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    23:15 PM
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    92.0 Tb
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    165
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    62
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History

The history of Grand-Puy-Lacoste is fascinating in many ways. It is a family saga going back to the 16th century.

The name Grand-Puy, already mentioned in documents from the Middle Ages, comes from the ancient term "puy” which means "hillock, small height”. True to its name, the vineyard sits on outcrops with a terroir similar to that of the Médoc's first growths. From Since the 16th century the property remained attached to a single family from generation to generation, in a direct line through marriage until 1920, before connecting with another family in 1978—the Borie.

 

The first owner on record was M. de Guiraud, a member of the Bordeaux Parliament.

The estate most often passed along female lines of inheritance and was the dowry in successive marriages. One of M. de Guiraud's daughters married M. de Jehan, another member of Parliament. Their son, Bertrand de Jehan, had a daughter who inherited the property and married M. d'Issac. Traditionally, an owner's name was added to a place-name (like Grand-Puy), but the inheriting daughters took their husbands' names upon marriage which explains the numerous changes of name by which Grand-Puy has been known. Thus when d'Issac's daughter married a Bordeaux lawyer named Saint Guirons, the property became "Grand-Puy Saint-Guirons”. It was their daughter, Marie-Jeanne de Saint Guirons, who married François Lacoste.

 

With this marriage in the 19th century the property acquired the name Lacoste. Still, the Saint-Guirons name remained as a reminder of the connection between the two families and of the property's heritage, so for a time the wines were labeled "Saint Guirons-Lacoste”. François Lacoste and Marie-Jeanne de Saint Guirons had three children, and after the couple's death their son Pierre-Frédéric Lacoste inherited the property in 1844.

 

Pierre-Frédéric Lacoste was an enterprising man, deeply committed to his estate. Like François-Xavier Borie the following century, Lacoste focused on quality and improving the wine's reputation. In 1855 he rebuilt the château, and that same year Grand-Puy-Lacoste's status was officially recognized by its inclusion in the official listing of Bordeaux's Great Classified Growths.

 

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Vineyards

Grand-Puy-Lacoste is situated in the terroir of Pauillac, one of the Médoc's six communal appellations along the Gironde estuary's left bank. The Pauillac appellation is limited to the communal district covering 2,274 hectares. It boasts 18 properties classified in 1855 (around 85% of the appellation's total production). The commune is separated from Saint-Estèphe to the north by the marshy area of Breuil, and from Saint-Julien to the south by the hollow formed by the Juillac stream.

The plateau of Grand-Puy is west of the village, above the hamlet of Bages. This outcrop of the terrain (called a "puy” in the old local dialect) rises to around 20 meters above sea level. The site possesses a number of major benefits: the quality of the soil, a favorable climate, the experience and expertise of its people. The result is a unique conjunction of forces...

 

The estate of Grand-Puy-Lacoste comprises 90 hectares - 55 planted with vines - that are entirely located around the Château.

Since its acquisition by the Borie family in 1978, the vineyards at Grand-Puy-Lacoste have been patiently replanted. Today the balance between young and old vines is fully established at an average age of 38 years. The domain is planted with 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc. Cabernet Sauvignon is the ideal noble grape variety, forming the backbone of Grand-Puy-Lacoste's wines. The two other varieties bring nuance to the assemblage which emphasize this growth's typical character. Grand-Puy-Lacoste is deeply committed to a very precise management of its vineyard: during 20 years, chemical treatments have been halved. No insecticide has been used in the past 10 years, restoring the natural fauna. The soil has always been worked manually, using physical labor, no herbicides, double Guyot pruning. High-density planting is a factor in quality. At Grand-Puy-Lacoste there are 10,000 vines per hectare, one plant per square meter.

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Winemaking

Each year Grand-Puy-Lacoste employs a team of faithful, experienced pickers who share the same values as the Borie family.

Always with a view towards quality, a first "green harvest” (while grapes are still unripe) is made to bring yields down around 40 to 45 hecoliters per hectare.Each year the date of picking is very carefully determined to achieve the best possible maturity. Depending on changes in the weather, just a few days can alter the fruit's balance. The grapes are picked by hand using crates to keep them intact until they reach the vat house.

