Laguna Cellar featuring Dragon de Quintus, Chateau Giscours, Fleur Cardinale, La Cabanne

Wine of the Month - April 2020

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This month's selection is about perspective. We present four unique names for you to gain different perspectives on how wine tastes differently across space (terroir) and time (vintage). Two of the wines are from the same terroir (Saint-Emilion) and vintage (2016).  The other two are from different space (Margaux vs Pomerol) and time (2001 vs 2012):

Le Dragon de Quintus is the second wine of Château Quintus, formerly known as Château Tertre Daugay, a Classified Growth of Saint-Émilion.  The owners of Château Haut-Brion, one of the five venerable First Growths names, bought the property in 2011 and brought in its management team and practice to remake this wine.  Here is your chance to sample its potential before forking over a larger sum for the main label (Château Quintus routinely sells for $125, and the price of Château Haut-Brion can approach $500).

Château Giscours can claim to be one of the oldest estates in Medoc. The first written reference to the domain of Giscours, a deed confirming the sale of the estate, dates from 1330 and refers to a fortified keep. Records of Giscours' vineyards go back to 1552 when Seigneur de la Bastide sold it to Pierre de l'Horme. Prior to the French Revolution Giscours belonged to the Saint-Simon family before it was confiscated, and then bought by two Americans in 1793, John Gray and Jonathan Davis of Boston. In 1976, the then-owner of the château and President of the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux, Pierre Tari, was selected as one of 11 judges to take part in the "Judgment of Paris" wine competition. At this blind tasting, American wines such as Chateau Montelena propelled to fame. The story is told in a 2008 feature movie: Bottle Shock.

Château Fleur Cardinale, a rising star in Saint-Emilion, is owned by the Decoster family, who came from Limoges region of France, known for its porcelain and fine china business from which the Decosters made their fortune. They were advised by Jean Luc Thunevin and Murielle Andraud, the famed husband and wife team of nearby Château Valandraud, in deciding on buying the vineyard.

Château La Cabanne is from Pomerol, the smallest village in Bordeaux.  It counts some of the best names in Pomerol as its neighbors.  This wine has aged 19 years and should serve as a good check on how wines evolve after nearly two decades in the bottle.

Tasting Notes

Le Dragon de Quintus 2016 - "The 2016 Le Dragon de Quintus is a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc that was picked between 3 and 20 October. I found that aromatics tightly wound and a little unresponsive when I tasted it at Haut-Brion, though I managed to coax blackcurrant and bilberry scents, a touch of pressed flowers with time. I would like to see more vigor once in bottle. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin: blackberry mingling with white pepper and cloves, nicely balanced with commendable presence on the grainy finish. Hopefully the aromatics will wake up with time in barrel and perhaps 12-18 months in bottle." - Neal Martin Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (4/28/2017, Issue 230), Ratings: 89-91, Drink: 2019-2029

Château Giscours 2012 - "The 2012 Giscours offers up a profile of savory herbs, smoke, tobacco, licorice, dried rose petal, all backed up by beams of tannin that will ensure the 2012 will drink well for another decade plus. The Giscours is a bit wild and unrestrained, as it so often is, but the 2012 is very nicely balanced throughout, with lovely persistence and plenty of harmony." - Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, (January, 2016), Rating: 92, Drink: 2017-2027

Château Fleur Cardinale 2016 - "The 2016 Fleur Cardinale is medium to deep garnet-purple colored and bursts from the glass with crushed blackberries, mulberries and chocolate-covered cherries with hints of spice cake, dried herbs and fragrant soil. The palate is medium to full-bodied and wonderfully elegant with soft, rounded tannins and a great backbone of freshness, finishing perfumed." - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (3/29/2019, Interim Issue), Rating: 93, Drink from: 2020-2042 

Effective October 18, 2019, the US Trade Representative's Office imposed a new 25% value-added tax (i.e., import tariffs) on a wide range of European products (including French wine, Italian cheese and single malt Scotch whisky) to penalize EU subsidies for Airbus.  EU has made counter-claims agains the US subsidies for Boeing.  A ruling by WTO on EU's counter-claims is expected in the spring of 2020.

For any Futures (en primeur) and Pre-Arrival items, our current prices are shown before taxes and tariffs.  Prior to shipment, we may have to collect any tariffs levied by the US government at the time. Tariffs will be based on the date of importation and the rate of US tariffs in place at the time.  Current rules exempt wines with alcohol content above 14.5% from the newly imposed 25% tariffs. We will offer free storage in our professional wine cellar in Bordeaux in the event of any delay in importation caused by the uncertainties created by tariffs.

If you believe these tariffs are NOT in the best interest of US consumers like yourself, please consider writing to your congressional representatives to let them hear your voice.  You can find out how to contact your representatives here using this directory provided by the US Congress.


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