Today I was in property… For once I arrived with 40 minutes delay (mea culpa, mea maxima culpa)… Well, it’s was raining on Bordeaux, the city was totally jammed ! I finally arrived at the Château Lafon-Rochet ! I had not at all expected to write an article : I was at the Château to discover it but also looking for my wine tasting classes ! But sometimes fate has other ideas… I get out my pen to honor this visit because sometimes it happens that we have a crush.
The Château Lafon-Rochet, Fourth Grand Cru of Medoc since 1855, is located in Saint Estephe in the North Medoc… It’s a bit like going to the other side of the world, in Tahiti for example. But do not be afraid to go far away in order to bring back pearls ! This property is one of the most enjoyable in Bordeaux but is also a bolder that changes the code with its yellow label ! A beautiful cultured pearl such as those found in Australia : a golden pearl !
“Sky is an egg, Earth is the egg yolk” Chag Heng
I’ve always loved the golden pearls from Australia! There’s something very sweet and at the same time solar in pearls… It’s a bit how I feel with the Château Lafon-Rochet. I have a bottle in my cellar, but I haven’t tasted it yet: the label and colour are so original… The property is attractive, the building is really cute and then, right now, it’s the harvest : time to create the rosé Lafon-Roset for which I made the trip !
After a short visit with Isabelle, a charming passionate woman, the time has come for the tasting. Lafon-Roset, Bordeaux rosé is like a rosé from Provence with it’s light salmon color. The palate is fresh with a slight pleasant sweetness! A small candy kind Mashmallow… It’s very nice! The second wine of the Château takes its name from the small chapel located on the property: The Pilgrims of Lafon-Rochet (Les Pélerins de Lafon-Rochet). Very fruity, very aromatic with hints of cocoa… This is a great success, a seductive wine! Finally, it’s time to taste the Château Lafon-Rochet 2007. Powerful aromas with beautiful toast and coffee notes, black cherry and blackberry also are present… There was something fresh with mint and a nice finish of leather… A wonderful St Estèphe, smooth and delicious !
So I know you’ll say that this article is not really in the classic pattern of the other ones. Actually, I did not really wanted to look into the history of the Château (dating of the XVII° century) or wine (very good you understood it and with only 200,000 bottles produced under oenological advice of Mr. Berrouet, former head of Pétrus, it’s in fact very good) but I wanted to talk about this visit and the meeting I made. The property was renovated in 2000: new aging cellar and new yellow label at the same time. I would have enjoyed to work in this property! The tasting room is gorgeous with a cozy fireplace. Two huge barrels serve as ‘table legs’ to a huge plate glass. But what is striking is the large bay window that overlooks a deck with stunning views of the vineyards. In the distance you can see Pontet Canet (which belongs to the same family as Lafon-Rochet : the Tesseron) and even Lafite Rothschild !
Wine tourism has all the turnkey to be a true success in this property. Despite the rain that day, the view of the vineyard was very soothing: the mist that rises from the earth, the beauty of the park, the small chapel that overlooks the whole place, the bright yellow of the facade of the Château, the wines under glass bells like diamonds in their chests… It haven’t been in a such place since a long time: where quality is synonymous of simplicity. Besides the pleasant environment, I met Michel Tesseron, the owner, who left in recent years the reins of the property to his son Basile.
A real character. A personality, a story… An iron fist in a velvet glove? You must have the head on shoulders and at the same time in the clouds (in the sense that you have to dream) in order to carry out a project like being at the head of a inheritage such as Château Lafon-Rochet. At the end of the classical tasting, Mr. Tesseron has provided an older vintage : 2000 which is no more to introduce. It’s an alliance of strength and delicacy… A wine ‘hand-sewn’ as Basile likes to say. A powerful wine, lace in the mouth… I think that if Mr. Tesseron reads this article, he’ll think I flatter… It would certainly not be totally wrong because I love the colorful characters and I ‘ll be happy to return to the property, but it would not be completely right because I stay true to what I am and that is not the hand but the heart that writes.
Still, after having tasted the 2000, the young team of the property came around the tasting table. The cellar master Frederic Renaud, the technical director Lucas Leclercq and the (very young ) vineyard manager Anaïs Maillet, gathered to enjoy a Swiss Chasselas, a gift from a visitor… Anyway, there I attended a family meeting as an observer and I found the atmosphere very nice !
So to conclude… Beautiful property, well maintained park, adorable dog (yes, there is a mastiff but very sweet), impeccable service and superb wineries, interesting tasting wines of St Estephe (you understand this wine is excellent !) and premium amazing encounter thanks to the owner ! It’s simple, it’s good, it’s beautiful ! My crush !