Wednesday, 8 August 2012
Avril 2012 dégustation primeurs 2011
"Ruby red with intense crimson tints.
Pleasant bouquet with an abundant variety of intense aromas: graphite, cherry, mint, chocolate, tanned leather, a delicate touch of rubber and strong hints of liquorice, plum, tar and violets. A palpable touch of Virginia tobacco on the finish.
Lovely fresh sweet plum on the palate veering to slightly ripe Morello cherry.
Nicely balanced wine; the acid outweighs its alcohol.
The tannins are round and velvety and completely fill the mouth (6/6). Long with violets on the finish.
The 2010 displayed black truffle on the bouquet and on the palate, which I could not find in the 2011.
In my opinion this 2011 outdoes the already pleasing 2010 and the 2009, whose wood was a little too distinct.
The ripeness of the fruit has improved.
In general terms for me, too much wood and jam do not make a good wine.
Fortunately, this chateau does not have this sort of problem."
"I like Mr Paolo Baracchino a lot. This very cultured Italian gentleman from the world of wine and gastronomy is very distinguished and has an extraordinary ability to describe the aromas and tastes of wines. On my opinion he excels even more with aromas than with tastes, for which in my view JM. Quarin leads. Both tasters are shining examples and I would encourage you to read their comments, whenever you get the opportunity, not to follow them blindly, but to help you develop the yardsticks with which you can assess and form an opinion about wines according to your own taste and hone your own analytical skills, so you can choose the best wines for your cellar. " Guy Meslin
Tuesday, 15 May 2012
Lafleur Laroze is the second wine of Château Laroze.
It is a Saint-Emilion Grand Cru.
"Intense garnet robe.
Elegant, fairly strong bouquet with a complex feel, and sweet vanilla and fresh red fruit aromas with a little liquorice.
Soft attack which grows to fill the mouth with noticeable, smooth tannins, which are like nectar on the palate. This wine has volume, depth and taste! It is a good idea to let the wine breathe a little to highlight the sweet tannins.
The tannins carry right through to the finish, which is fresh, but they have blended in enough to be really enjoyable. The palate aromas are the same as on the bouquet with some extra slight notes of pepper and sweet spice."
Even if a winemaker may not be the most objective when describing his own wine, nevertheless, I think this comment isn’t too far from the truth."
Wednesday, 11 April 2012
"Abundant ripe,fresh cherry, toasty oak and perfume. Fresh in the context of the vintage with chewy tannins, admirable concentration and a good kick of acidity. Delicious. Good raw material. Lush, broad and succulent."
Laroze is placed at the 11th place amongst the 61 wines tasted.
Great for us!
Monday, 30 January 2012
It was the first general review after malolactic fermentation and I felt the same sensations as when we were tasting the grapes from the vines in August and September. I said and wrote at the time that because the grape pips were so ripe so early as a result of the very dry conditions, there was no astringency and the tannins were soft without being dominant. I said I expected a 2011 vintage with soft tannins.
This is exactly what I tasted today.
The tannins are soft and clear-cut, the body is very well endowed and there is still fresh, ripe fruit on the palate. This is not a muscle-bound vintage, but one that is sensual and soft with clear-cut aromas and tannins. It is beautifully elegant and smooth, and glides across the palate very comfortably, which makes it so attractive.
This will be an easy vintage to approach that is accommodating and sociable, enjoyable early, but also worth laying down for quite a while, because it has the acidity to age well.
In fact 2009, 2010 and 2011 make a fine trilogy!
Tuesday, 17 January 2012
Wednesday, 27 July 2011
For that to happen, the vines need to undergo hydric stress.
What’s special about this vintage is that has already dramatically lacked water and undergone very high temperatures at the end of June, when the grapes started showing signs of being burnt. At the mid-way point in the grapes’ colour change, we are already extremely tight in terms of water.
