A VERY RELIABLE 3. CRU WINE WHICH IS EXCELLENT VALUE FOR MONEY
Caroline Frey - has been taking care of La Lagune since 2004
La Lagune is situated on the right side of the road, called Route des Chateaux, after you pass Bordeaux suburb, Blanquefort (15-20 minutes drive), in the comune of Ludon. The soil here is mostly gravel with some sand in upper layer. The 80 ha big vineyard houses vines of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 10% Petit Verdot. La Lagune can be "mistaken" for a classy Margaux wine when tasted blind, with its sheer elegance and finesse. Some years ago (I think it was in 2011) when I spoke to a winemaker from Margaux commune about La Lagune making splendid wines, the comment was "La Lagune has a "warm" soil and Merlot is too grilled and overripe". Utter nonsense!
My first visit there was in 1985, I wasn't particulary well-received as the owner was morning sour for unknown reason, but she became much more happier later on during visit, as she did find out that I knew a lot about wine. Since then, I rarely visited La Lagune, but it changed in March 2004, when I was accomodated at La Lagune for a couple of days by Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux during primeur week. I met young and carismatic Caroline Frey by then. She's just started to manage La Lagune after her parents bought this property in 2000. Caroline has steadily pushed the quality up, bought some more land and made a lot of improvements. She also makes wine at family's other winery since 2006, Paul Jaboulet in Cotes du Rhone.
In September 2013, Caroline Frey appointed a young qualified oenologist, Maylis de Labordiere, as new cellarmaster at La Lagune. She's not of Bordeaux origin, comes from Beaujolais. On my question, "why you chose Bordeaux and not Burgundy to work with wine", she answered, "many friends of mine told me to go to Bordeaux and take education there, as it is the best place to do it". It was very hard for her to start with so difficult vintage as 2013, but it's helped a lot to have such two fine vintages to work with following 2013 and be that successful with both.
I've visited La Lagune frequently since 2004 and every year since 2010.
2015 La Lagune (barrel sample) 94p
Tasted in April 2016 and there were two blends to analyse. Usual blend, 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot was well-packed with fruit, very stylish, sappy and refined, silky texture, precise and well-composed. Excellent effort, close to 2010 and 2005 vintage in quality. Rated 94p. Blend of Cabernet Sauvignon from different parcels showed lot of acidity, more power and depth here than in usual blend Rated 94+p. It will be interesting to see, if some of this special blend will go into final assemblage and in case of yes how much of it.
2014 La Lagune (barrel sample) 93p
Tasted twice - last time in April 2016. Consistent notes. This wine was really delicious with splendid acidity, freshness, very precise, enchanting sweetness, splendid balance, long fruity aftertaste. Lot of style here and this wine is great success for the vintage.
2013 La Lagune 89p (barrel sample)
Tasted twice - last time in April 2015. Consistent notes. In April 2014, I tasted four different blends and already then Caroline considered of declassyfing 2013 La Lagune. She didn't do it anyway and chose the cuvée of almost 100% Cabernet Sauvignon as Grand Vin. She admitted that 2013 vintage was the hardest and most difficult to make since she's become manager of the property. I wouldn't say it's a typical wine of the property. Well-balanced, light and round, compensates for lack of concentration and depth with charm, elegance and seductive approach.
2012 La Lagune 92p
Tasted four times - last time in April 2016. Consistent notes. Fine display, delightful wine with very aromatic nose, seductive, tasty on palate, fine acidity and complexity, long aftertaste. Heartbreaker wine and a big success for the vintage.
2011 La Lagune 92-93p
Tasted three times - last time in April 2016. Consistent notes. It had splendid nose of black cherries, fine depth and intensity, strong structure and backbone, great acidity and persistent finish.
2010 La Lagune 95p
Tasted three times - last time in April 2016. Consistent notes. This wine was tightly knitted, excellent intensity and concentration, long fruity finish which is quite firm. Fat fruit and tannin. Very expressive wine with beautiful future.
2009 La Lagune 93-94p
Tasted twice - last time in April 2016. Consistent notes. It had sweeter fruit on the nose and palate than in 2010, less deep and concentrated but elegant and tasty with meaty finish. Impressive effort.
2005 La Lagune 94+p
Tasted twice - last time in April 2016. Consistent notes. This was a very aromatic wine and complete one with cacao powder, tasty chocolate, exquisite balance, fabulous depth and long finish. Excellent stuff.
1996 La Lagune 92p
Tasted in March 2004. Very dark, tight, great depth, very concentrated and long. Very Cabernet Sauvignon wine with cedar and tobacco leave flavors. Classy wine.