Château Laroque, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru

Château Laroque, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, 2018

  • icon-type Type

    Red

  • icon-year Year

    2018

  • icon-style Style

    Dry

  • icon-country Country

    France

  • icon-alcohollevel Alcohol level

    13%

  • icon-grapevariety Grape variety
    Merlot 97%, Cabernet Franc 3%

Superbly located on one of the highest points of Saint-Emilion, Laroque's limestone terroirs have once again shone through brilliantly in this 2018. They have produced wines that are bright, floral, and spicy with fresh salinity and a noble texture, which are the hallmark traits of this this estate.

About Château Laroque

On a limestone rock plateau, Château Laroque, the largest wine estate of Saint-Emilion, stands as a defensive stronghold, a witness to a rich and distant past.

Château Laroque’s vineyard is planted in one single block and provides a unique, truly sensational vine-growing environment which participated in Saint-Emilion’s listing as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Today’s grape composition conforms to the traditional mix of grape varieties planted in Saint-Emilion: Merlot, which on limestone gives wines flesh, vivacity, chiselled contours and layers of flavour, and Cabernet Franc which brings length on the palate and a fresh, lean finish.

With the estate’s geological diversity, from the fine Merlot plots surrounding the windmill to those planted on the slopes and terraces (which depending on their exposure can ripen two weeks later), the wine of Château Laroque is a blend of terroirs.

In the limestone character of the terroir, which the wine expresses in delicate, very chalky nuances, and in the influence of the Merlot with its density and crisp fruit character, Château Laroque shines through as a great, classic Saint-Emilion.

The estate also produces a Second Wine, Les Tours de Laroque -an easy-drinking, gentle, fruity wine that faithfully reflects the identity of the First Wine.

Grape variety
Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc is one of the major black grape varieties worldwide. It is principally grown for blending with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in the Bordeaux style, but can also be vinified alone, as in the Loire's Chinon. In addition to being used in blends and produced as a varietal in Canada and the United States, it is sometimes made into ice wine in those regions.

Cabernet Franc is lighter than Cabernet Sauvignon, making a bright pale red wine that contributes finesse and lends a peppery perfume to blends with more robust grapes. Depending on the growing region and style of wine, additional aromas can include tobacco, raspberry, bell pepper, cassis, and violets.

Records of Cabernet Franc in Bordeaux go back to the end of the 18th century, although it was planted in Loire long before that time. DNA analysis indicates that Cabernet Franc is one of two parents of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Carménère.

Cabernet Franc shares many of the same phenolic and aroma compounds as Cabernet Sauvignon but with some noticeable differences. Cabernet Franc tends to be more lightly pigmented and produces wines with the same level of intensity and richness. Cabernet Franc tends to have a more pronounced perfume with notes of raspberries, blackcurrants, violets and graphite. It is often characterised by a green, vegetal strike that can range from leaves to green bell peppers. It has slightly less tannins than Cabernet Sauvignon and tends to produce a wine with a smoother mouthfeel. New World examples of Cabernet Franc tend to emphasise the fruit more and may delay harvesting the grapes to try to minimise the green leafy notes.

Alternative Names: Bordo, Bouchet, Bouchy, Breton, Cabernet Franco, Cabernet Frank

Merlot

Merlot is a dark blue-coloured wine grape variety, that is used as both a blending grape and for varietal wines. The name Merlot is thought to be a diminutive of merle, the French name for the blackbird, probably a reference to the colour of the grape. Its softness and "fleshiness", combined with its earlier ripening, makes Merlot a popular grape for blending with the sterner, later-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon, which tends to be higher in tannin.

Along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Shiraz Cabernet, Malbec and Petit Verdot, Merlot is one of the primary grapes used in Bordeaux wine, and it is the most widely planted grape in the Bordeaux wine regions. Merlot is also one of the most popular red wine varietals in many markets. This flexibility has helped to make it one of the world's most planted grape varieties. As of 2004, Merlot was estimated to be the third most grown variety at 260,000 hectares (640,000 acres) globally. The area planted to Merlot has continued to increase, with 266,000 hectares (660,000 acres) in 2015.

While Merlot is made across the globe, there tend to be two main styles. The "International style" favoured by many New World wine regions tends to emphasise late harvesting to gain physiological ripeness and produce inky, purple coloured wines that are full in body with high alcohol and lush, velvety tannins with intense, plum and blackberry fruit. While this international style is practiced by many Bordeaux wine producers, the traditional "Bordeaux style" of Merlot involves harvesting Merlot earlier to maintain acidity and producing more medium-bodied wines with moderate alcohol levels that have fresh, red fruit flavours (raspberries, strawberries) and potentially leafy, vegetal notes.

