This is a carousel with zoom. Use the thumbnails to navigate, or jump to a slide. Use the zoom button to zoom into a image.

Château Lagrave-Martillac, Pessac-Léognan 2016

Red Wine from France - Bordeaux
With very lovely vibrant, sweet fruit character on the nose and brambly notes on the palate, this lovely Bordeaux is starting to hit its stride. Suave ripe tannins provide freshness and lift.
Price: £22.00 Bottle
Price: £132.00 Case of 6
In Stock
Code: CM23301

Wine characteristics

  • Red Wine
  • Medium-bodied
  • Cabernet Merlot
  • 13% Alcohol
  • Oak used but not v. noticeable
  • Now to 2030
  • 75cl
  • Cork, natural

Medoc, Graves

Médoc, Graves and Pessac-Léognan areas, located on the left bank of the Garonne, are synonymous with well-structured, full-bodied but elegant red wines dominated by cabernet sauvignon which grows well in the predominantly gravelly soil of the area. As cabernet grapes are high in tannins, the wines usually have excellent ageing potential and are usually blended, principally with merlot as well as petit verdot, cabernet franc and malbec in much smaller quantities. When young, the wines can have a mulberry-purple colour, aromas of blackcurrant, cedar and cigar box, and a dry, tannic finish.

The Médoc

The Médoc is the 40 kilometre long tongue of land north of the city of Bordeaux jutting out to sea to form the southern shore of the estuary. It comprises two parts divided along a line just north of the St-Estèphe commune. To the north of this line lies the area called Bas Médoc (though more commonly simply Médoc), while south of the line is the Haut-Médoc. All the wines, north and south,...
Médoc, Graves and Pessac-Léognan areas, located on the left bank of the Garonne, are synonymous with well-structured, full-bodied but elegant red wines dominated by cabernet sauvignon which grows well in the predominantly gravelly soil of the area. As cabernet grapes are high in tannins, the wines usually have excellent ageing potential and are usually blended, principally with merlot as well as petit verdot, cabernet franc and malbec in much smaller quantities. When young, the wines can have a mulberry-purple colour, aromas of blackcurrant, cedar and cigar box, and a dry, tannic finish.

The Médoc

The Médoc is the 40 kilometre long tongue of land north of the city of Bordeaux jutting out to sea to form the southern shore of the estuary. It comprises two parts divided along a line just north of the St-Estèphe commune. To the north of this line lies the area called Bas Médoc (though more commonly simply Médoc), while south of the line is the Haut-Médoc. All the wines, north and south, are made within a band no more than 10 kilometres wide at its broadest.

The Bas Médoc, centred on the town of Lesparre, is made up of more clay and sand than its southern neighbour, interspersed with outcrops of the gravel for which the Haut-Médoc is famous. The climate in the peninsula, moderated by the estuary and sheltered by the great Landes forest to the west, is the mildest of any in Bordeaux though also the wettest after Graves.

In the north many estimable red wines are made and there are numerous properties classed as cru bourgeois, a malleable classification which places properties just below the Grand Cru level, using the classic blend of merlot and cabernet, but it is to the south in the Haut-Médoc that the most prestigious wines are made.

The communes of St-Estèphe, Pauillac, St-Julien, Margaux, Listrac and Moulis are contained within the Haut-Médoc, and wines that are not fortunate enough to find themselves within one of these communes may label themselves Haut-Médoc AC. However, any student of Bordeaux knows that some of the most famous wines in the world are produced in the communes named above. All but one of the five Premier Grand Cru Classé wines of the almost mythical 1855 classification are located here, with three alone sitting in Pauillac.

The soils of the Haut-Médoc are often characterised as gravelly, and indeed there is a significant amount of gravel throughout, in outcrops known as croupes, and much of the success of the great classified estate is attributed to this terroir even though the story of the soil types hereabouts is rather more complex. Gravel is free draining as well as warm in the summer and it is this, in an alliance with the influence of the estuary, that allows cabernet sauvignon to ripen sufficiently. The closer the estate to the estuary the sooner the grapes can ripen, sometimes as much as five or six days earlier than those eight to nine kilometres inland. Though the soils drain freely this causes the vine roots to delve deeply in search of water. This is an asset in regulating the supply of water to the vines which is now regarded as the key to producing high quality fruit.

