I came across this wine the other day laying there in a dusted wooden crate, and when I saw the vintage I could not resist to quickly check the price. This wine was in sale as it needed to go as its lifespan is really coming to a close, so the price tag was darn good, €13 £16.35 $24.40 so I took a couple.
Here we have a wine reaching its 20th anniversary at a very affordable price and from a Château that seems to do a very good job.
Château Lanessan Haut-Medoc
In 1793, Jean Delbos a negociant in Bordeaux buys the Chateau, which at the time had 24 hectares of vines.
In 1878, the architect Henri Duphot finishes the construction of the Chateau as it stands today with the winery.
1907, Marie-Louise Delbos, granddaughter of Jean Delbos, marries Etienne Bouteiller.
In 1960 their son, Jean Bouteiller, increases the surface of the Chateau to 80 hectares, if which 45 is for Chateau Lanessan and the rest for Chateau Saint Gemme which they bought.
In 1962 the son Betrand takes over the direction of the Chateau after the death of his father.
In 1972, Betrand leaves the gestion and the running of the Chateau to his brother Hubert.
In 2000, they install a thermo-regulation system on all they tanks.
In 2004, a grape selection system is put into place to assure the optimum quality grape is used for their first wine.
During the last couple of years the family put into place several systems to improve the best for their wines, like improving the vineyard, the winery, new grape selecting tables to they can improve their accuracy and a management system in the vines to improve the environment of the soil and the vines.
In an environment of 80 hectares of which 45 in vines, Château Lanessan is situated in Cussac-Fort-Medoc near Saint-Julien in the Haut-Medoc. The soil is mainly gravel and roots that can go very deep. The vines have an average age of 30 years and the domain is surrounded by 145 hectares of forest.
The grape variety sits as followed:
60% of Cabernet-Sauvingon
35% of Merlot
4% of Petit Verdot
1% of Cabernet Franc
First wine Chateau Lanessan 220.000 bottles produced average a year
Second Wine Les Caleches de Lanessan 90.000 bottles produced average a year
Château Lanessan Haut-Médoc 1995
At first glance this is a very classic label which somehow give you a sense of confidence and tradition. This is a Haut-Medoc with a punch and determination.
The wine looks mature and aged, the colours are running towards a brick red colour which is a sign of age, look around the rim and it will confirm the brick rim colour. This wine is getting 20 years of age and it looks still solid and impressive. The legs are medium and holds only 12.5% of alcohol volume. It is definitely a wine that does not dance in nightclubs any more, but more books, open fire talkative company style wine.
At first almost immediately smells of leather appear, with animal hints, some little appearance of cabbage, which go as quickly as it came. With the constant airing of he wine, the ripe red fruits appear on the foreground but they are feeling weak and show sign of age. The overall assembly of smells is not super prominent but for a wine close to its 20th birthday and from this price bracket, I am still surprisingly impressed. Red berries and cherries are the two most remarked smells, as said leather and animal smell are prime here.
Remarkably it hold still some good tannins which for Bordeaux is key to their wines, tannins is good for ageing. Here they are still present, the wine is soft almost velvety and a sense of history envelops in your mind as each of us thinks of where he/she was in 1995..... the red fruits are overripe and aged and the oak is truly settled and almost gone. The finish is fairly long and pleasant.
Well this wine has given me a sense of joy and pleasure, a real bargain of a wine, but even so buying the younger vintages, this wine is set at a very respectable price and crafts a good attitude. It is a Haut-Medoc that can stand the crowd and will be for many a pleasant and enjoyable wine. Sure it might not look like a St-Julien or Pauillac but as in all commercial aspect a brand is these days also something you are willing to pay for. So maybe it is time to look beyond the likes of Margaux, St-Julien, Pauillac and St Estephe and seek something maybe less flashy and impressive but as much enjoyable.
This wine merits 17.50/20 or 75/100 (rated as a good wine 17-17.9 70-79)
Until next time please do drink responsibly