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2020 Château Lafon-Rochet En Primeur (1)

Lafon-Rochet have just released their 2020 vintage en primeur, offered at £325 per dozen, a generous discount on both the 2018 and 2019 vintages (released at £380 and £340 respectively) despite being of comparable quality. 

Jancis Robinson is clearly a fan, describing the 2020 as "so appetising and groundbreaking" (17 points).  This became a favourite estate for us on a visit to Bordeaux some fifteen years ago.  We were due to meet owner Michel Tesseron at the estate in the afternoon but bumped into him having a long lunch at La Tupina, a Bordeaux institution.  By the time we caught up with him a couple of hours later at the property, he was swaying gently on his feet, welcoming us with a beaming smile (and very few words) to his bright yellow château. 

The same impression of openness and generosity of spirit is there in the wine each time we taste it.  We have enjoyed seeing it steadily improve over the last decade (under Michel's son Basile Tesseron) and the 2020 cask sample may be the best yet.  We found fine oak aromas and layered, dense blueberry fruits, assam tea, spices and beautifully soft tannins.  Another excellent example of Bordeaux winemakers adapting to warmer summers and producing wines with plenty of freshness and energy. 

The 2020 will be open and accessible in just a couple of years after landing, but despite its approachability, Jane Anson finds good structure, describing it as having "plenty of clarity to the flavours, together with a feeling of linearity to the tannins...a measured, successful wine that will age well"  (93 points) whilst Suckling scores it 93-94 points.  At just over £27 per bottle in bond, this is definitely a 2020 to add to your cellar.

Landing in spring 2023.

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Château Lafon-Rochet

Producer Profile

Château Lafon-Rochet

Château Lafon-Rochet is a Quatrièmes Cru Classé in St-Estèphe, owned by the Tesseron family, who made their fortune in Cognac and who also own Pontet-Canet.  The estate was founded in 1650, when Antoinette de Guillemotte brought the land of Rochette as her dowry to her husband, Pierre de Lafon.   When the Tesserons bought the estate in 1959 it was badly run-down, with just 17 hectares of vines. 

Production was modernised under Michel Tesseron from 2000 (he also painted the château in its distinctive Mediterranean yellow).  Today the estate has 45 ha of vines and is run on organic and biodynamic lines by Michel's son, Basile Tesseron.  He is also making ground-breaking efforts to re-wild the estate, planting trees and shrubs and encouraging biodiversity.

Below is a charming animation that illustrates the superb location and terroirs at Lafon-Rochet:

RED 2020 2 cases Château Lafon Rochet 75cl £340 per case of 12 Château Lafon Rochet
2020 / 2 cases / 75cl
£340 per case of 12

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