The land of the Médoc and Haut-Médoc is less fragmented than that of its main rival for the affections of lovers of the finest wines, Burgundy, and estates boundaries can be somewhat more fluid as the reputation of the property is not so bound up in the precise area of terroir it occupies. For example, if Château Margaux were to acquire some vines from a neighbouring property within the commune it could quite legally add those vines to those that supply grapes for their grand vin without it affecting its classification status. As such estates here can occupy quite large tracts of land in comparison with most Burgundy producers.

Graves & Pessac-Léognan

The Graves region lies around the west and south of the city of Bordeaux, and as the name suggests, is famous for the gravelly nature of the soils. Actually there is sandy soil here too but the same free draining, warming characteristics apply as further north. Since 1987 the area has been split , with the creation of the Pessac-Léognan appellation removing the estates north of the town of La Brède and up to Bordeaux itself. This split left Graves without nearly all of its most prestigious properties, including its only Premier Grand Cru Classé in Château Haut-Brion, and a somewhat reduced reputation in the eyes of the public. Much excellent red and white wine is made here on estates that often lie in clearings among the almost ubiquitous pine forests of the area.

Pessac-Léognan is blessed with deeper, more gravelly terroir than its erstwhile compatriot appellation to the south, and has a cru classé system introduced in 1955 that, while younger and less regarded by some than the 1855 version, is at least reviewed occasionally and allows for the recognition of new quality and the demotion of the lacklustre. The classification recognises both red and white wines.

Classified Red Wines of Graves - Château Bouscaut, Château Haut-Bailly, Château Carbonnieux, Domaine de Chevalier, Château de Fieuzal, Château Olivier, Château Malartic-Lagravière, Château La Tour-Martillac, Château Smith-Haute-Lafitte, Château Haut-Brion, Château La Mission-Haut-Brion, Château Pape-Clément, Château Latour-Haut-Brion.

Classified White Wines of Graves - Château Bouscaut, Château Carbonnieux, Domaine de Chevalier, Château Olivier, Château Malartic-Lagravière, Château La Tour-Martillac, Château Laville-Haut Brion, Château Couhins-Lurton, Château Couhins, Château Haut-Brion.

As mentioned above, the brightest star in the Pessac constellation is Haut-Brion, with a reputation as one of the first Bordeaux châteaux to successfully emerge as what might these days be called a Brand, and is mentioned with pleasure by Samuel Pepys in his diary in 1660. The encroachment of the city has surrounded Haut-Brion, La Mission Haut-Brion and Pape-Clément and a good deal of prime vineyard area has been devoured by this relentless urban creep. Though mostly red wine is made there, the white wines of Pessac-Léognan have a very fine reputation, as intimated by the classification above, and are made from a blend of sauvignon and semillon with occasional additions of muscadelle, usually aged in oak and with great potential for ageing.
Read more

Château Latour-Martillac

This excellent Graves estate takes its name from the medieval tower which still dominates the main courtyard of the château, a remnant of a fort built in the 12th century by the ancestors of French man of letters and political philosopher Montesquieu.

This structure was built to occupy a strategic position controlling the route between Bordeaux and Toulouse and when it was no longer needed the stones of the fort were robbed for the building of the château at the end of the 18th century.

In 1871, the estate attracted the attention of Edouard Kressmann, who had just founded his wine merchant business in Bordeaux, seduced as he was by the quality of the white wines from the remarkable gravelly hilltop here. The blend created, and which Kressmann’s company sold very successfully, was named Grave Monopole Dry. At that time the estate was known as Château Latour and in 1930 Edouard’s son Alfred, having inherited the family firm and faced with losing such a successful wine on the death of the estate's owner, set about acquiring it in the same year. Quickly he changed the name to avoid confusion with its more famous namesake in Pauillac and it became La Tour-Martillac and eventually Latour-Martillac.

It was Alfred who expanded the vineyard area from 12 hectares, mostly planted to white varieties, adding cabernet sauvignon to the merlot already planted so that the area grew to 30 hectares after the interruption of the Second World War.

In part thanks to his hard work Château...
This excellent Graves estate takes its name from the medieval tower which still dominates the main courtyard of the château, a remnant of a fort built in the 12th century by the ancestors of French man of letters and political philosopher Montesquieu.

This structure was built to occupy a strategic position controlling the route between Bordeaux and Toulouse and when it was no longer needed the stones of the fort were robbed for the building of the château at the end of the 18th century.

