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Château Lary Tagot, Bordeaux 2018

Red Wine from France - Bordeaux
The brothers who jointly owned Chateau Lary have split this Bordeaux property, and Lary Tagot comes from one half of the vineyard. Ripe and satisfying, this is an impressive claret at this price level. Delicious now, it will develop further with a little time and provide a great deal of drinking pleasure.
Price: £7.95 Bottle
Price: £95.00 Case of 12
In Stock
Code: CB5961

Wine characteristics

  • Red Wine
  • Full-bodied
  • Merlot
  • 14% Alcohol
  • No oak influence
  • Now to 2023
  • 75cl
  • Cork, plastic

Bordeaux/Bordeaux Superieur

If the word Bordeaux is mentioned most people take it to refer to red wine. Though a good deal of white wine is made in Bordeaux, and some of the finest white Bordeaux are only entitled to that generic appellation contrôlée nomenclature, it is reds that are most associated with the region.

The Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur regional appellation contrôlées are spread throughout the Bordeaux region. A bright colour, a clean, deep, appealing red-fruit nose (with hints of vanilla and spice if the wines have been aged in oak) and the classic balance of alcohol, tannin and acidity are the hallmarks. These modest designations verify that the wine comes from a particular region and conforms to certain criteria, such as alcohol content, but cannot be relied upon as a guarantee of quality. Many good wines are made in little-known appellations, just as mediocre bottles can have grand origins, so the key is to follow a property or grower you like and trust.

The climate of Bordeaux is deeply...
If the word Bordeaux is mentioned most people take it to refer to red wine. Though a good deal of white wine is made in Bordeaux, and some of the finest white Bordeaux are only entitled to that generic appellation contrôlée nomenclature, it is reds that are most associated with the region.

The Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur regional appellation contrôlées are spread throughout the Bordeaux region. A bright colour, a clean, deep, appealing red-fruit nose (with hints of vanilla and spice if the wines have been aged in oak) and the classic balance of alcohol, tannin and acidity are the hallmarks. These modest designations verify that the wine comes from a particular region and conforms to certain criteria, such as alcohol content, but cannot be relied upon as a guarantee of quality. Many good wines are made in little-known appellations, just as mediocre bottles can have grand origins, so the key is to follow a property or grower you like and trust.

The climate of Bordeaux is deeply influenced by its proximity to water, whether it is the sea, the estuary or the rivers, all have a major impact on the grapes grown and the wine made with them. The maritime climate is mild and gently warmed by the Gulf Stream which has a ready conduit deep inland via the Gironde estuary. The estuary acts as a moderator of the extremes of winter and summer. Summers are generally hot and autumns fairly long and mild. Winter and spring too are relatively mild but also often wet, and overall, give or take the odd and very rare major weather event, the climate is generally stable and consistent. Dampness is indeed on of the major difficulties of wine production and it is no coincidence that the anti-fungal spray ‘Bordeaux Mixture’ was developed here in the 19th century. In terms of weather events the two that are often encountered, sometimes with devastating effects, are hail and frost. Bear in mind that Bordeaux lies on a latitude of 45 degrees and should you travel across the Atlantic on that latitude you would make landfall in Nova Scotia. Without the Gulf Stream and proximity to bodies of water Bordeaux would be a much more marginal climate for making wine.

Red wines are the biggest part of the wine production of Bordeaux. Some 55,000 hectares of vines are employed in the making of Bordeaux AC and Bordeaux Supérieur AC. The most planted red grape is merlot, followed by cabernet sauvignon. Most of these generic Bordeaux are made outside of more specific communes, and indeed may be made from grapes grown anywhere in the Bordeaux region, and it would be strange indeed, in commercial terms, if a grower could label his wine as something more prestigious but chose the Bordeaux AC for his bottles. The Entre-Deux-Mers region, between the Dordogne and Garonne rivers, is home to much of the production of generic Bordeaux on its clay, or sand and clay soils with occasional outcrops of limestone and gravels.

However, there are regulations and strictures that must be adhered to. To qualify for Bordeaux AC status the wine must naturally achieve 10% abv, and for Supérieur status the requirement is 10.5%. In actual fact the majority of wines are between 11% and 12.5 % abv, and as the climate warms up and vine canopy management and vineyard techniques continue to improve this may rise. Most reds from these appellations are designed to be drunk young.

At this level some of the fruit is machine harvested, though much is still picked by hand because of the narrow row width of most Bordeaux vineyards, and the winemaking is fairly standard, with temperature control now the norm and chaptalisation less common than it used to be. Barrels are not often used for these wines due to their expense, though large wooden vats or hand me down barrels previously used by a wealthier producer might be utilised. Such second-hand barrels require great care to be taken to maintain them.

