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2015 Chateau Laroze

2015 Chateau Laroze

94 JD


From the critics:

93 RP

92 JS

90 DEC

Featured Review
Checking in as 62% Merlot and the balance Cabernet Franc that was brought up in roughly 70% new oak, the 2015 Château Laroze is straight up gorgeous. Cassis, black cherries, spring flowers, lead pencil shavings and hints of tobacco all give way to a ripe, sexy, concentrated Saint-Emilion that has sweet, polished tannin, plenty of mid-palate depth and a great finish. This beauty builds with time in the glass, is seamless, and just a sensational drink. Jeb Dunnuck

Jeb Dunnuck | 94 JD

Critic Reviews

Checking in as 62% Merlot and the balance Cabernet Franc that was brought up in roughly 70% new oak, the 2015 Château Laroze is straight up gorgeous. Cassis, black cherries, spring flowers, lead pencil shavings and hints of tobacco all give way to a ripe, sexy, concentrated Saint-Emilion that has sweet, polished tannin, plenty of mid-palate depth and a great finish. This beauty builds with time in the glass, is seamless, and just a sensational drink.

Jeb Dunnuck | 94 JD
The medium to deep garnet-purple colored 2015 Laroze hits the ground running with vibrant, expressive red currants, black raspberries and warm plums scents with touches of violets, chocolate-covered cherries and lavender plus a waft of fallen leaves. Medium-bodied, finely crafted and elegantly styled with plush, come-hither tannins and plenty of youthful, exuberant red and black fruit layers, it finishes with bags of perfume and polish. Very classy!

Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 93 RP
Balance and focus to this medium to full-bodied red with chocolate, plums and cedar undertones. Firm and polished tannins. Savory finish. Drink in 2020.

James Suckling | 92 JS
An attack of ripe berries, cherries and plums with underlying coffee notes; dense and structured with firm tannins.
Drinking Window 2024 - 2037.


| 90 DEC

Wine Details for 2015 Chateau Laroze

Type of Wine Bordeaux Red : Picture in your mind a combination of cedar, lead pencil, blackcurrant, plum and mineral aromatics, and texture that caresses your palate like a playful lover. The experience is thrilling from the first whiff to the final seconds of a tannic, generous finish - that is what you'll get from a Bordeaux Red
Varietal Red Bordeaux Blend : The inhabitants of the Bordeaux region of France have been cultivating wine-grapes for thousands of years. Ancient Roman ruins litter the vineyards from Saint Emilion to Graves where the art of blending Bordeaux varietals has been practiced and perfected over a very long history. Bordeaux’s climate, terroir and soils, though varied, provide the optimal growing conditions for the red grape varietals planted in the region.

Rarely listed on the labels as “blend,” the red wines of Bordeaux are perhaps the most artfully designed and celebrated in the world. The calculated art of blending the native Bordeaux varietals is impressively accomplished in the most famous winegrowing region in the world. The phrase Bordeaux Blend which seems to have been coined by British wine merchants in the 19th Century relates as much to wines made from the blend as to the grape variety combination itself.

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec and occasionally Carmenere are the lead characters in the creation of Red Bordeaux Blends. Each plays a part in their own fashion and implemented in various combinations and percentages in each appellation within Bordeaux. Red Bordeaux Blends are majorly composed of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, roughly making up 90% of all Bordeaux Blends. Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec (occasionally Carmenere) are also important components and vital to the production of the region’s red wines.

For simplicity, the winegrowing region of Bordeaux can be divided into three main appellations producing Red Bordeaux Blends; the Left Bank (Medoc), Right Bank and Pessac-Leognan (Graves). The Left Bank has a terroir comprised of a wide variety of gravel, stones, sand, limestone and clay soils on a natural terrain of gentle slopes. This sets the stage perfectly for the production of Cabernet Sauvignon, which is the dominant grape of the Left Bank. For example, Chateau Lafite (Paulliac) is composed of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Right Bank is dominated by clay and limestone with sand and gravel, but the clay in the Right Bank is distinctly its own and adds to the health, growth and vitality of the vines of the varietals grown here. Right Bank wines are typically 80% Merlot-based, which are often denser, richer and mature earlier than those of the Left Bank (with exceptions – Petrus for example). Merlot is a vital component to Pomerol winegrowing and making. Cabernet Franc also plays a major role in the Right Bank, most notably, in Saint Emilion, where the infamous vineyards of Chateau Ausone and Chateau Cheval Blanc are planted to 55% and 52% Cabernet Franc, respectively. Chateaux that produce wines with a majority of Cabernet Franc are considered “old school” producers, but have perfected the use of Cabernet Franc, which was originally used as a blending grape.

Pessac-Leognan (Graves) enjoys a temperate climate, natural hygrometry influenced by the ocean, and has a terroir composed of gravelly soil over a clay subsoil on sloping, hilly terrain. Natural drainage due to the hilly terrain as well as the gravelly soil structure are perfectly attuned to the Cabernet Sauvignon grape vine, which prospers under these conditions. Pessac reaps the benefits of having the terroir of both the Left and Right Bank as it contains gravel and clay. The clay sub-soil allows the growth and success of Merlot, as well as Cabernet Franc. It is home to the only First Growth not in the Medoc. The 50-hectare vineyard of Haut Brion is planted to 45.4% Merlot, 43.9% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9.7% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot.

