This estate is in a cool, limestone terroir on the eastern side of Saint- Emilion, and it's been firing on all cylinders over the past decade, in no small part due to the talented director, David Suire. The 2018 Château Laroque checks in as almost all Merlot (there is 3% Cabernet Franc) that comes from an incredibly strict selection of just 41% of the total production. Brought up in a mix of new and used barrels, it's more about finesse than power, offering a gorgeous perfume of ripe black cherries, mulberries, cassis, violets, spring flowers, and chalky minerality. Medium to full-bodied, pure, and incredibly elegant on the palate, it builds nicely with time in the glass, has ultra-fine tannins, flawlessly integrated tannins, acidity and fruit, and a great finish. It's as classy as they come. Approachable today with a decant, it will drink nicely for 20 years or more. Readers looking for an impeccably made, classic, high-quality Saint-Emilion that doesn't break the bank should back up the truck for this beauty.
The 2018 Laroque is composed of 97% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc, aged in 50% new barriques. The alcohol is 14.5% and the pH is 3.48. Deep garnet-purple colored, it bursts from the glass with flamboyant notes of stewed black plums, Black Forest cake and boysenberries, plus hints of candied violets, star anise and unsmoked cigars with a playful waft of sassafras. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is packed with juicy black fruits, supported by plush tannins and tons of freshness, finishing long and fragrant. (LPB)
Aromas of ripe blackcurrants, spiced cherries, cloves, praline, tea leaves and crushed gravel. It’s medium-to full-bodied with firm, tightly knit tannins and fresh acidity. Fleshy, chewy layers lead to a long, mineral finish. Late bottling helped here. Try from 2023.
The 2018 Laroque is every bit as impressive as it was from barrel. Silky, polished and refined, the 2018 marks a major step forward for the château. Lavender, spice, blueberry, cedar and mint all grace a Saint-Émilion built more on finesse than power. The long, persistent finish, with its saline accents, adds to the wine's pedigree. The 2018 is beautifully done. The blend is 97% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc. Technical Director David Suire gave the 2018 lots 26-29 days on the skins fermented in cement, with manual pump-overs and punch-downs. New oak is 55%. (AG)
A classically balanced wine, and a concentrated and darkly fruited take on the vintage. This has elegance by the bucketload and is going to reward another five to eight years in bottle. Excellent stuff. (JA)
This has some frank ripeness with a mix of dark plum, loganberry and cherry paste flavors. They're integrated nicely though, with a sandalwood and dried anise spine for form through the refined finish. (JM)
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