Monday, March 13, 2006

Château Langoa-Barton, 1988

Château Langoa-Barton is one of my favorites, and I have bought a bottle or two during many years although my special favorite St Julien is its sibling, Château Léoville-Barton.

Langoa Barton is owned by the same folks who own Château Léoville-Barton. It was classified as a third growth in the classification of 1855. It occupies about 15 hectares (37 acres), which are planted with the traditional Bordeaux mix: Cabernet Sauvignon (70%), Merlot (20%), Cabernet Franc (8%), and Petit Verdot (2%). It is known for its finesse and style, which tends to be lighter and less concentrated than Léoville-Barton. Unlike many "modernized" Bordeaux wines, Langoa-Barton is still fermented in wood as opposed to stainless steel.

On Saturday, we had a bottle of the 1988. It has been mostly well kept, and the color was ruby although there were signs of browning on the edges. You could still taste the tannins which were well balance with the still fresh blackberry/black current fruit. It had a long lingering finish with hints of smoky cedar at the end. Very nice indeed!

Interestingly the price was still on the bottle -- $17.99! Expect to pay over $40 for the very well reviewed 2003!


Anonymous said...

When Cabernet Franc is included in wines it seems that it is done at a fairly low percentage. Why is that?

Could Cabernet Franc be a solo grape?


Moyey said...

That is not always the case. Many of the red Loire wines are actually 100% Cabernet Franc. In Bordeaux, however, Cabernet Franc usually plays second fiddle to Cabernet Sauvignon, but there are exceptions to that rule. For example, Cabernet Franc dominates Chateau Cheval Blanc, which is arguably the most prestigious wine in St. Emilion. (Cabernet Sauvignon, incidentally, is derivered from Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc.)