Fortunately over the last few days, the Bordeaux area has been subject to irregular, serial rainy spells in which very varied quantities of water have fallen from place to place. For example my work colleague, who lives near La Réole on the banks of the Garonne River and whose family owns a vineyard, recorded practically 30 mm (1.2 inches) of rainfall over the last 24 hours, while at Laroze in the middle of Saint-Emilion I only saw 1 mm! I ate my heart out! The rain hasn’t finished yet: we’ve had 20 mm (3/4 inch) since the beginning of July. The temperatures are cooler, the vines can breathe again and the humid air and windy weather is good for the colour change, when the grapes turn from green to red, then dark blue. 20% of the Merlot grapes have already changed colour.
Of course, the vines absorb water through their leaves and even if the ground still remains dry deep down, the humidity in the air and the showers are enough to supply them with what they need for now.
Again, none of all this tells us anything about the quality of the vintage. I personally hope we get a lousy, rainy July, which isn’t too hot, with fine weather at the end of the summer for ripening and the harvest, but I’m not sure the weather forecaster cares about what I wish …
Tuesday, 14 June 2011
The frequency and volume of the rainfall in July and August will be decisive for what follows. Today the vines look well, everything appears to be normal, even if it is very early. We only observe slower growth and a slightly lighter green in the leaves than usual.
This disease is basically linked to warm temperatures and humidity. The major drought conditions at the beginning of this year only delayed its appearance. As a result, we have not had to spray the vines as much, which of course is a good thing.
Friday, 10 June 2011
Wednesday, 1 June 2011
Thursday, 19 May 2011
Tuesday, 3 May 2011
Sunday, 1 May 2011
Wednesday, 20 April 2011
Monday, 11 April 2011
This is the most subtle Laroze I know.
Dark, intense, beautiful robe. Elegant, fruity, ripe, smooth, subtle bouquet. Smooth attack, mellow as it develops, very hedonistic, the wine fills out to become rich and airy. Packed with aromas, its finish is long, complex and elegant. Delicious and more epicurean than ever. A great success.
Saturday, 2 April 2011
Their commentaries will regularly be published here and will also be accessible on a sheet "press review" on the web site of Laroze.
Tuesday, 26 October 2010
On the 22nd, we organised our end-of-the-harvest “Gerbaude” celebration with the 58 people, who took part over a lunch-time buffet. It was a relief and great satisfaction to have been able to wait for the grapes to ripen properly while being able to already taste some wines in the making in the tanks with the characteristic tenderness of the ripe tannins just as we like them to be.
We have a great vintage in our hands with outstanding colour, good acid levels and tannins just at the right point of ripeness. It’s up to us now to craft a truly great wine!
Friday, 15 October 2010
The temperatures have dropped at night down to 5°C and the maximum during the day is 17 to 20°C, so the maturation is slowed but there is plenty of light during the day with a beautiful blue sky so the vignes still work and the maturity is still progressing. The grapes are very healthy with no botrytis.
This morning, we tasted the juice from the first tanks of Merlot, which are just starting to ferment. They are already full of colour, which is a sign the grape skins were extremely ripe and the aromas are really top quality to make a great wine. We are clearly in the range of ripe fruits. This is very promising, but the yield of fruit is low.
In the photo you can see the grapes sliding gently into the tank.
Monday, 27 September 2010
Monday, 21 June 2010
Last winter was what I call a proper winter. It was cold like winters should be and the cold lasted right through to the end. I don’t follow rainfall from October to February, because the rain gauge breaks when it freezes, but it seems, in looking the stats that we had a normal a amount of rain.
We didn’t have any real warmth until April, when a good ten-day spell of heat kick-started vine growth. Up to then the vines still had a distinctly wintry look about them. We quickly returned to cold weather at the end of April and at the beginning of May, which was sharp and longer than usual, and really halted the growth of vegetation. We got through the period when frosts can do damage at the end of April, but only by the skin of our teeth at the full moon on the 28th. May really only started to warm up in its second fortnight, but we didn’t see growth take off as clearly and vigorously as we would like at this time of year. The vines began to flower in the last week of May at Laroze, where the ground is warm and early. The Merlot vines flowered in damp conditions which were colder than average, but the fine weather and normal temperatures finally returned the following week with a breeze just right to promote good fertilisation of the flowers. The earliest Merlot vines will doubtless display poor fruit set and “hens and chickens”. The later Merlot will be good, as should all the Cabernet, which flowered splendidly. The Merlot vines flower longer over time.
