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Chateau Raymond Lafon is located in Sauternes, Bordeaux, next to the vineyards of Chateau d’Yquem and very close to Chateau Suduiraut. It was founded in 1850 by Raymond Lafon, and was inherited by Louis Pontallier, a nephew of Lafon’s, whose grandson, Paul Pontallier, is the director of Chateau Margaux.

Pontallier sold the chateau in 1952 to the Bourdier family, from which the current owners, the Meslier Family, (Pierre Meslier was the then managing director of Chateau d’Yquem) acquired it in 1972. The association and the proximity to Chateau d’Yquem explains why Raymond Lafon is produced in the exact fashion with the great sweet wine of Bordeaux. 

The tiny 18 hectare vinayard is planted to 80% Semillon and 20% Sauvignon Blanc with vines that average 40 years of age. The wine spends 3 years in 100% new French oak barrels. 

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It is situated on the gentle slope just to the north of Chateau d’Yquem, to the east of Chateau Lafaurie-Peyraguey and to the west of Chateau Suduiraut.  The soil is very varied, typical within Sauternes, with gravel, clay and some sandy areas on top of limestone.  This helps to give the wine its complexity and ensures production in even the most difficult weather conditions.

Of the 18 hectare estate some 16 hectares are planted with around 80% Semillon vines and the remaining 20% with Sauvignon.  As the property was very run down when purchased by Pierre Meslier in 1972 with only a few hectares planted, the majority of the vines date from that period and are now at full maturity some 40 years later.

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Viticulture is vinification are the domain of Charles-Henri.  Yields are very low, typically under 10 hectolitres per hectare, a result of hard pruning and selection of only the finest botrytis grapes during picking.  Traditional techniques and great levels of care are practised with fermentation in 50% new oak barrels and 2-3 years of oak-ageing depending on the nature of each vintage.  This makes the wines of a very serious tone with the natural complexities from the vineyard magnified and enhanced by the treatment in the cellar.

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Wine Moments

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 Izak Litwar / The most important Scandinavian Bordeaux Critic, Pro (Denmark)  tasted  10 wines  from  Château Raymond-Lafon . In a tasting of  10 wines 

Raymond Lafon 2003 99p / Tasted seven times. Consistent notes. 99.9% of entire harvest became Grand Vin!! Extremely intense nose of melasse, mango, candied mandarine peel, crème brulée. These botrytised flavors were incredible and deep. Extremely rich, unctuous and extremely long on the palate, with acidity matching perfectly gobs of sweetness. This was extraordinary stuff, pure extravaganza I say, 100%% legend and a perfect example of flamboyant style of Bordeaux stickies. I think those who criticize 2003 vintage for being too much sugar and having too little acidity, can really eat their words now! This vintage's really opened for floodgates this year with fantastic wines matching all kinds of food perfectly.

13d 12h ago

 Izak Litwar / The most important Scandinavian Bordeaux Critic, Pro (Denmark)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Raymond-Lafon . In a tasting of  161 wines 

Bordeaux 2016 vintage!

10m 28d ago

 Markus Del Monego MW / Best Sommelier in the World 1998, MW (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Raymond-Lafon . 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. 

11m 5d ago

 Andrea Rinaldi / Sommelier, Pro (Italy)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Raymond-Lafon . In a tasting of  39 wines 

Last weekends best wines including Cheval 1959, Romanee Conti 1970 etc.

11m 17d ago

 Izak Litwar / The most important Scandinavian Bordeaux Critic, Pro (Denmark)  tasted  6 wines  from  Château Raymond-Lafon . In a tasting of  61 wines 

“I did have quite great expectations for 2015 vintage while tasting barrel samples in two first weeks in April 2016. Mainly because I witnessed during 10 days stay in Bordeaux (28.09 - 08.10), exceptional quality of grapes, their ripeness inside and outside, and very favourable weather in September and October, which promised so much. Expectations weren't fulfilled 100% unfortunately. Anyway, 2015 has nothing to be ashamed of!”

1y 9m ago

 Markus Del Monego MW / Best Sommelier in the World 1998, MW (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Raymond-Lafon . In a tasting of  502 wines 

“2015 will be one of the excellent vintages however hardly to compare to 2009 and 2010 or 2005. In 2015 the region played a major role, terroir was the key to success. For red wines, the limestone plateau in Saint-Emilion performed extremely well as there was water available during the hot summer days and drainage proved to be ideal during rainy August. Therefore the best wines of Saint-Emilion come from limestone soils. The sandy parts of the appellation produced a quite heterogeneous result. In Pomerol it looked the same with very successful wines from the central plateau and more heterogeneous qualities from the areas around. In Fronsac it was not only the terroir which proved important, the vintners decision had a major impact. Pessac-Léognan did extremely well in this vintage with a homogenous quality. The Médoc was divided. The southern part, mainly Margaux and the southern part of Saint-Julien have seen less rain and produced more powerful wines. The northern part of the Médoc, especially Pauillac and Saint-Estèphe have produced a very fine and elegant style with excellent persistence. On the good terroirs, the seeds were ripe which results in very ripe tannins with a silky or velvety expression. In addition the cooler conditions of autumn provoked a very pure and fresh fruit. For the dry white wines the quality depends very much on the origin again. Due to the hot and dry growing season, a lot of white wines show very mild, almost soft acidity but also some phenolic hints in the aftertaste. A few dry white wines are standing out, having preserved freshness and acidity. The sweet wines are remarkably good, very rich in character and the best of them have a crisp acidity balancing the opulent sugar. The tasting conditions were rather good, however the weather was quite mixed affecting the presentation of the wines. The wines were tasted blind where possible and open. The final decision on the rating is based on both tasting types.”

1y 11m ago

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