Co-operatives still make most of these generic bottlings, but there are many smaller estates, many of them conscientious and making excellent wines that represent terrific value, that are finding the going tough in the prevailing economic climate and in the face of stiff competition at their price point from wines made in places where conditions and costs are more propitious for making fruity affordable wines. Négociants operate within Bordeaux and a good deal of the wine or grapes that make generic Bordeaux pass through the hands of companies like Maison Sichel and Dourthe.
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Château Lary-Tagot

Patrick Forcato today farms an estate originally bought by his forbear Angelo Forcato in 1850 and kept in family hands ever since, and now split between Patrick and his brother. Patrick has done much to bring the estate up to date with modern equipment installed in the winery and refurbishment carried out on the estate buildings. The vines themselves grow on 50 hectares of sandy clay and limestone, on sunny south facing slopes on the north bank of the Garonne, in the Entre-deux-Mers. The majority of plantings are, typically for the area, merlot, supported by 25% cabernet sauvignon and 15% cabernet franc, all of which are used in the final blend of the wine, and ageing is done in stainless steel vats so there is no oak to mask the fruit.

Bordeaux Vintage 2018

This is an exceptionally good vintage for Bordeaux, with the best reds probably eclipsing those of any vintage in recent memory.

In our visits to Bordeaux in early April 2019 we tasted some of the finest clarets we have ever tasted en primeur. The wines are intense, powerful and most have excellent ageing potential. Colours are deep, alcohol levels are between half a degree and a full degree higher than recent averages, and tannins are ripe. Yet the best wines have maintained freshness, energy and most importantly balance.

And it’s not just the top wines that shone in 2018; many super wines were made at the more affordable end of the price spectrum, and this offer includes plenty of examples.
But whilst all the top communes and appellations made a number of truly remarkable wines, 2018 is not a universally fabulous vintage. It is much less consistent than 2016, 2010 and 2009, and considerable care was needed in selecting the wines we wanted to offer our members.

The keys to making...
This is an exceptionally good vintage for Bordeaux, with the best reds probably eclipsing those of any vintage in recent memory.

In our visits to Bordeaux in early April 2019 we tasted some of the finest clarets we have ever tasted en primeur. The wines are intense, powerful and most have excellent ageing potential. Colours are deep, alcohol levels are between half a degree and a full degree higher than recent averages, and tannins are ripe. Yet the best wines have maintained freshness, energy and most importantly balance.

And it’s not just the top wines that shone in 2018; many super wines were made at the more affordable end of the price spectrum, and this offer includes plenty of examples.
But whilst all the top communes and appellations made a number of truly remarkable wines, 2018 is not a universally fabulous vintage. It is much less consistent than 2016, 2010 and 2009, and considerable care was needed in selecting the wines we wanted to offer our members.

The keys to making excellent wines in 2018 were firstly choosing the right time to harvest, and secondly ensuring gentle handling of the grapes during the winemaking process. Picking too early meant good acidity in the wines but a lack of phenolic ripeness, whereas harvesting too late led to over-alcoholic wines lacking freshness. The grapes at harvest were tiny in 2018, and the skins were packed with tannin. Only the gentlest of extractions was necessary in the winery.

In addition to the many red wines there were many excellent dry whites, which despite the heat and dryness of the vintage also maintained admirable freshness.

2018 was another vintage of extremes. One of the wettest early seasons on record was followed by one of the driest and sunniest summers. The mild, damp spring encouraged a widespread and aggressive mildew attack. This had a devastating effect on some châteaux’s yields, with those producers employing organic and biodynamic practices particularly badly affected. Hail also struck in parts of the southern Médoc, Sauternes and the Côtes de Bourg.
But then the clouds parted and the sun shone… and shone. Between the beginning of July and the harvest there was 25% more sun than the 30-year average, and rainfall was tiny – just 46mm fell throughout the entire summer at Château Margaux. The harvest was very long and unhurried, with growers able to decide exactly when each plot of vines should be picked.

In conclusion, it was possible in 2018 to make superlative wines, as long as you were vigilant in the vineyards during the growing season, when choosing the optimum harvest date, and then in managing the vinifications in the cellar. Not everyone got these three vital elements right, and so careful selection has been key for us.
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2018 vintage reviews

Midweek Wines

Traditional claret was often elbowed aside in favour of new world fruit-driven alternatives when regular wine drinking expanded in the UK 40+ years ago but modern Bordeaux (like this) exhibit styles that...

