• Story

› The wine

Chevalier de Lascombes is the second wine of Château Lascombes , Grand Cru of Médoc in 1855. On the Margaux Appellation, this wine is made with a majority of merlot by two great winemakers : Dominique Befve, General Manager of the winery and Michel Rolland, internationaly known wine maker.

› The vintage

When Mother Nature wants to play with our nerves, she produces one after the other two incredibly stressful vintages -but with real lessons for us to learn!
The 2012-2013 winter was excessively wet, making work in the vines very laborious for the growers, not to mention for the vineyard hands who had to work in extreme wet weather. Budding was homogeneous. This built up our expectations of a good crop size, but we were quickly disappointed when cool, wet spring weather arrived, followed by rain in June during the flowering process. The consequences were dramatic with degrees of coulure and millerandage that hadn’t been experienced since 1984. The 2013 summer was relatively dry, but August with its swings of temperature worked against the veraison process, making it long and drawn-out. The time lost in spring was never made up during the summer, and a very late harvest around October 15th was forecast. The whole wine profession was waiting for an Indian summer to allow the grapes of this tiny crop to ripen fully, but it didn’t come. In fact, worse was to come. September was wet
and mild –the ideal conditions for botrytis to set in for good. The harvest had to be brought forward. The picking was started urgently on September 26th, and the whole of the Merlot was in by October 5th. Without a moment to lose, the Petit Verdot and the Cabernet Sauvignon were harvested straight after. And with no surprise at all, we had trouble filling up the vats, since quantities were so low.
Thanks to incessant, hard work both in the vines and the cellars, the vats of Merlot displayed unquestionable charm, while the lots of Cabernet Sauvignon tended more towards structure and complexity.

› Situation

The Château Lascombes vineyard stretches over 112 hectares within the Margaux appellation. This is nowadays one of the vastest growth classified in 1855.

› Terroir

The parcels making up the property display an interesting geological variety consisting of three main categories : argillaceous limestone and argillaceous gravel suitable for growing Merlot, argillaceous gravel and gravel for Cabernet Sauvignon and gravel for Petit Verdot.

› In the vineyard

- Elimination of lateral vine shoots
- First de-leafing (on the east-facing side) : June/July
- Bunch thinning : end of July
- Second de-leafing (on the west-facing side) : end of August
- Grapes are entirely hand picked in ten-kilo crates

› Vinification

Château Lascombes leading-edge equipment allow the wine making process to be done plot per plot. It is being carried out by stages : pre-fermentation cold maceration which lasts about a week at a temperature averaging 8-10 °C, alcoholic fermentation then takes place at 28 °C, punctuated by light pumpings over the cap. Then juices are ran off and transfer into new wood barrels (80% of new oak).
That is where the malolactic fermentation occurs, between end of October and beginning of February. Then Wines spend four months barrel-ageing on lees. Yeast autolysis lends fatness and roundness to the tannins. To keep the lees in suspension, the barrels are rotated on Oxoline racks. Racking is done a first time in April then the wines go back into barrels for a total ageing of eighteen months.

› Varietals

Merlot : 60%
Cabernet sauvignon : 40%

• Advice

› Serving

The Chevalier de Lascombes should be served between 16 and 17°C.

› Tasting notes

A lovely dark garnet hue.
The nose is open. Red berry and black fruit aromas mingle, filling the space. Oak aromas then come through integrating the scene completely and enhancing the fruity character of the nose.
The entry on the palate is clean with concentration. There is volume on the mid-palate, and the tannins are smooth and polished. There is an explosion of fruit which carries through to a particularly long and spicy finish.
In keeping with the spirit of Chevalier de Lascombes, this is a balanced and deliciously easy-drinking wine to be enjoyed in its first years with grilled food or red meats.

› Food pairing

It will bring honor to this wine to enjoy it on beautiful grilled beef or medium intensity cheeses (camembert, young tomme de montage) to allow its full expression.

• Reviews

"Mentholé, fruits noirs, épices, prune d'ente, très rond, puissant, serré, tannique, finale serrée"