Made through the 1855 exercise, this classed Growth (3rd Growth) of 90 hectares, situated south of Margaux near Cantemerle, is now under the baton of Winemaker Caroline Frey, who uses winemaking techniques similar to those of Chateau Haut Brion to produce her aromatic and elegant Grand Cru Classe. Frey's natural approach, adapted to each plot, plays a fundamental role in the quality of the wines.
In her gravity-fed winery, perfectly mature grapes are sorted carefully before malolactic fermentation in thermo-regulated steel vats. Hence, the fruit quality is higher, and the wines taste gentler. Blended before ageing in 50 - 60% new French oak barrels for 18 months, La Lagune should taste creamy and spicy with a modern twist that is balanced and tailored by the maker for the market. The wine is racked several times to eliminate lees, and for refined ageing, so texture and length always exist. Also, using egg fining to remove harsh tannin particles, La Lagune wines are always elegant.
Following traditional winemaking methods, Frey maximized and improvised on the blending portion of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and 10% Petit Verdot to create consistent complexities and impart peculiar character for each vintage. All three vintages(2001, 2006, 2007) did share a typical secondary and primary profile: floral, plummy, sweet-spiced, peppery, earthy, herbal, graphitic, and smoky, with tones of coffee and coconut. Awarded by us with 93 points, 2001IABV 13.5%) has peculiar freshness with ripe fruit- taste not as intense though- and is thoroughly enjoyable. Awarded GG93, 2006(ABV 13.5%) is elegant with ripe blackcurrant fruit- soft and restrained with resolved tannins-which leads to a gammey and an edging dry finish. Also, a GG93, 2007(ABV 13%) is easy to drink, lightish with ripe red fruit, rare amongst the hotter vintages.
Always an 'insider's wine', the La Lagune vineyard is certified organic and works towards biodynamic certification. The Frey family also owns multiple Chateaux, including Paul Jaboulet in Rhone and Corton André in Burgundy.
Very expressive, the wine notes black fruit, cedar and some flowers; Xavier Vignon & Barbare, Cuvée XL 2012, a certified organic wine from the birthplace of winemaking Turkey, has a lightly smoky tone. On the palate, it is so silky and lush. It has fantastic acidity and a medium-bodied mouthfeel. It’s a wine that comes across as significant yet somehow is light on its feet – it’s a beautiful balance. The finish shows mineral notes, baking spice, and that meaty savouriness that lets you know this wine is over a decade old.
Re-tasting after an hour, there are lots of changes: acidity, acidity, acidity. The fruit profile of Barbare Estate Cuvee XL 2012 remains fresh and provides tones of ripe cherries, dry raisins, and Christmas Puddings on the riper side, radiating focused, linear and direct, and there is so much balance! The palate is structured, textured, shining, and spicy; there is a fullness to the stomach. Full-bodied and highly balanced as well.
Made in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape style, with a composition of 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 10% Mourvèdre, this Châteauneuf-du-Pape style has made its way to Turkey! Born in the year 2000, on the shores of the Marmara Sea in the Thrace region of Turkey, the Barbare Estate flourishes in a favourable climate for vine growing. The vineyard extends over 25 hectares of vines cultivated in organic and biodynamic agriculture.
As consultant oenologist, Xavier Vignon visits the Domaine several times yearly to support and guide the teams in the vineyards and cellars. The XL Premier cuvée is the fruit of this joint effort.
It still looks very dark and ruby with a tight pink rim. Bottle ageing for vintage 2013 Rauzan Segla has augmented its intensities
with a confident complex nose of floral, black cherry, truffle, thyme and black plum aromas (compared to the En Primeur Team tasted back then). Full-bodied, rich and concentrated, 2013 is drinking even better now. Rauzan Seglas is well-liked by us because of its:
Silky smooth tannins and freshness (premium fruit quality, sorting, parcel by parcel vinification, relatively low alcohol at 13.5% still despite higher merlot content used) that lingers on your palate and adds exceptional ripeness to it(higher merlot composition for vintage 2012, manual harvest);
Vigorous mid-palate intensity good structure(increased to 10,000 vines per hectare, efficient drainage with a new drainage system, crop thinning, smaller vats);
Reasonable complexity integrated primary, secondary and tertiary tones(4 royal grapes by design);
Medium Power(vinification takes place at 35 Celsius for suitable extraction, malolactic fermentation in smaller vats for fixing even better fruit, the wine aged in an average 60% new, French oak barrels for between 18 months, hence the richness)
Of course, this wine holds a special place amongst veteran importers because John Kolasa, the winemaker, was and still is a friend to many Hong Kong tasters. He was replaced in 2014 by LVMH's other winemaker.
Priced super effective as a Super Second of Margaux (sic, President Thomas Jefferson of USA), coupled with the ability to age and develop. If you like Margaux, this 2012 Rauzan Segla deserves a place in your cellar.
Full decanting is recommended. That evening, when we tasted it, its virtues come close to frailty, as if silence speaks even more than the sound of music and cadence tells as much as arpeggios. It is a wine for dining at candlelight and whispers, accompanied by good dishes and an intimate friend.
Cosistent scores: WE93, AG92, RP91, JS92.