At the same time there was an early lack of water in the ground, which slowed initial growth down even more. Rainfall was significantly low in March, April and May, when it rained 30% less than the seasonal average, which is enormous. This represents a shortage of about 100 mm of rain in these three months that begin the growth cycle. One of the consequences of this is that the goodness in the organic material that was spread on the plots of vines that were lacking a little in vigour in spring, did not penetrate the soil, so the vines did not receive the boost at the time when they most needed it. As a result, growth is quite irregular in mid-June with a lot of bunches on stalks, which are sometimes a little short and with too few leaves, which will not be enough to feed all the fruit adequately. The bottom line is there are too many mouths to feed and not enough food on the vines which didn’t get enough water and warmth at the right time.
So the specific characteristics of the beginning of the 2010 vintage are a winter that lasted and spring drought, which will leave their mark in different ways depending on the different terroirs and what happens next in the ensuing seasons.
It is quite unusual to see drought setting in so early, with lawns already slightly brown and underground drain outlets showing so little flow.
The hydric stress of the vines that we hope occurs in August so that the fruit ripens well, is coming a month and a half early. This will have an impact depending on the weather that follows.
However, we don’t want the 100 mm of missing rain to fall now or lasting bad weather to set in. We hope that storms will deliver the water required at regular intervals so that the vines will be regularly fed, but without any damage from hail or flooding.
We will take what God sees fit to give us and the different terroirs’ water retention capacity will do the rest.
Whatever happens, the intelligence of the winegrower also has a role to play and we will adapt what we do in the vineyard to promote the retention of water in the soil and reduce transpiration loss by trimming lower parts of the vines and destroying the patches of grass between the rows.
I was a little taken aback a few days ago to see that some of my colleagues thought that everything was fine as the year begins. They could well receive a rude awakening later on.
Every year is different and if the conditions are identified properly and well understood by the vinegrower, he can reduce the impact on the quality of the fruit and optimise the quality of the wines produced. This is what our profession is all about and what is at the heart of the passion that drives us to live so close to Nature and work in conjunction with her.
Friday, 30 April 2010
(It seems like Mr Parker is the only one to have missed the real qualities of this wine...(G.Meslin)
Wednesday, 28 April 2010
I often feel there is a mismatch between the quality of the tasting comments, which are enthusiastic and the score, which still remains quite inhibited, as if the journalist was afraid of letting go. It is a lot easier for them to be more generous with strong, well-known brands, because there is no risk for them except that of over-evaluating the wine. They have to stick their necks out to be generous about Laroze. So I have a clear vision of how I need to work with them to get them to know Laroze better, especially the older vintages, which often display surprisingly long-lasting youth in their aromatic freshness. Jean-Marc Quarin is an example: author of an enormous in-depth review of Bordeaux wines, having published his 13th report today, was the first commentator some years ago to discover that Laroze was capable of producing some fine successes.
The arrival of Hubert de Boüard in Laroze’s team of technical advisors brings visibility and credibility for journalists, which will reassure them and strengthen their belief that Laroze is a fully reliable Saint-Emilion, which it would be a shame to omit from one’s cellar.
Tuesday, 27 April 2010
Wednesday, 21 April 2010
Wednesday, 7 April 2010
Within the 57 Grand Crus Classés, it puts us back to the 20th position. JM.Quarin put us in the five/seven best wines.
