The 2018 Château Laronde Desormes (90 Points – Wine Enthusiast) is a very limited offering due to hail that tore through Bordeaux in early 2018. But what nature takes away in quantity it gives back in quality. The 2018 Château Laronde Desormes is knockout gorgeous. The reduced yields and exemplary weather during the rest of the growing season in Bordeaux has resulted in the finest Château Laronde Desormes to date. The 2018 Laronde Desormes is deep in color, hauntingly aromatic, and packed with blackberry and cassis fruit. Complex and beautifully textured, the 2018 Château Laronde Desormes exhibits the elegance and refined power of Margaux from start to finish. In this wine, Claude Gaudin has produced an exceptional petit château that puts to shame more expensive Haut-Médoc wines, including some very pricy Margaux offerings. For optimal enjoyment, serve this exceptional red Bordeaux at cool room temperature (58°-62° F) after 30 minutes or more of aeration, or cellar it for several more years for an even greater treat; you won’t be disappointed. Anticipated maturity: 2021-2028. Salut!
When Bordeaux is good, it is very, very good, and it provides the perfect foil to poultry, red meats, rich sauces, and wild fowl such as duck, pheasant, and quail. And, for the record, the 2018 Château Laronde Desormes is better than good, making it an ideal companion to accompany Sautéed Veal Medallions with a Brown Tarragon Sauce, or Veal Chops with Rosemary Butter. Roast Duckling with a Blackberry Sauce and a simple Pan Seared Duck Breast served with a creamy risotto or wild rice are two perennial favorites to pair with the 2018 Château Laronde Desormes. Filet Mignon or fine Tournedos topped with Shitake mushrooms makes another tasty accompaniment, as does a well-prepared Chicken Fricassee. Soft, creamy cow’s milk cheeses such as Gouda, Morbier, Muenster and Port Salut also provide beautiful complements to this wine. In our experience, simple, fresh, high quality foods provide the most rewarding accompaniments to fine red Bordeaux such as the 2018 Château Laronde Desormes. Bon Appétit!
Château Laronde Desormes fashions one of the finest and longest lived Bordeaux Supérieur or petits châteaux. This little gem of a property produces only a few thousand cases of red Bordeaux wine each year from the estate’s 22 acres of vines. But unlike most petits châteaux offerings, which hail from far flung corners of the sprawling Bordeaux appellation, Laronde Desormes is located in Macau on the border of the Margaux appellation in the Haut-Médoc. The Haut-Médoc is Bordeaux’s most renowned appellation for Cabernet Sauvignon and home to the world’s finest wine addresses: Château Margaux, Château Latour, Lafite Rothschild, Mouton, and many more. As is the case with real estate, location is everything in the world of wine. Laronde Desormes, as it turns out, is the “small house” in the most wonderful upscale neighborhood. It’s separated from the prestigious Margaux commune by just several meters and a row of trees, and because Laronde Desormes’s vineyards are located alongside the river Garonne, the resulting wine can only be labeled as Bordeaux Supérieur and nothing more. This is not so lucky for Laronde Desormes but very fortunate for wine drinkers who are searching for top notch Bordeaux at a price that won’t break the bank. If Château Laronde Desormes were positioned just a few more meters away from the river, its price would be at the very least double or triple what it is now.
Château Laronde Desormes is under the expert guidance of winemaker Claude Gaudin. Gaudin is renowned for his viticultural expertise and enormous success with a half dozen of the Haut-Médoc’s most illustrious petits châteaux, including nearby Château Barreyre. His success at Laronde Desormes lies in extracting extremely low yields from dense plantations in the vineyard and a strict selection process. Laronde Desormes’s yields are much lower than their more famous and much more expensive Cru Classé neighbors a few meters away in Margaux, which is mind boggling. In addition, Gaudin selects only the best barrels for inclusion in the château’s grand vin (this month’s feature), and the rest is un-oaked and sold in Europe for early consumption. All these factors contribute to the quality of wine produced at Laronde Desormes. The cépage, or blend, at Château Laronde Desormes is typically 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and 10% Petit Verdot, which is nearly identical to the nearby Margaux properties. The strict selection process practiced by Gaudin and the predominance of Cabernet Sauvignon allow Château Laronde Desormes to age beautifully for up to a decade or more.
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