Released for sale en primeur this morning are Châteaux Lafon-Rochet (95-97pts AG) at £420 per dozen and Gruaud Larose (95-97pts NM) at £420 per six.
We were fans of Lafon-Rochet under the Tesseron family, as a great example of how a less august (fourth growth), family-owned château could still be innovative, sustainable, and above all produce some great wine. In 2021, the Tesserons sold to Jackie Lorenzetti*. Lorenzetti is a property magnate and also owns Pedesclaux in Pauillac and Lilian Ladouys in St-Estèphe, whose vineyard border Lafon-Rochet's. He co-owns d'Issan in Margaux, which you will find offered at the foot of this email, along with a re-offer of Lilian Ladouys.
Lorenzetti's previous form has been to invest heavily in the châteaux he buys and he has already appointed a new Managing Director, Christophe Congé, formerly the oenologist for Château Lafite Rothschild for 22 years. In a great year for St-Estèphe, Lafon-Rochet is known for being one of the most elegant wines from this commune. The 2022 has retained this elegance, but under Congé it also has additional power this year.
Many cru classé châteaux have improved quality no end over the last few decades, but at Gruaud Larose the glory years were the 1980s, when they made some superb vintages (notably, 1982 and '86). Since then, the wines have been mostly just a little sub-par for a deuxième cru classé...all the right notes were there, but not necessarily in the right order, mainly a lack of precision to the fruit flavours. We noticed a sudden turnaround in the last few years and with the 2022 vintage this familiar and much-loved label is back! As Neal Martin says, 'Gruaud reborn' (95-97 points).
Please let us know as soon as possible if you would like to order.
Offered en primeur, on allocation. Landing spring 2025.
Magnums available with £15 ex-VAT bottling surcharge, please enquire for other formats.
To order, e-mail us at email@example.com