The first grape plantings on what we know as Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste date from the 1500s and the property began to take its present shape in the 1700s. The beautiful château itself, still in use, was built in the second half of the 19th Century. Grand-Puy-Lacoste was classified a Cinquième Cru (Fifth Growth) in the Bordeaux Classification of 1855.
Vineyard area totals 55ha planted to Cabernet Sauvignon (75%), Merlot (20%) and Cabernet Franc (5%). As is typical in Pauillac, deep, gravelly topsoil overlies a limestone base. The Grand Puy of the name is a low hill that interrupts the flat landscape. Owned by the prominent Borie family since 1978, the vineyard, cellars and winery have all been extensively renovated since 2004. The Grand Vin is classic Pauillac – full-bodied, tannic, concentrated and age-worthy, offering cassis, cedar, tobacco and truffle scents and a juicy mouthful of flavour. There is a second wine, Lacoste Borie.
93-96/100 Robert Parker Jr. The greatest Grand Puy Lacoste since the 2005, 2000 and 1990, the fabulous 2010 reveals all the hallmarks of this estate. It boasts a dense purple color along with classic notes of creme de cassis, blueberries, blackberries, crushed rocks and flowers, sweet tannin and an exceptionally full-bodied and multilayered mouthfeel as well as a boatload of tannin. Cellar it for a decade and drink it over the following three decades. Proprietor Xavier Borie’s 2010 recalls the 2005.
Pauillac is Bordeaux’s most acclaimed appellation, the only one with three Premier Cru properties: Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Mouton-Rothschild and Château Latour. These and other Pauillac chateaux produce robust, full-flavored and long-lived red wines made from Cabernet-based blends. Though winemaking techniques and microclimates vary throughout Pauillac, producing some variations in style, classic Pauillac wines have juicy flavours of blackcurrant and cedar, often with coffee, chocolate and graphite notes. Pauillac, part of the Médoc region on Bordeaux’s Left Bank, has gravelly and well-drained soils that force vines to grow long and strong roots. Struggling a bit for water, the vines produce grapes with high tannins and concentrated juices. Nearby rivers and the Atlantic Ocean modulate temperatures, preventing the grapes from ripening too quickly. Such grapes make powerful wines that may age and improve for decades. However, in Pauillac, as in other old-world wine regions, some winemakers are working to develop softer red wines that maintain the local wines’ traditional substance and flavours, but are more approachable immediately upon release.