92 Insider points
This is a big Bordeaux blend that we're in love with. From a historic region that has been a high quality producer of red blends, comes a fantastic Merlot driven wine that is sure to please your palate. It tastes fantastic now, but will taste even better if cellared for the next 5-10 years. 92 points - Premier Sommelier Team
80% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc
Lussac-Saint Emilion, Bordeaux, France
Once upon a time Lussac Saint Émilion, one of St Émilion’s satellite appellations, was a rarely recognized wine region in the shadows of Saint Émilion itself. That time is over. Lussac Saint Émilion has gotten heaps of attention by the wine press in recent years and is now known as a source of quality and value. Though only newly hip, Lussac Saint Émilion is actually one of the most historic viticultural regions in the world with a tradition of wine making going back at least as far as the ancient Romans.
Boasting a terroir of exceptional quality (in fact, often on par with the vineyards of St-Émilion), Lussac was just the place our Sourcing Team expected to find a killer value from the excellent 2014 vintage. They found that and more in this Bordeaux blend from the family-owned Ch. Des Landes. Best to cellar this Bordeaux rouge, but for immediate drinking a quick decant does the trick.
· According to Decanter: “The Bordeaux 2014 vintage is ‘one to watch’, says Steven Spurrier, as newly published scores and tasting notes from Decanter’s tasting quartet show high quality wines from chateaux across the region.”
· Family owned since its founding in 1952, Ch. Des Landes was established by Paul Lassagne, a factory worker who split his time between his day job and his passion.
· Lassagne was joined by son Daniel in 1979 and later in 2001 by Nicolas, the third generation of this wine-obsessed family.
This is a big and bold red blend with dense fruit and abundant spice flavors.
Marked by its historic fortified village—perhaps the prettiest in all of Bordeaux, the St-Émilion appellation, along with its neighboring village of Pomerol, are leaders in quality on the Right Bank of Bordeaux. These Merlot-dominant red wines (complemented by various amounts of Cabernet Franc and/or Cabernet Sauvignon) remain some of the most admired and collected wines of the world.
St-Émilion has the longest history in wine production in Bordeaux—longer than the Left Bank—dating back to an 8th century monk named Saint Émilion who became a hermit in one of the many limestone caves scattered throughout the area.
Today St-Émilion is made up of hundreds of independent farmers dedicated to the same thing: growing Merlot and Cabernet Franc (and tiny amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon). While always roughly the same blend, the wines of St-Émilion vary considerably depending on the soil upon which they are grown—and the soils do vary considerably throughout the region.
The chateaux with the highest classification (Premier Grand Cru Classés) are on gravel-rich soils or steep, clay-limestone hillsides. There are only four given the highest rank, called Premier Grand Cru Classés A (Chateau Cheval Blanc, Figeac, Angélus, Pavie) and 14 are Premier Grand Cru Classés B. Much of the rest of the vineyards in the appellation are on flatter land where the soils are a mix of gravel, sand and alluvial matter.
Great wines from St-Émilion will be deep in color, and might have characteristics of blackberry liqueur, black raspberry, licorice, chocolate, grilled meat, earth or truffles. They will be bold, layered and lush.
Pair this with a hearty steak, roasted duck, or a rich macaroni dish.