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Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste

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Address: 33250 Pauillac

Telephone: +33 (0)5 56 73 16 73

Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste is an excellent wine which well outperforms its 5thgrowth status which is testament to the efforts of Xavier Borie who runs the estate currently, son of the late Jean-Eugene Borie who bought the estate of the famous Raymond Dupin in 1978. Grand-Puy Lacoste is classic Pauillac with emphasis on intensity, structure and strong blackcurrant flavours. Not flashy or opulent, especially when compared to Lynch Bages or Pichon Lalande, ‘GPL’ is always strong and concentrated. If anything the wines are often a little backward and they do need the time in bottle. For the quality these wines are very well priced. Exceptional Pauillac made here in 2009 and 2010. More recently the trio 2014-2016 are wonderful. The 2016 itself is something of a standout in this crowd, verging on first growth quality for me. 

Vineyard/Terroir:  Vineyards planted with 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc. Average age of the vines is 35 years.

Winemaking/Elévage: Fermentation and maceration in temperature controlled stainless steel. 18-20 months age in oak barrels, with 45-55% new.

Tasting notes:

  • 2016 Deep and attractive; tight to the edge; earthy purple at edge; lovely purity; beautiful blackcurrant notes; very mannered and correct; typically youthful GPL – perfumed and pretty; really lovely fruit on the palate; great entry; beautiful purity as ever; really nice texture here; well integrated acidity and very ripe, succulent tannins. This has lovely delicacy. Length impressive. Very long indeed. Potentially very interesting indeed. A beauty! [79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 75% new oak, 45hl/ha]. Tasted 3/4/17. Drink 2021-2030. 95-97+
  • 2015 Deepish; healthy looking; lovely blackcurrant fruit – nice purity; roundness; pretty fruit – very ‘jolie’ again; nice cassis tones; blackcurrants; ripe fruit; more oak to integrate on the palate but that is fine [75% new oak]; nice grip and structure; lovely wine here as usual. [74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 45hl/ha]. Drink 2024-2035. Tasted 7/4/16 at Grand-Puy-Lacoste. 93-95+ [Earlier note]. Deep at core; earthy purple; graphite; blackcurrants; attractive and layered; palate full with plenty of fruit and round, harmonious tannins; full and harmonious; lovely blackcurrant fruit here as usual. Very good indeed. [74% Cabernet, 23% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 13.5%]. Drink 2023-2035. Tasted 5/4/16 at UGCB. 93-94+
  • 2014 Deep and attractive looking; opaque at centre; legs: blackcurrant cassis; quite supple; cassis; freshness; some cherry; cool entry; blackcurrant fruit; nice precision and harmony; attractive fruit; nicely handled on the palate; nice fresh; blackcurrants; very nice purity overall; very harmonious Pauillac. 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 13.5 alc, 75% new oak]. Drink 2020-2035. 91-93+ [Earlier note] Deep-ish; minerals, chalk; cool blackcurrants at the back; tight on the palate; cold sample; acidity present. Has all the elements but subdued sample [cf one tasted at Grand-Puy Lacoste earlier in the day]. Drink 2017-2032. Tasted UGC 2 April, 2015. 89-91
  • 2013 Deep and saturated at centre; healthy looking; very attractive blackcurrants, purity and sweetness here; substance here and really nice glossy blackcurrant tones; creamy blackcurrant fruit on the palate with nicely integrated oak; very composed and defined indeed for the vintage; very good balance and good acidity; real delicacy here and very complete; elegant wine; moreish; good length on the finish. Excellent effort in the context. Up there with Lafite and Mouton qualitatively. [80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 75% new oak, 31hl/ha]. Drink 2018-2030. 90-92+ [Second note] Mid depth; creamy and pure on the nose; pretty and attractive blackcurrants and cool blue fruit tones; attractive and pretty; very pleasurable palate; nicely balanced; creamy blackcurrants; real elegance. Very nicely done. Complete. Tasted UGC 1/4/14. Drink 2018-2030. 89-91+
  • 2012 Mid depth; charming aromatics; blackcurrants, some pencil shavings; nicely complex; fine and harmonious palate with lovely balance; real purity to the fruit and genuine harmony. Medium weight, so not a blockbuster, but everything in proportion here. Drink 2016-2030. 91+ UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated look; cassis, blackcurrants; very dense and very attractive; layers of cool blackcurrants here; good on the palate with lots of chew and depth; lovely balance here; extract but tannins fine and really impressive length. Tasted Friday April, 12, 2013 at Chateau Grand-Puy-Lacoste. 91-93+ [Earlier notes from UGC] Deepish; pure Cabernet aromas and some perfume; blackcurrants beneath; earthy entry; very good density and pretty fine. Fresh finish. This is better than Pichon-Baron this year. Good effort. Tasted UGC Thursday April 11, 2013. 90-92+ [Earlier note] Mid depth; vibrant edge; lots of attractive Cabernet fruit here; blackcurrants; some stalks; sense of freshness and vibrancy; again lively Cab on the palate; quite tight on the end but plenty of extract and material. Nice length if grippy at present. Promising. UGC Tuesday April 9, 2013. 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot. 89-91+