The percentage of Petit Verdot and Malbec may be lesser in quantity, but not in quality. They are vital to the region’s creation of Red Bordeaux Blends. The combination of Bordeaux varietals is legendary in the region, around the world and has influenced winegrowers worldwide to plant and vinify wines which resemble those of Red Bordeaux Blends.

Country France : Wine is the lifeblood that courses through the country of France, pulsing with vigorous pride and determination. Viticulture is not just a hobby or an occupation in France; it is a passion, a cherished tradition that has been passed down through generations of wine stained hands. Winemaking is a beloved art that has been ingrained in the culture, an aptitude instilled in sons by fathers and the hallmark for which France’s reputation was built, allowing it to be renowned as, arguably, the most important wine producing country in the world.

For centuries, France has been producing wines of superior quality and in much greater quantity than any other country in the world. It boasts some of the most impressive wine regions, coveted vineyards and prestigious wines on earth. The regions of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhone, Sauternes and Champagne have become the benchmark, for which others aspire to become. Legendary producers such as Chateaux Margaux, Domaine De La Romanee Conti, Chapoutier, d’Yquem and Dom Perignon are idolized world-wide.

France has stamped its name on nearly every style of wine, from the nectar-like sweet Sauternes to hedonistic Chateauneuf Du Papes classic Bordeaux and Burgundy, to its sparkling dominance in Champagne. Many of the most infamous grape varietals in the world, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay originated in France and are not only beloved, but utilized in the creation of some of the greatest wines on earth. French wine production commands the attention of the wine market year after year. With over 860,000 hectares under vine, and numbers close to 50 million hectoliters of wine produced annually, France dominates the market and sets the standard for not only product quality, but also quantity.

France’s many contributions to the world of wine have been absolutely indispensable. The country is the originator of the term “Premier Cru,” coined the term Terroir (a French term so complex there is no literal translation) and has laid the blueprint for a structured appellation system, which others have implemented in their own countries. French vineyard techniques and winemaking practices are mimicked world-wide. California vintners have been replicating Rhone style wines for decades, South America has adopted the French varietal of Malbec and countries around the world are imitating Burgundian styled Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

With vast diversity in terroir, France is home to some of the most hospitable winegrowing locations on earth. The combination of topography, geology, climate, rainfall and even the amount of sunlight combined with the long historical tradition of winegrowing and making, has allowed the vintners of France to not only hone their skills, but learn from nature to create a product that like the world in which it resides… is very much alive.

Subregion Saint Emilion


Producer Chateau Laroze : Nestled amongst the vines on the sloping hillsides of Saint Emilion resides Chateau Laroze; one of the finest and most obscure gems of the appellation. The Right Bank Bordeaux property lies a mile northwest of the historic village of Saint Emilion, an area considered to possess terroir of paramount quality. The Grand Cru Classe estate remains in the founding family’s hands to this day and has upheld tradition in their own unique fashion.

Chateau Laroze was awarded Grand Cru Classe in the 1955 Classification of the Right Bank, and is without question, due to the utmost care and preservation of the property by the family, who insists that Chateau Laroze does not belong to them, but they belong to Chateau Laroze. Purity, Balance and Regeneration are the key foundations of the Laroze philosophy: a wine free of impurity, balancing human intervention, nature and economic responsibility and caring for the wines, while ensuring continuity in an imperfect world, using nature to reframe passing trends.

The estate is currently managed by the Muslin Family, who are direct descendants of the original proprietors (Gurchy Family), whose history dates back over 400 years. The formation of Chateau Laroze occurred in 1882 and was a collaboration of several neighboring vineyards. The chateau, vat rooms and cellars were completed by 1885 and by the end of the 19th Century, the estate had built a powerful reputation. This mighty accomplishment is greatly credited to Petronille Aime Nelly Gurchy, who initiated the building of Chateau Laroze. Since its inception the family has remained true to the founding principles, perpetuation of tradition, but allowing nature and modernity to constantly re-form the understanding and creation of world-class wines.

The 27-hectare vineyard is unique in that it is one single parcel lot (unusual for Saint Emilion). It is planted to 68% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Franc and 6% Cabernet Sauvignon. The vines are on average 20 years of age, with a vine density ranging from 5,600 to 10,000 vines per hectare, with the goal of the latter being the norm for the entire vineyard. The tremendous terroir, which is very well suited to Merlot and Cabernet Franc is comprised of siliceous and clayey soils. The upper sandy soil both reflects the sun rays towards the vines and traps heat during the day, releasing it into the deeper soils and ultimately the roots enabling the successful growth and proper maturity of grapes.

In being a Grand Cru Classe, Chateau Laroze follows stricter guidelines to that of its appellation counterparts, with the ultimate goal to increase quality. This has allowed the portfolio of the estate to flourish on the global market. Three wines make up the Laroze collection: The flagship and wine that helped to acquire its grand status, Chateau Laroze, its second wine La Fleur Laroze and Lady Laroze (a tribute to the strong and successive line of women of the Gurchy and Meslin Families who helped mold the estate into what it is today). There are approximately 9,000 cases of Laroze wines produced each year. With vine density increasing, lowering yields but increasing quality of fruit, that number will surely decrease.

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