The Borie family calls on harvesters who have come from the same village in Spain for 45 years. They are housed on the property, requiring precise organization by Marie-Hélène Borie. Faithful to Grand-Puy-Lacoste, these harvesters work wholeheartedly to achieve the finest results. Their first visual sorting in the vineyard is vital to prepare and simplify the work when the grapes arrive at the vat house. Thanks to a mix of generations in the picking teams, decades of experience is handed down and perfected.

After picking, the grape bunches arrive at the vat house and pass along two vibrating sorting tables before de-stemming. This process of double sorting was instituted in 2006 and has contributed to a significant improvement in quality.

For François-Xavier Borie and his team, the best techniques mean nothing if they don't give expression to the terroir.A vat house equipped with the latest technology is used for a carefully controlled, classic vinification. Forty-three temperature-controlled vats of different capacities allow very precise winemaking that respects the unique character of each parcel of vines.Vatting lasts around three weeks. First, the grapes ferment for 8 to 10 days. Grand-Puy-Lacoste favors soft extractions at a temperature of 28°C, with daily pumping over to help alcoholic fermentation and enrich the wine's color and tannin with each pass through the layer of grape skins.

Maceration lasts around 10 days more to complete this extraction. During this period the temperature of each vat is carefully checked and adjusted according to its grapes' potential. Then comes malolactic fermentation to stabilize the wine and lower its acidity, making it more supple and round.

Grand-Puy-Lacoste's philosophy is simple: work with nature and follow its progress carefully; adapt to each vintage's profile as precisely as possible; minutely adjust the château's "signature” as needed. Even the most sophisticated techniques mean nothing without a basic, guiding principle: to make the best wine possible taste your samples, and then taste again.

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Inside information

Grand-Puy-Lacoste's listing in the 1855 classification placed it among the "elite” of Bordeaux wines.

Grand-Puy-Lacoste's reputation is of long date. In 1776, the King's Intendant in Aquitaine, Dupré de Saint-Maur, ranked "Saint Guirons & Lacoste” (its name at the time) fifth in a classification of Pauillac estates. This reputation for quality grew and became "official” with the 1855 classification created for the first Universal Exposition held in Paris that year. The classification, still recognized today, lists 61 properties with 18 in Pauillac—including three first growths which are among the most celebrated wines of Bordeaux. Pauillac boasts more classed growths than any other commune, and its 18 classified properties are some of Bordeaux's finest. At the time of the classification, Grand-Puy-Lacoste was named a "fifth growth”; today, connoisseurs and wine writers (among the better-known is Hugh Johnson) agree that it deserves a higher ranking. There's no doubt about the considerable improvement in the wine's quality due to the care and effort it has received over the years. This vineyard has a special place in the history of the Médoc's great growths since its size and composition has not changed at all since 1855—the domain has passed from generation to generation exactly as it was 150 years ago. Grand-Puy-Lacoste's heritage is exceptionally rich in history and tradition, and the Borie family is greatly honored to be entrusted with its future.

 

A classification steeped in history

Although lists recording minimum and maximum prices have existed in Bordeaux since 1647, the 1855 classification is of particular importance. That year, the first Universal Exposition took place under the orders of Emperor Napoléon III, who wished to increase the scale of the French National Expositions organized every five years since 1835.It is difficult to imagine the grand scale of this event. The Imperial Commission charged with coordinating the Exposition asked the Gironde's producers to send their wines to Paris, since Burgundy and Champagne would be presenting theirs for display. To make the Bordeaux presentation more interesting, a large-scale map of the Gironde was commissioned showing the location of the "superior” growths. The Emperor wished to create a hierarchy of France's great wines and wanted to identify the most noteworthy producers.

 

Published on April 18, 1855, the classification was drafted by the Union of Brokers attached to the Bordeaux Commodities Market. Based on "many years experience”, the list was based on a châteaux's long-term quality and the stability of its pricing, information that was carefully recorded by the brokers in their precious archives. This criterion of stability, stretching over several decades, eliminated any influence of vintage variation which might have falsified the results of any tasting. The 1855 classification gave pride of place to the Médoc, since all the properties listed were situated here with the exception of Château Haut-Brion, produced in the Graves.