  • 2011 Mid depth; wet rocks, stalky blackcurrants; some cassis; elegant on the palate with some intensity; there is tannin and grip to resolve – needs four or five years to settle but has the required purity. Drink 2018-2030. 90+ UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Deep saturated colour, vibrant at edge; nice minerality, cassis, blackcurrants; summer compote; nice purity and clarity here; cassis and pure blackcurrants on the palate, very cool but plenty of fruit. Purity is the key word here. Very classy this vintage. Nicely done. Tannin harmonious. Tasted 3/4/12 and 5/4/12 at UGCB.  92-94+
  • 2010 Deep and dark looking; wonderful blackcurrant purity on the nose; pencil shavings and graphite; very tight but focused seam of fruit here; genuine intensity and purity; lovely texture to the palate; blackcurrant fruit again; some earthy notes; and grip to the tannins but really this is very impressive stuff; very good length on the end. Very substantial but elegantly expressed. Drink 2017-2035. 95+ MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier note] Thick and dense looking in the glass; nice layered blackcurrant nose; some lift; attractive; some graphite; very nicely judged palate – blackcurrants, leafy undergrowth notes and well structured. Grippy and classical and very nicely done. Plenty of fruit here to fit this firm, classical structure I expect. 93+ UGCB Nov ’12 [Earlier note] Deep and dense; nice cassia and blackcurrants; fresh; almost some mint and menthol; palate concentrated and intense with depth; not over extracted here. Quite fine. Dips away a fraction at the end but overall very good 89-91/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 at UGCB. [Second tasting] Thick and dark looking; ripe and thick nose, blackcurrants, ripe and creamy; dense, concentrated wine with some freshness; quite firm with acid, chewy and dense. Good freshness here. Intense. 90-92/100 Tasted 7 April 2010
  • 2009 Mid depth; dark centre; healthy looking; fresh blackcurrants and lift; some resin and ink; complex; pencil shavings – classic classed growth Pauillac; nicely done; forward on the palate with delicious blackcurrant tones and round and harmonious tannins; elegance and very top draw Bordeaux. Oh what a lovely vintage this is here! This wine epitomizes these best qualities. Drink now-2035. 95+ MW Institute Nov ’13 [Earlier] Mid depth; purple edge’ kegs; leafy, fresher styled Cab nose; classic Pauillac; mid weight on the palate; lovely Cabernet here; ripe but cool and not at all overdone; very measured and polished with finesse. 93+/100 UGCB Oct ’11
  • 2008 Mid depth; earth looking; some development and melding here; some spice and earth, minerality; earthy blackcurrant with leaf, quite Pauillac; nice tension on the palate between the chew and the sap of the wine. Moreish. Good length and good effort. MW Institute Nov ’12. 90+
  • 2007 Mid red, depth; earthy feral lift initially with leafy blackcurrant behind; layers here; palate feels fresh with some herbal blackcurrant notes and nicely handled tannin. Elegant, harmonious and nicely proportioned. 89+/100 MW Institute Nov ‘11
  • 2006 Not as deep as some; some leaf and lift along with blackcurrant; not unattractive; some pretty strawberry notes and blackcurrants – attractive in a high toned way – some lead pencil beneath; palate quite pure blackcurrants with some lead pencil and graphite notes – good; quite fine – not too forced or pushed here. Attractive wine on the elegant side but works. 90/100 MW Institute Nov ‘10
  • 1995 Dark; primary blackcurrant fruit on nose; little closed; well structured with good grip. Dumb phase, clearly good and concentrated though. 92/100 May ‘06
  • 1988 Youthful red; little dumb; quite dense and chewy; tannic with lots of guts; quite tannic. 88/100 Apr ‘08
  • 1982 Deep red; strapping nose of blackcurrants and graphite; chewy, dense pure palate of blackcurrants; strong. 90/100 May ‘06
Lacoste Borie, Pauillac
  • 2016 Mid depth; earthy purple at edge; bright polished fruit; blackcurrant notes; vivid; attractive; some graphite; nicely produced; blackcurrant notes on the palate; lovely bright acidity; enveloping wine; nicely composed. Fresh finish. Exciting for Lacoste Borie. Length. [61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 50hl/ha]. Tasted 3/4/17. Drink 2021-2030. 90-91+
  • 2015 Nice healthy colour; mid depth; purple red at edge; blackcurrant fruit; some spice; little cherry; very Bordeaux; nice fresh entry; clean and pure fruit characters; bit of graphite and blackcurrant on the palate; nice texture; should work well in 3-5 years. [60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 50hl/ha]. Tasted April ’16. 87-88+
  • 2014 Mid depth; deep in the core; very ripe blackcurrant; fresh; vivacious; nice entry; some oak to resolve; little present on the palate; some cream; balance and freshness; vibrant; mineral; texture; attractive. [67% Cabernet Sauvignon 23% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 13.5% alc, 45% new oak.] Tasted April ’15. Drink 2018-2025. 86-88+
  • 2013 Mid depth; elegant; fresh and lifted; quite jolly; lots of fruit on the nose; grippy palate; fresh and bright. [60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc]. Tasted April ’14. Drink 2016-2023. 85-87+
  • 2012 Deep and healthy looking; very pretty nose; lots of fat, primary fruit – plums, blackcurrants; mid weight on the palate but pretty harmonious [probably the fair wack of Merlot]. Coffee and spice tones on the finish. Good effort. 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc. Tasted Friday April, 12, 2013 at Chateau Grand-Puy-Lacoste. 87-88+

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