2020 Château Prieuré-Lichine was released this morning En Primeur with an excellent score from James Suckling and an almost equally excellent note from Jancisrobinson.com. Suckling scores it highly for a wine at just £305 per dozen bottles in bond; 95-96 points, whilst Julia Harding MW describes it as "Fragrant with the intense aromas of cassis and spicy black plum. A little sweeter-smelling than some but also dark and savoury, with subtle oak spice and char. Even a light floral note entwined with all that dark fruit....Full in the mouth but nicely dry and fresh on the finish. 17 points". The complex patchwork of vineyard parcels here (see our full notes on the estate) may have something to do with its success in 2020, with the varied terroirs helping to mitigate the low rainfall in July.
Château Prieuré-Lichine is a QuatrièmeGrand Cru Classé estate in the commune of Margaux. Founded in the 12th century by monks from Vertheuil Abbey, the vineyards of the prieuré (or “priory”) of Cantenac belonged to the Church until the French Revolution. In 1951, Alexis Lichine took over the estate and his name was added to the estate name two years later. He expanded the vineyards, modernized the cellars and renovated the monks’ former living quarters.
The estate has been owned since 1999 by the Ballande group, a Bordeaux company includes the negociants Ballande & Meneret. Ballande added further parcels of vines and a new cellar. They also brought in consultant viticulturalist Stéphane Derenoncourt.
The 78 hectares are planted to 55 % Cabernet Sauvignon, 40 % Merlot and 5 % Petit Verdot. The gradual expansion the vineyards means that Prieuré-Lichine's are some of the most fragmented of any estate, but this has been turned into a virtue, with a wide variety of terroirs contributing to the wine. The second wine is called Confidences de Prieuré-Lichine.
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