Bruno's informative fiche technique recounts some rather bloodthirsty dates in our history, all ending in '15. Quite what the relevance of Agincourt, Waterloo, the Great war and the mindless act of terrorism in Paris have to do with this 'exceptional' vintage, we don't really know... Anyway, confused but intrigued we pressed on. The Lalande Borie 2015 is produced from 55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Sauvignon and is so gentle and charming it gives the impression that you could drink it straight away. Sweet plums and svelte purple fruit delight the palate. This isn't profound, but it is juicy and enjoyable.
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.
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.