Traditional claret was often elbowed aside in favour of new world fruit-driven alternatives when regular wine drinking expanded in the UK 40+ years ago but modern Bordeaux (like this) exhibit styles that demand renewed attention.
[This] is centred around soft, medium bodied plum and raspberry flavours that are supported by good acidity and limited tannin but attractive aniseed, toffee and woodsmoke components too. 

Read more

Brian Elliott

Scottish Field

Made by that well known Cockney Glaswegian – “Larry Taggart” – this claret will give any supermarket bottle at the same price a run for its money. Classic Bordeaux wet earth,...
Made by that well known Cockney Glaswegian – “Larry Taggart” – this claret will give any supermarket bottle at the same price a run for its money. Classic Bordeaux wet earth, roast meat, dark chocolate, blackberry, and fig aromas, plus enough sweet black fruit flavours to balance the assertive tannins, which will lend themselves to a Sunday roast. -
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Peter Ranscombe

JancisRobinson.com

Crazy price! Deep crimson. Clean and appetising with perhaps not the depth and ageability of a bordeaux grandee but, say, a bordeaux blend from anywhere else would cost so much more! Deep colour,...
Crazy price! Deep crimson. Clean and appetising with perhaps not the depth and ageability of a bordeaux grandee but, say, a bordeaux blend from anywhere else would cost so much more! Deep colour, deep flavour and great balance. Sweet start and dry end. Very good value.
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16/20

joannasimon.com

Unoaked merlot-led Bordeaux with dark, ripe fruit, lightly grippy tannins and a bit of leafy freshness – more of everything than you would expect at the price.

- Joanna Simon

decanter.com

From vineyards in Entre-Deux-Mers, this everyday claret scores highly for the value it offers. Merlot-dominant, it has good freshness despite coming from the warm 2018 vintage. Juicy, dark fruit,...
From vineyards in Entre-Deux-Mers, this everyday claret scores highly for the value it offers. Merlot-dominant, it has good freshness despite coming from the warm 2018 vintage. Juicy, dark fruit, some earthy notes and good typicity. Aged for 10-12 months in stainless steel. Straightforward, unfussy Bordeaux that should be enjoyed within the next year or two.
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91/100 Amy Wislocki

Yorkshire Post

Exceptional value in this merlot-dominated claret. It has a lift of green pepper on the aroma then leads into ripe juicy black fruits with just a hint of structure. Delicious now but will keep.

- Christine Austin

The Guardian

A good example of what even just a smidge (15%) of cab franc can do for a Bordeaux blend, adding both freshness and fragrance.

- Fiona Beckett

The Daily Mail

Made from 65% merlot, 20% cabernet sauvignon and 15% cabernet franc, this is a bright and honest claret that wears its blackberry-soaked heart on its sleeve.  While this is a young wine, it is...
Made from 65% merlot, 20% cabernet sauvignon and 15% cabernet franc, this is a bright and honest claret that wears its blackberry-soaked heart on its sleeve.  While this is a young wine, it is already well into its stride, so put it centre stage of your dining room table alongside [Jane Lovett's] ham, egg and chips!
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- Matthew Jukes

The Field

An absolutely stunning claret for the price - rich, ripe, fresh and deeply satisfying.

- Jonathan Ray

midweekwines.co.uk

Smooth and soft, [this] delivers modern claret exhibiting medium bodied plum and raspberry flavours with good acidity, little tannin but attractive aniseed, toffee and wood smoke elements.

- Brian Elliott

The Daily Record

Traditional Bordeaux red (claret) was often elbowed aside in favour of new world fruit driven alternatives when regular wine drinking expanded in the UK 40+ years ago. However, modern Bordeaux (like...
Traditional Bordeaux red (claret) was often elbowed aside in favour of new world fruit driven alternatives when regular wine drinking expanded in the UK 40+ years ago. However, modern Bordeaux (like this) now exhibits styles that demand renewed attention. Smooth and soft, it is centred around medium-bodied plum and raspberry flavours that are supported by good acidity and limited tannin but attractive aniseed, coffee and woodsmoke components too.
Read more

- Brian Elliott

Decanter

This everyday claret from Entre-Deux-Mers scores highly for value. Merlot-dominant and unoaked, it has good freshness despite coming from the warm 2018 vintage. Juicy, dark fruit, some earthiness:...
This everyday claret from Entre-Deux-Mers scores highly for value. Merlot-dominant and unoaked, it has good freshness despite coming from the warm 2018 vintage. Juicy, dark fruit, some earthiness: straightforward, unfussy Bordeaux to enjoy within the next year or two. -
Read more

Amy Wislocki

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