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Château Prieuré-Lichine


Address: 34 Avenue de la Republic, 33460 Cantenac

Telephone: +33 (0)5 57 88 36 28



Accessible and supple styled Margaux fourth growth, Château Prieuré-Lichine has taken on a more concentrated quality in recent vintages. Maybe it lacks the finesse of the best – it has sometimes felt a bit chunky in the past – nevertheless in years like 2009, 2010 it is good value. I was also impressed with the wine here in 2012 during primeurs. In 1999 it was acquired by the Balland Group and new investments have been made. Definitely a Margaux to watch and one which remains affordable.

Vineyard/Soil: 70 hectares planted with 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot. Gunz gravel. Vineyard plots managed separately and biological pest control used. Grapes picked by hand into small crates.

Winemaking/Elévage:  Fruit destemmed without crushing. Fermentation in vat and Malolatic fermentation in barrel. Lees stirring. 18 months barrel age, 50% new.

  • 2015 Deep looking; purple at edge; ripe cherry and cassis; vibrant aromas; freshness too; attractive fruit on the palate; some gloss; more harmony here than in 2010 – less drying quality; nicely structured; has all the elements. Good effort here once again. [66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 14% alc]. Drink 2020-2030. 90-92+
  • 2014 Deep and saturated colour; purple at edge; nice purity here on the nose; blackcurrants; some gloss and polish; feels complete; full creamy palate with blackcurrant fruit tones dominating at this stage; some chew to the tannin at the back; should round out. Grip and freshness on the end. [65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot 13% alc]. Drink 2020-2028. Tasted 31 March, 2015 at UGC. 89-91
  • 2013 Mid depth; light; fresh and some stalky blackcurrant aromatics; light palate; some elegance and easy going. Has the virtue of elegance and drinkability but pretty light. [70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot]. Tasted UGCB. Drink 2017-2023. 85-87
  • 2012 Mid depth; plush aromatics with some mineral/wet rock notes; fuller on the palate; attractive with spicy Cabernet notes and genuine richness from the ripe Merlot. Overall feel is soft and easy with plenty of fruit balanced by an attractive grip and freshness from the Cabernet. Drink 2016-2025. 90 UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated; purple at edge; looks fresh and vibrant; elegant, delicacy on the nose; layers of fruit and nice blackcurrant tones alongside plums; attractive entry; material and density with plenty of fruit; flesh here; little grippy on the finish but a good effort. 88-90+ Tasted UGC April 11, 2013 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated; nicely layered nose; plush fruit here; some spice and a very enticing combination; very flattering palate, ripe, easy and perfumed; nicely done. Very flattering and good length. Chocolate and mocha on the finish. 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot 13 degrees. 89-91+ Tasted UGC Tuesday April 9, 2013. Drink 2018-2025
  • 2011 Mid depth; quite dark; some ripe qualities; wet rock and chocolate; leafy Cabernet Sauvignon on the palate; bit angular on the finish and chewy tannin. Drink 2015-2025. 86+ UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Deep colour; some dust and chunkiness on the nose; some violet too; palate some cream, weight and density – a gutsy style. 86-88 Drink 2018-2025
  • 2010 Deep and saturated looking; some spicy Cab Franc tones [like de Camensac]; full; some dust; plenty of fruit – red fruit tones and dusty/spicy Cabernet [Franc?] tones; spicy characters dominate. Earthy finish. Good and solid but perhaps lacks the depth/finesse of the best. Drink 2015-2028. 90 MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated look; deep core; red fruits, satin note; blackcurrants; ripe qualities; chewy palate; a bit chunky in its fruit structure; plenty of grip and tannin but the tannin doesn’t feel over present. Mid weight and overall pretty good effort. 89+/100 UGC Oct ’12 [Earlier] Deep and saturated colour; strong, not primary fruit or fresh but worked; palate dense and intense but feels extracted. Bit overdone in 2010? Will probably settle but currently clumsy and tannic. Jury out 86-88?/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 [Second tasting] Deep and dense; some violets, some coffee; blackcurrants, pretty good; palate full, quite fleshy and with grip; this will meld and soften. Chewy and grippy finish but flesh here in this sample I think. 87-89/100 Tasted 7 April 2011 at UGC. Drink 2020-2030
  • 2009 Deep and saturated; wet stones, cassis and blackcurrants; similar tones on the palate with chocolate on the finish; sturdy and deep; lots of fruit – plump and powerful. Finished clean with ripe, slightly chewy tannins. Excellent effort here. Drink 2016-2029. 91+ MW Institute, Nov ’13 [Earlier note] Deep and dense; ripe; some violet but feels a bit chunky and dense; palate has more vibrancy but this is a dense and chewy wine with lots of blackcurrant extract, violet tones and density. Big style and not the most finesse but it works. 90-91/100 UGC Oct ’11 [Earlier]  Dark, deep; tight to the rim; some coffee and smoke on the nose; attractive; blackcurrant fruit and some plum; fresh; palate intense; good concentration; quite structured with lots of material and extract; tannic but round and lots of fruit and material here. Chewy. Very good. 90-92+/100 [Second] Perfume and freshness; some violets and cassis; definitely concentrated and big; palate sweet, ripe attack – lots of ripeness; succulent; but tannins too; lots of material and extract. Slightly chunky tannins but not overdone I think; ripe fruit envelops the tannins. Very good 90-92+/100 Tasted 30th March and 1st April 2010. Drink 2015-2030+
  • 2008 Mid depth, some saturation; redcurrant fruits and lift; some wet stone; some chew on the palate, spices. Grip at the end. 86 MW Institute Nov ’12 [Earlier] Good depth; dark at centre; red at edge; quite sturdy and savoury notes, some nutty qualities and chocolate; palate quite elegant, acid quite high, tannin also; feels a bit angular and lacks depth and roundness. 84-86/100 Drink 2015-2020 UGC Oct ’10
  • 2007 Deep and dark; muscular feel if a little dusty; solid palate, grip; chunky and lacks harmony but good body and chew. 86/100 MW Institute Nov ’11 [Earlier]  Mid depth; quite extracted look; creamy note to nose; some stalkiness on the palate but with intensity; little hardness to the tannins. Grippy. 84-86/100 Drink now-2020 UGC Oct ’09
  • 2006 Mid depth, red, some earthiness art the edge; some resin and some chocolate and lift, some strawberry and mineral notes beneath maybe a whiff of violet perfume at the edge; palate quite sweet with some chew and tannin but there is enough fruit and extract here to balance, not that bad but a bit chunky. Some grip and goodish length but also a certain chunkiness too. 88/100 Drink 2015-2021 MW Institute Nov ’10
  • 1994 Mid red/black; seductive ripe nose; good extract and lots of oak; palate full and tannic. Bit dry. 87/100 Oct ’95
  • 1990 Mid red; dusty nose; chunky palate; gutsy and without Margaux finesse. OK. 86/100 Feb ’99

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