"A very pretty wine this year. Ripe, fragrant,gentle and restrained. Supple fruit with a fine tannic frame. Drink 2014-2024"
Thursday, 1 April 2010
I asked Hubert in 2009 to join our technical team at Laroze and to help us build a higher profile with journalists, wine importers and distributors worldwide. These are the people, who are coming to Angélus this week from all over the world. Some are getting to know Laroze for the first time and others are seeing it again from a different perspective.
We are hoping that this cooperation will make Laroze better known and recognised for the premium quality of its wines, and help us to build a greater reputation.
The setting of Château Angélus, its renown and the wonderful conditions for tasting here are certainly steps in the right direction.
Laroze is also present at Château Grand-Pontet, where the wines of the 46 Saint-Emilion Grand Crus Classés are on display.
Tuesday, 30 March 2010
The best score I have given this wine en primeur
Laroze is an outsider in Saint-Emilion – you just need to take note of the quality today of the 2003, 2005 and 2008. So Guy Meslin continues to improve his quality patiently, thoughtfully and discretely. He clearly seeks to achieve long-term results: Laroze is often better at the end of ageing and in the bottle than as a primeur. I tasted all the separate batches very enthusiastically, then the final blend three times with the score this high.
The robe is dark, intense and pretty. The bouquet is elegant, fruity and subtly woody. It is initially smooth and melts in the mouth, then develops to become broad and juicy with finely chiselled texture. There is similar precision in how the fruit is expressed. The mid-palate is very juicy and the wine ends up full of flavour and impossible to spit out. It has a very strong impression of pulp and is more hedonistic than the 2005
Friday, 12 March 2010
Wednesday, 6 May 2009
Monday, 4 May 2009
Our soils of silica on top of clay produces wines, whose rich, powerful tannins meld into a subtle and elegant mouth feel that suits the feminine palate.
Women with good taste are not too keen on hard, rustic tannins and they are quite right.
I would like to thank all the lady tasters and wish this competition a fine future which I hope will become more and more international.
RVF (La Revue des vins de France)
Thursday, 9 April 2009
The bouquet is intense and pretty. The nose is distinctively fruity with floral and creamy undertones. It strokes the palate, then becomes silky and pulpy, while taking on size in the middle. It goes on with heaps of flavour and a hint of very ripe raspberry. It really builds up then finishes long, smooth and quite complex. It has lovely aromatic and tannic layers on the palate, without any harshness in the least.
The estate was hit by hail on 28 July, which made the fruit very irregular, even on the same bunch. M. Meslin told me he spent €85,000 to select the best grapes, and for the first time, 15% of the wine was sold off as generic. The final yield was 28 hectolitres per hectare. Blend: 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. Alcohol content: 13.2°.
Jean-Marc Quarin www.quarin.com
(fifth best score of the Grands Crus Classés. I think that this score should be higher considering the quality of the comment)GM.
(I can't really recognise Laroze 2008 in this comment...)GM.
James Suckling (USA)
Alan Duran (February 2009)
The tender and ripe
Alan Duran (February 2009)
This system can seperate the berries which are less matured than the others by a very simple and clever density control of each berry. The result in terms of quality of work was worth the money we put in.
This hail didn't affect too much the global yield but forced us to declassify 15% of the wine produced in basic Saint-Emilion instead of Grand Cru Classé.
So the 4100 litres of wine produced by hectare gave only 2800 litres of Grand Cru Classé.
This decision saved the quality of Laroze 2008 and will improve it in the future vintages.
In fact, this decision which I basically had no choice about, once the weather had done its damage, and which forced me to take out a loan in the middle of violent stock market turbulence, had a positive impact on the quality of the harvest, not only because it totally erased the effects of the hailstorm, but also by refining our wine’s taste profile.
I expect this enhancement in quality to be confirmed in future vintages.
So the moral is, if you believe in the quality potential of your terroir, and your fundamental guideline is that every bottle of Laroze must be quite simply delicious, you take the right decisions even in a hostile economic context!
And that’s why I have a bone to pick with the cork suppliers, the majority of whom are incapable of doing what is necessary – but that’s another story, so see the article below.