complemented by various amounts of Cabernet Franc and/or Cabernet Sauvignon) remain some of the most admired and collected wines of the world.

St-Émilion has the longest history in wine production in Bordeaux—longer than the Left Bank—dating back to an 8th century monk named Saint Émilion who became a hermit in one of the many limestone caves scattered throughout the area.

Today St-Émilion is made up of hundreds of independent farmers dedicated to the same thing: growing Merlot and Cabernet Franc (and tiny amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon). While always roughly the same blend, the wines of St-Émilion vary considerably depending on the soil upon which they are grown—and the soils do vary considerably throughout the region.

The chateaux with the highest classification (Premier Grand Cru Classés) are on gravel-rich soils or steep, clay-limestone hillsides. There are only four given the highest rank, called Premier Grand Cru Classés A (Chateau Cheval Blanc, Figeac, Angélus, Pavie) and 14 are Premier Grand Cru Classés B. Much of the rest of the vienyards in the appellation are on flatter land where the soils are a mix of gravel, sand and alluvial matter.

Great wines from St-Émilion will be deep in color, and might have characteristics of blackberry liqueur, black raspberry, licorice, chocolate, grilled meat, earth or truffles. They will be bold, layered and lush.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

TEYLAFORGE_2010 Item# 118848