In 1871, the estate attracted the attention of Edouard Kressmann, who had just founded his wine merchant business in Bordeaux, seduced as he was by the quality of the white wines from the remarkable gravelly hilltop here. The blend created, and which Kressmann’s company sold very successfully, was named Grave Monopole Dry. At that time the estate was known as Château Latour and in 1930 Edouard’s son Alfred, having inherited the family firm and faced with losing such a successful wine on the death of the estate's owner, set about acquiring it in the same year. Quickly he changed the name to avoid confusion with its more famous namesake in Pauillac and it became La Tour-Martillac and eventually Latour-Martillac.

It was Alfred who expanded the vineyard area from 12 hectares, mostly planted to white varieties, adding cabernet sauvignon to the merlot already planted so that the area grew to 30 hectares after the interruption of the Second World War.

In part thanks to his hard work Château Latour-Martillac was elected to Grand Cru status in the Graves classification of 1953 and is one of only six properties in the Pessac-Léognan classified for both red and white wines.

Today six children of Alfred’s successor, Jean Kressmann, own the property with the youngest Tristan and Loïc managing affairs with the help of some of Bordeaux’s finest consultants.

The vineyard area is divided into two distinct sections. One is the patchwork of gravels that make up the so-called Martillac plateau, where the soil is poor and drainage excellent, an ideal habitat for cabernet sauvignon which is planted alongside petit verdot. The second area is closer to the Garonne River where there is more clay and limestone overlaid with gravel. Here merlot does well and the white varieties sauvignon blanc and semillon are planted.

The oldest vines at the estate date back to 1884, a small area of sauvignon blanc, semillon and muscadelle in the south-eastern part of the estate. All of the land here is farmed with enormous respect for the environment.

All harvesting is done by hand, with successive trips through the vineyard to select only the ripest fruit. The grapes are then sorted at the cellars. The whites are gently pressed and then fermented in barrel, and the wines intended for the first wine age on their lees with regular bâtonnage for a year or so.
Read more

Bordeaux Vintage 2016 Médoc, Graves

Bordeaux has produced an abundance of superb wines in 2016. The reds exhibit real energy and vitality, with pure bouquets, plush silky tannins, plenty of mid-palate fruit and impressive length of flavour. Slightly lower-thanaverage alcohol levels, allied to the perfumed fruit and ripe tannins that typify the vintage, will ensure wines with exceptional balance and ageing potential. Comparisons of 2016 with previous vintages are hard to draw, and none of the owners and winemakers that we talked to during our visits were willing (or able) to suggest a similar vintage in terms of wine style. Nicolas Audebert, who makes the wines at Château Rauzan-Ségla, uses the description ‘un kilo de plumes’, or a pound of feathers for those preferring imperial measures, meaning that the wines have volume as opposed to weight. This comes closest to capturing the essence of the 2016s. Unlike last year, the successes of the 2016 vintage come from all corners of Bordeaux. Cabernets from the Médoc ripened...
Bordeaux has produced an abundance of superb wines in 2016. The reds exhibit real energy and vitality, with pure bouquets, plush silky tannins, plenty of mid-palate fruit and impressive length of flavour. Slightly lower-thanaverage alcohol levels, allied to the perfumed fruit and ripe tannins that typify the vintage, will ensure wines with exceptional balance and ageing potential. Comparisons of 2016 with previous vintages are hard to draw, and none of the owners and winemakers that we talked to during our visits were willing (or able) to suggest a similar vintage in terms of wine style. Nicolas Audebert, who makes the wines at Château Rauzan-Ségla, uses the description ‘un kilo de plumes’, or a pound of feathers for those preferring imperial measures, meaning that the wines have volume as opposed to weight. This comes closest to capturing the essence of the 2016s. Unlike last year, the successes of the 2016 vintage come from all corners of Bordeaux. Cabernets from the Médoc ripened beautifully from Margaux to Saint-Estèphe, as they did in PessacLéognan and the Graves, while both Pomerol and Saint-Emilion enjoyed a healthy, ripe merlot crop.

So-called second wines were almost uniformly excellent too. This is partly due to the fact that with cabernet sauvignon ripening so perfectly, many châteaux increased the proportion of that grape in their grand vin. The knock-on effect was that high-quality merlot grapes, normally destined for the first wine, ended up in the properties’ second wines, to their undoubted benefit.

One point of caution to note is that vineyards in some parts of Bordeaux this spring have been devastated by late frost (around 26th and 27th April), and consequently there will be little or no wine available from some châteaux in the 2017 vintage. The overused adage ‘buy now while stocks last’ may actually be relevant this year!
Read more
2016 vintage reviews
2014 vintage reviews

Recommended for you

Back to top