"The 1855 classification catalogues those masterworks of winemaking whose renown and excellence span the years, resisting the effects of passing fashion and human influence. That is why for 15o years this classification has remained the unique, historic, and official reference of the world's greatest wines.” Council of Médoc Wines.

 

After the classification, owners of a number of classed-growths enlarged their estates by annexing the vines of neighboring Cru Bourgeois properties. The dimensions of Grand-Puy-Lacoste have remained strictly unchanged, an especially rare occurrence. The unchanging classification of 1855 makes these classed growths unlike any other vineyards: they belong to the heritage of France and—in a larger sense—to the universal heritage of wine. This heritage is both tangible and spiritual, guiding each château owner to fulfill an overriding duty: to preserve each property's high reputation and carry it into the future.

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users.    or    to see wine moments from your world.

 Marie-Helen Krebs, Sommelier (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste . In a tasting of  12 wines 

A "petite" 2010 vintage tasting with perfect Le Pin and other gems!

1m 5d ago

 Christoph Hons, Wine Blogger (United Kingdom)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste . In a tasting of  15 wines 

New tastingnotes. 

3m 30d ago

 Nathan Long, Wine Dealer (United Kingdom)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste . In a tasting of  13 wines 

1982 was without question one of the great vintages and from a financial viewpoint the most important year in the 20th century for Bordeaux: the vintage brought wines of superb class in not small quantities. The growing season progressed ideally. An early flowering was followed by a hot and dry summer. The resulting wines are meaty and possess powerful tannin structure.

4m 22d ago

 Andrew Caillard MW, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste . In a tasting of  126 wines 

Every now and again one stumbles across a paradox that confounds the accepted natural order of things. The 2016 Bordeaux vintage was born out of a growing season that was near-catastrophe and near-perfection. After the Hesperian Dragon’s relentless torment, the Titan God Atlas had seemingly kept the sky aloft with the help of a Phoenix. Following five months of diabolical weather patterns, a warm to hot dry summer arrived in the nick of time, not only saving a vintage, but creating one of the most spectacular vintages in a lifetime.


 The sense of relief in Bordeaux must have been as thrilling as avoiding the bullet of Russian Roulette, or the adrenalin of surviving a base-jump. The razor’s edge has never been so exquisitely fine. While the end result is not always perfect, with the odd abrasions here and there, the overall quality of the 2016 Bordeaux vintage is remarkably consistent with many Chateaux making some of their best wines in 50 years. Typically, the wines have deep colours, pure fruit aromatics, generous saturated flavours, dense rich tannin structures and bell clear acidities. Precision, freshness, elegance, smoothness and “delicate opulence” are words that are being used by various Chateaux to describe their wines.


 The Bordelais are, of course, the world’s greatest spin doctors. They leave snake charmers for dead when it comes to the art of mesmerising. The newly opened and impressive Cité du Vin, which sits on the banks of the Garonne River in Bordeaux, sparkles like a polished turd; a monument to the exaggerations and optimism of this particular type of fine wine game. Momentum is achieved through belief. There is no room for wavering or self-doubt.

5m 2d ago

 Markus Del Monego MW / Best Sommelier in the World 1998, MW (Germany)  tasted  2 wines  from  Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste . In a tasting of  272 wines 

