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Chateau Laroque (Futures Pre-Sale) 2016

Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
  • WS94
  • JS94
  • D93
  • RP92
  • WE92
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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WS 94
Wine Spectator
Lots of enticing boysenberry and blueberry fruit rushes forth here, with light chalk, anise and fruitcake notes filling in behind it. The chalky note extends the longest, harnessing the fruit and giving this cut and refinement.
Barrel Sample: 91-94 Points
JS 94
James Suckling
A very long and intense red with blackberries, blueberries and blackcurrants on the nose. Medium to full body, firm and silky tannins and a long finish. Hard to see this being as superb as the 2015 but it’s all there.
Barrel Sample: 93-94 Points
D 93
This is an attractive wine with darkly spiced fruits and good acidity that's just giving out the right amount of mouthwatering tension. I'm not sure I've tasted a better example of this wine. The blend is 95% Merlot, 4.5% Cabernet Franc and 0.5% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Barrel Sample
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2016 Laroque offers attractive dark berry fruit on the nose, a hint of tea leaf infusing the blackberry and raspberry fruit. I admire the definition in situ - quite refined and certainly very focused. The palate is medium-bodied with a ripe black cherry and boysenberry driven entry. The warmth of the summer comes through towards its second half, whereupon it just loses a touch of precision, but otherwise this is a commendable Saint Emilion from the large estate towards St Christophe des Bardes.
Barrel Sample: 90-92 Points
WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
While this wine is firm, it also has generous fruit. The tannins form a core around which the fruitiness revolves. The acidity and the solid structure will allow it to age; try after 2027.
Barrel Sample: 90-92 Points
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Chateau Laroque

Chateau Laroque

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Chateau Laroque, St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
Image of winery
Its purchase by the Beaumartin family in 1935 marked the start of an ambitious challenge.

In 1962, forty hectares of vines were replanted. In 1982, Bruno Sainson became Estate Manager and, together with his time, undertook a veritable quest for excellence. Xavier Beaumartin took up the reigns of the estate in 2004, a visible sign of the family's attachment and investment that has enabled Chateau Laroque to regain all the splendor of its prestigious past.

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 vineyards 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.

LGCF248022_2016 Item# 248022