As a varietal wine, Merlot can make soft, velvety wines with plum flavours. While Merlot wines tend to mature faster than Cabernet Sauvignon, some examples can continue to develop in the bottle for decades. There are three main styles of Merlot - a soft, fruity, smooth wine with very little tannins; a fruity wine with more tannic structure; and, finally, a brawny, highly tannic style made in the profile of Cabernet Sauvignon. Some of the fruit notes commonly associated with Merlot include cassis, black and red cherries, blackberry, blueberry, boysenberry, mulberry, olallieberry and plum. Vegetable and earthy notes include black and green olives, cola nut, bell pepper, fennel, humus, leather, mushrooms, rhubarb and tobacco. Floral and herbal notes commonly associated with Merlot include green and black tea, eucalyptus, laurel, mint, oregano, pine, rosemary, sage, sarsaparilla and thyme. When Merlot has spent significant time in oak, the wine may show notes of caramel, chocolate, coconut, coffee bean, dill weed, mocha, molasses, smoke, vanilla and walnut.

Alternative Names: Alicante, Alicante Noir, Bégney, Bidal, Bidalhe, Bigney, Bigney rouge, Bini, Bini Ruzh, Bioney, Black Alicante, Bordeleza belcha, Crabutet, Crabutet Noir, Crabutet Noir merlau, Hebigney, Higney, Higney rouge, Langon, Lecchumskij, Médoc Noir, Merlau, Merlaut, Merlaut Noir, Merle, Merle Petite, Merleau, Merlô, Merlot Noir, Merlot black, Merlot blauer, Merlot crni, Merlot nero, Merlott, Merlou, Odzalesi, Odzhaleshi, Odzhaleshi Legkhumskii, Petit Merle, Picard, Pikard, Plan medre, Planet Medok, Plant du Médoc, Plant Médoc, Saint-Macaire, Same de la Canan, Same dou Flaube, Sème de la Canau, Sème Dou Flube, Semilhon rouge, Semilhoum rouge, Semilhoun rouge, Sémillon rouge, Sud des Graves, Vidal, Vini Ticinesi, Vitrai and Vitraille

About Saint-Emilion

Saint-Émilion Grand Cru wines are produced under slightly tighter production restrictions than regular Saint-Émilion wines. As with other grand cru appellations, the intention behind this is to improve the quality, and to distinguish the area's finer wines from the more everyday wines.

However the designation is distinct from that of Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classé; confusingly for the non-expert, the top-tier wines from Saint-Émilion are not marked out by their grand cru status, but by their appearance in the Saint-Émilion Wine Classification, which confers grand cru classé (64 Châteaux in 2012) and premier grand cru classé status (14 classés "B" and, at the very top, 4 classés "A"). This works in a similar way to the classifications of the Médoc, Graves and Sauternes, but with one significant difference: it is periodically reviewed to keep it up-to-date and relevant. It was first drawn up in 1955, and (after a controversial review in 2006) was most recently updated in 2012.

There are four key production differences between the production restrictions for standard Saint-Emilion wines, and those classified as Grand Cru wines. First, the vineyard yield is restricted to 8000 kilograms per hectare rather than 9000 (which translates to 5500 litres per hectare rather than 6500). Second, the grapes (with the significant exception of Merlot) must be harvested with a must weight of at least 189 grams of sugar per litre rather than 180. Third, the finished wine must reach a minimum alcohol level of 11.5 percent abv rather than 11 percent. Fourth, and finally the wine must be stored by the producer for an extra 14 months before being released for sale.

Since the introduction of the Saint-Émilion Grand Cru appellation in 1954, many have suggested that these conditions are too relaxed to warrant the term Grand Cru. The yield restriction is the same as that in force in Bordeaux's other red-wine appellations (e.g. Pauillac and Graves), and the exception of Merlot from the second condition instantly excludes more than 65 percent of the total Saint-Émilion vineyard area. Further, the increase of the minimum alcohol level by 0.5 percent is effectively meaningless, as very few, if any, wines from Saint-Émilion ever contain less than 12 percent alcohol. The only condition which escapes this criticism is the extended élevage – the period which the wine spends (in tank, barrel or bottle) before general release.

All French wines undergo official panel tastings before being granted AOC status, which provides some guarantee of quality. But the panels test for typicity and consistency (they do not compare one Grand Cru appellation with another) and the quality expected of Saint-Émilion Grand Cru wines has been firmly established over the preceding 60-or-so vintages

Regular price $241.00

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This is a wine from our Overseas - In Bond Collection. The wine is quoted as a price in S$ for purchase and transfer into a UK bonded warehouse. The purchase price is a duty/tax free price and does not include delivery to Singapore. Please contact us below if you wish to enquire delivery or storage options for a wine from our Overseas - In Bond Collection to Singapore or elsewhere.

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