Situated not far from Château Cantemerle, the other large and famous property of the southern Médoc, the third growth Château La Lagune has been an important Haut-Médoc estate since the 16th century. Its impressive chartreuse dates from 1730.
During the 1950s La Lagune, like many properties, was suffering from the aftereffects of the war, the financial crisis, and the 1956 frosts. It was purchased by George Brunet, who breathed much needed life back into the estate, replanting nearly all of the vineyards before selling the property to the family behind Champagne Ayala in 1964.
La Lagune was then acquired by the Frey family, and since 2000, La Lagune has been in the hands of the talented Jean-Jacques Frey. The family's other businesses include property and fashion, but it also owns Paul Jaboulet Aîné in the Rhône and a large share of Champagne Billecart-Salmon.
Major investment has helped the property realise its considerable potential, and since 2004 it has been run by his oenologist daughter Caroline Frey, along with Patrick Moulin, who has been cellarmaster here since 1972. In 2002 Caroline graduated top of her class at Bordeaux University, where she was taught by the renowned professor Denis Dubourdieu, who now also consults at the property.
The 80 hectares of vines are planted on a white gravel hill, with an ideal north-south exposure, and have a moderate climate tempered by its position between the Atlantic and the Gironde estuary. Vines are split into specific parcels and are picked by a team whose families have been involved in the estate for generations.
In the winery, state-of-the-art technology combines with a serious attention to detail, and the cellars are air conditioned to ensure the wine ages at the perfect temperature and humidity.
The blend is 60% cabernet sauvignon, 30% merlot and 10% petit verdot, which spends 18 months in French-only oak, half of which is new. The style is elegant, beautifully textured and full of charm, in some ways midway between Margaux and Pessac-Léognan in flavour as well as position. La Lagune can age for between eight and 20 years.