BORDEAUX VINTAGE 2016 / Tasting "en primeur" is a challenge every year. The wines tasted are showing a tendency only and it is still the beginning of a longer process of evolution and maturation in the barrels. There might be some changes during the next year and a half until the wines will be bottled, but already today the tendency is quite clear. For most of the red wines it will be an outstanding vintage, a vintage for Cabernet, old vines, limestone and clay soil. It was a challenging year for the vintners. An incredibly wet spring was worrying the winegrowers and at the beginning of June, the spirits were down. However warm and dry weather between June 3 and June 11 creating an close to ideal situation for the flowering and good weather conditions starting in mid June changed the nature of the vintage. The fine weather continued into July and August. The month of August was featuring hot weather and a remarkable amount of sunshine but the absence of rain let to water stress. Heavy rain in mid September set an end to water stress and when the sun returned on September 20 the vintage was saved as there was excellent weather till to the end of the harvest. The effects were various. the white wines are on a good quality level and display fruit and flavour but the acidity is lower than in previous vintages and the white wines show an opulent and rather soft style. The noble sweet wines are extremely pure and are more on the rich and powerful side than on the freshness. For the red wines originating from the right terroirs and old vines, the vintage an be called outstanding. Water stress was managed well on limestone and clay terroirs, Cabernet varieties did extremely well and old vines found water even during the stressful dry periods of summer. In some few red wines the tannins are slightly harsh, almost bitter, a result of water stress and/or intense extraction. In general the red wines are on an excellent level with an advantage for the left bank, mainly the Médoc area, and the classic great terroirs of Saint-Emilion and Pomerol. 

5m 10d ago

 Christer Byklum / Leading Scandinavian wine blogger, Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste . In a tasting of  75 wines 

In 2016 Pauillac has made some excellent wines and on the top, Mouton has made something very special and might be wine of the vintage competing with Petrus. Lots of estate has made excellent wines from Pauillac this year. Saint-Estephe has also made stunning wines and Cos d'Estournel has made one of the greatest wines I have ever tasted from them. Northern Médoc is far better in 2016 than in 2015, but for me, 2016 on a whole delivers more. 2015 for me eas a bit hyped even if the wines were very good indeed. 2016 probably has the edge over 2011 as well that is seriously undervalued in the market, but will give many some surprises for the future.

5m 13d ago

 Mikke Frisk, Wine Collector (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste . In a tasting of  28 wines 

DRC Romanée-Conti 1961, Pétrus 1961, Unico 1961, Krug 1961, Château margaux 1961....etc.

7m 18d ago

 Fernando Pessoa, Pro (Spain)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste . In a tasting of  50 wines 

The Annual Union des Grands Crus Tasting in London - Bordeaux Vintage 2014 - My TOP 50.

10m 13d ago

 Dylan O'Brien / Sommelier, Pro (Ireland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste . In a tasting of  36 wines 

Bordeaux left bank vintage 2012 tasting.

11m 7d ago

 Omar Khan, Wine Writer (United States)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste . In a tasting of  16 wines 

“Bordeaux vintage 1982 Dinner at Restaurant Daniel / Château Pichon-lalande 1982 / Here is a spellbinding wine, soaring from the glass with aromas of currants, smoked meat, truffles, oregano perhaps, this wine is wrapped in nuanced, alluring velvet. Chocolate, earth and cassis dance together at the mid palate, and it radiates a freshness and depth that are just exuberant. Here the Merlot-Cabernet partnership has flourished unforgettably, with cherries, red berries, pepper all beating the drums on the lavish, lingering finish. It is one of the wines of the vintage and is going from strength to strength. 97 Points ”

1y 3m ago

 Andrew Caillard MW, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste . In a tasting of  109 wines 

“Bordeaux 2015 Part II / Château Margaux 2015 / 100-points / Medium deep colour. Lovely cherry, cola, herb aromas. Silky smooth beautifully balanced wine with red currant, red cherry plum flavours with graphite, espresso, chinotto notes, fine loose knit lacy slightly graphite textures and roasted coffee mocha notes. Fruit expands towards the back palate with light graphite plume at the finish. One of the great wines of the vintage and an evocative salute to Ch Margaux’s great winemaker Paul Pontallier (22nd April 1956 – 27th March 2016). 98-100 points ”

1y 4m ago

 Andrew Caillard MW, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste . In a tasting of  104 wines 

“Bordeaux Vintage 2015 Part I / Vieux Château Certan 2015:100 points: Deep colour. Fresh aromatic musky dark plum aromas with praline, fine espresso, vanilla oak. Sweet dark cherry, musky plum praline violet flavours, beautiful long fine chalky silky tannins, superb savoury oak complexity and mid palate viscosity.  Fine dry grainy finish with beautiful flavour length. A very sophisticated wine with lovely freshness and line. Finesse and elegance. ”

1y 5m ago

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