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Chateau Prieure-Lichine (Futures Pre-Sale) 2018

  • WE96
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Winemaker Notes

The structured and dynamic Cabernet Sauvignon grapes provided the balance for the Merlot, which was rich in alcohol. The color is deep and brilliant. Black fruit with great aromatic power comes through with an elegant mouth-feel. The richness and complexity of the Margaux terroir are expressed in the most perfect way in this King Cabernet vintage, demonstrating the pertinence of the technical approach adopted by the Ballande family over the last 20 years.
Blend: 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WE 96
Wine Enthusiast
After considerable investment, this property is showing its true potential. This wine is full of a great black fruit flavor, with generous acidity and a ripe structure. Its black currant flavor is already showing a delicious side, making it a wine to enjoy in the near term.
Barrel Sample: 94-96
V 95
Vinous
The 2018 Prieuré-Lichine is gorgeous. Bright and racy in the glass, the 2018 impresses with its magnificent purity of fruit. In 2018, Prieuré-Lichine has terrific energy and cut. It is perhaps a bit less creamy than the 2016, but also impeccable in its balance. Part of that is driven by the higher percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend in 2018. Rose petal, lavender, mint and spice add nuance to a core of red/purplish fruit. Tasted two times.
Barrel Sample: 92-95
JS 94
James Suckling
This is a very fresh and bright red with lots of blue fruit and linear and fine tannins that have drive down the center palate. 65 per cent cabernet sauvignon, 30 per cent merlot and 5 per cent petit verdot.
Barrel Sample: 93-94 Points
D 94
Decanter

Prieuré Lichine has done a great job of capturing the rich concentration in the cassis and blackberry fruits that are easily found in 2018, wrapped up perfectly in juicy, vibrant strands of acidity and tannin. There's no question that this is an intense wine, and although the alcohol is not especially high it has a generous texture. Spice notes lend a sense of uplift to balance out the exuberance of the palate. I expect this will close down for a good few years before coming into its own. Prieuré Lichine operate a gravity-fed winery for gentle handling of the fruit. 2018 saw a yield of 35hl/ha. Aged in 45% new oak. Drinking Window 2027 - 2042. Barrel Sample: 94

RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The deep garnet-purple colored 2018 Prieure-Lichine slips sensuously out of the glass with gorgeous raspberry coulis, chocolate-covered cherries and warm cassis scents with hints of candied violets, licorice, camphor and wilted roses. The full-bodied, richly fruited palate is beautifully perfumed with loads of floral accents and has a firm frame of ripe, grainy tannins, finishing long with some mineral notions coming through. Very pretty.
Barrel Sample: 91-93
JD 93
Jeb Dunnuck
The 2018 Château Prieuré-Lichine is an attractive, elegant Margaux offering classic, pretty red and black fruits, cedary spice, and dried flowers aromas and flavors. Medium to full-bodied, elegant, and again, with an incredible floral character, it has a supple, rounded texture that’s going to allow it to drink nicely in its youth, yet it should also evolve for 15+ years or more. I suspect this will surpass the ’14, ’15, and ’16.
Barrel Sample: 90-93
WS 92
Wine Spectator
Solid, with warm dark plum, currant and bitter cherry flavors, wrapped in singed cedar, vanilla and coffee notes. The toast is a bit overt on the finish.
Barrel Sample: 89-92 Points
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Chateau Prieure-Lichine

Chateau Prieure-Lichine

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Chateau Prieure-Lichine, France
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Chateau Prieuré-Lichine's vast vineyard holdings (70 hectares) are located on some of the best gravelly outcrops in all five communes of the Margaux appellation. Owned by the Ballande group since June 1999, this estate is currently undergoing a major transformation in order to enhance the reputation of its superb terroir even further.

The vine density at Prieuré-Lichine is quite high, and the vineyard is carefully managed plot by plot. The grapes are completely picked by hand into small crates and carefully gone over on a sorting table prior to crushing. Only the ripest, healthiest grapes are used. Malolactic fermentation takes place in barrel. The entire winemaking process is devoted to bringing out the charm, elegance and finesse characteristic of the finest wines in the Margaux appellation.

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Margaux

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Silky, seductive and polished are the words that characterize the best wines from Margaux, the most inland appellation of the Médoc on the Left Bank of Bordeaux.

Margaux’s gravel soils are the thinnest of the Médoc, making them most penetrable by vine roots—some reaching down over 23 feet for water. The best sites are said to be on gentle outcrops, or croupes, where more gravel facilitates good drainage.

The Left Bank of Bordeaux subscribes to an arguably outdated method of classification but it is nonetheless important in regards to history of the area. In 1855 the finest chateaux were deemed on the basis of reputation and trading price—at that time. In 1855, Chateau Margaux achieved first growth status, yet it has been Chateau Palmer (officially third growth from the 1855 classification) that has consistently outperformed others throughout the 20th century.

Chateau Margaux in top vintages is capable of producing red Cabernet Sauvignon based wines described as pure, intense, spell-binding, refined and profound with flavors and aromas of black currant, violets, roses, orange peel, black tea and incense.

Other top producers worthy of noting include Chateau Rauzan-Ségla, Lascombes, Brane-Cantenac, and d’Issan, among others.

The best wines of Margaux combine a deep ruby color with a polished structure, concentration and an unrivaled elegance.

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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.

BMNF520652_2018 Item# 520652