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Chateau Lagrange

ch-lagrange.jpgThe huge estate at Lagrange, classified as a third growth in 1855, is owned by Japanese drinks giant, Suntory. Located quite far inland (indeed, bordering the St.-Laurent classifed growths) the estate was established in the early 17th century, although its size has fluctuated greatly over the centuries.  Since it's purchase by Suntory the size of its planted vineyards has doubled.  Indeed, Suntory have invested huge sums of money over the past three decades to restore Lagrange to its former glory, and today it is certainly considered worthy of its status.


While the estate is nearly 160 hectares in size, a 'mere' 121 hectares are planted, to roughly 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot and 7% Petit Verdot, as well as four hectares of white varieties.  The absence of Cabernet Franc is explained former long-time manager Marcel Ducasse's dislike of the variety.  As expected given the amount of replanted since the mid-1980s, average vine age is relatively young, although the viticultural team work hard in the vineyard to ensure high fruit quality, with the younger vines being pruned hard and green harvested to restrict their output (and increase the fruit intensity).


lagrange-barrel.jpgTemperature-controlled stainless steel fermentation vessels are utilised for both primary and malolactic fermentations, before the wine is placed in to oak barriques for around 21 months, with around 60% being new each year.  The barrels are racked every three months, and the wine is bottled with a light egg-white fining.  

Selection is severe, with a significant proportion of production going in to the second label each year.  The wine is deliberately priced low (at least relative to many other classifed growths), the result being most of the immense production sells each year, and stock-holdings are amongst the lowest of the Medoc classified growths (despite the very large production).

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