As a part of my ongoing effort to get folks here in the northwest – and everywhere – to expand their pallets, you’ll see me review wines like this one.
It’s a 2005 Chateau Lagarosse (shah toh lah growss) from the Bordeaux region in France. In case you’ve been living under a rock or are new to wine, this region – by many – is considered the “holy grail” of wine. It’s influence in our wine, the grapes and in the terminology we use is so pervasive that it’s difficult for many folks to think about what our wine industry in the U.S.A. would be like if not for this special region.
Its climate is nearly as good as Washington States – the only thing they don’t get are the extreme hot temps our little corner of the world gets on the eastern side.
What it doesn’t have in tempuratures, it makes up for in spades with its diverse soil-types, varying altititudes and age of the vines. This region has been making wine for far longer than we’ve been a country.
In fact, Chateau Lagarosse has been producing wines since the Roman period – its vineyard is located on a clay and limestone soil-type and this really does lend itself to the good, earthy components that are screaming out of this wine.
- Crafted by legendary winemaker Michel Rolland
- 80% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon
- 2,510 case production
- Average Vine Age: 30 years
- Limestone-clay at highest elevation descending to clay-gravel
- Meticulous green harvesting and leaf removal produced grapes of exquisite intensity and complexity
- The individual lots were kept separate throughout fermentation, which began in thermo-regulated tanks and finished in a mix of 1/3 new and 2/3 oneyear-old barrels
- Alcohol – 14%
Smell: Dark cherries stuffed into plums, rolled in chocolate layers with tobacco – Dirty, earthy, soily…Nice bell pepper.. A touch of forest floor.
Taste: Obvious cherries wrapped in bell pepper coated with chocolate, nice touch of vegetal action going on across the mid palate with a smooth chocolaty finish that lingers quite nicely. One of the smoothest reds I’ve had under 20bux… velvety mouth feel..
Easily one of the better bottles of wine I’ve had in its pricepoint – I actually paid too much ($19) because I bought it at my local Wine Styles – other stores will most certainly sell it for cheaper – around the $15-$16 mark.
If you’ve been living on new-world fruit bombs and want to get a good taste of the “old country” and see why Bordeaux wines can be so elegant, then I highly encourage you to seek this wine out. It’s an excellent QPR (Quality-price-ratio) – I need to get my hands on a case of it to see how it progresses over the next 10-15 years.
It’s an exciting wine that drinks very good now with excellent cellaring potential.