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Chateau Laroque (Futures Pre-Sale) 2018

Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
  • RP97
  • JD97
  • WS95
  • JS94
  • V94
  • D93
750ML / 14.5% ABV
Other Vintages
  • RP94
  • WS93
  • JS93
  • D93
  • JD93
  • WE92
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31 97
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750ML / 14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Superbly located on one of the highest points of Saint-Emilion, Laroque's limestone terroirs have once again shone through brilliantly in this 2018. They have produced wines that are bright, floral, and spicy with fresh salinity and a noble texture, which are the hallmark traits of this this estate.
Blend: 97% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
RP 97
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2018 Laroque is a little closed to begin, slowly unfurling to reveal fragrant black cherries, wild blueberries and blackberry preserves scents with hints of crushed rocks, underbrush and violets plus a waft of Marmite toast. Full-bodied and jam-packed with bright, crunchy black and blue fruits, it has a firm line of ripe, fine-grained tannins and loads of freshness, finishing very long and layered. Impressive! Being aged in oak barriques, 50% new, the blend is 97% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc.
Barrel Sample: 95-97
JD 97
Jeb Dunnuck
A blend of 97% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc representing just 41% of the total production, the 2018 Château Laroque is still resting in barrels and oak tanks. Its deep purple color is followed by a classy bouquet of ripe black cherries, cassis, graphite, licorice, and crushed rocks. Deep, medium to full-bodied, with beautiful mid-palate and ripe, silky tannins, it's a beautiful success for the estate, which appears to be firing on all cylinders today thanks to the talented team of David Suire and Nicolas Thienpont!
Barrel Sample: 95-97
WS 95
Wine Spectator
Well-proportioned, featuring cassis and blackberry fruit, balanced by brambly grip, juicy acidity and lively anise and black tea details. Very nicely put together.
Barrel Sample: 92-95
JS 94
James Suckling
This is really delicious with so much dark-berry and stone character. Full to medium body and super, integrated tannins. Bright and generous. One of the best from here. We will see if it is better than 2016 and 2015.
Barrel Sample: 93-94
V 94
Vinous
The 2018 Laroque is a very pretty, pliant Saint-Émilion. Bright red raspberry, blood orange, mint and sweet floral notes give the 2018 striking energy to play off a core of radiant, supple fruit. Medium in body and gracious, Laroque has so much to offer in 2018. Although Laroque is not one of the most concentrated or structured Saint-Émilions, it is a wine of superb drinkability and pure pleasure. The blend is 97% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc. Technical Director David Suire gave the 2018 lots 26-29 days on the skins fermented in cement, with manual pumpovers and punchdowns. New oak is 55%. Suire, best known for his work alongside Nicolas Thienpont, is doing great things at Laroque. Tasted four times.
Barrel Sample: 91-94
D 93
Decanter

Beautifully measured, elegant and restrained, this has juiciness and hidden power. It's definitely less exuberant than some, giving tight black fruits and fine tannins alongside a limestone grip and a slate crawl across the palate, slowing you down and forcing you to pay attention as the floral character comes slowly winding out of the glass. Drinking Window 2026 - 2040. Barrel Sample: 93

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Chateau Laroque

Chateau Laroque

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Chateau Laroque, France - Other regions
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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.

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St-Émilion

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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, Ausone, 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.

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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.

LGNF520566_2018 Item# 520566