Château Lalande Borie, St Julien, 2016

  Château Lalande Borie

Bruno Borie refers to 2016 as a 'biblical vintage'. He explained that they had the 'flood', the 'plagues of Egypt', a time in the 'wilderness' and then the 'road to Jerusalem'. Rather surprisingly he didn't mention 'sacrifice' a term that propriétaires like to use when talking about yields... This was one of our 'must buy' wines last year. The 2015 set our hearts on fire, so we had high hopes for the 2016. What we found was so different in style, a beautifully constructed, very dark fruited, inky Lalande Borie with notes of mulberry, black cherry and liquorice. It is packed with tiny black berries, very intense and vivid and also quite structured. The tannins are perfectly in proportion and there is really fresh acidity, but this is a serious, grown up wine that will require cellaring. If you want something fun and enjoyable to drink over the next decade, go for the 2015. If you want something for long term cellaring, take the 2016. 55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Contains Sulphites.

About Château Lalande Borie

Château Lalande-Borie has belonged to the Borie family, owners of such top vineyards as Ducru Beaucaillou, Grand Puy Lacoste and Haut Batailley since 1970. Now managed by Ducru's owner Bruno Borie, the same energy has been spent here on improving quality as at the other properties. Lalande-Borie lies to the west of Ducru on a single plot of 25ha surrounded by well-known Crus Classés. The setting, higher in elevation and further back from the Gironde estuary, produces a wine with plenty of typical St Julien characteristics - rich cherry fruits, deep and smooth - but which matures a little quicker than the Grands Vins from the family's other properties.

Appellation: St Julien

St-Julien may not have any first growths like its neighbour Pauillac but has a raft of high-performing Châteaux in its ranks, second through to fourth growths, Including Ducru-Beaucaillou, Léoville Las Cases, Léoville-Poyferré, Léoville-Barton. Gruaud-Larose and Talbot. For many St-Julien is quintessential claret, robust, powerful but refined subtle and poised. Gravelly soils dominate, hence wide plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon with some Merlot.

Grape Blend: Cab. Sauvignon | Merlot | Cab. Franc

The hallowed Bordeaux trinity of grape varieties that form the stock left bank blend. Cabernet's Sauvignon's acidic, tannic complex qualities marry ideally with Merlot's sweet, softy flesh characteristics, and Cabernet Franc's finesse and freshness. This classic combination has worked so successfully in Bordeaux that it is now mirrored the world over, particularly in warm sunny climates such as the Languedoc, Tuscany, South Africa, Australia and Napa Valley.