Château Laforge, Saint Emilion Grand Cru

CHATEAU LAFORGE is our most senior Château or blended wine. It is made in the style of our Single Vineyard wines — including the cropping levels. It also represents our wine with the largest amount of Merlot — as Andrew Jefford, the writer, stated — "Maltus's Merlot babe"!

Factsheet Reviews Purchase

2014

Wine Enthusiast En Primeur - Roger Voss

“90-92 POINTS

“Showing a good depth of flavor and rich berry fruits, this is already a finely integrated wine. While you could almost drink it now with its full Merlot ripeness, there are tannins that creep in at the end to promise aging.”

Decanter Magazine En Primeur- James Lawther MW

“17/20 POINTS (90/100pts)

“Dark, confit fruit on the nose - damson and cherry. Full, round and fleshy with supple, fresh tannins. Little more length than stablemate Laforge with a glow of alcohol on the finish. Drink: 2019-2028”

“90-93 POINTS

“The 2014 Laforge is rich, opulent and super-expressive. Mocha, plums, black cherries and dark spices open up in a round, juicy St.-Emilion. The style is racy and opulent with voluptuous texture and plenty of up-front appeal. The blend is 92% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc. Jonathan Maltus plans on giving the Laforge 12 months in barrel, a shorter aging regime than he favors for the rest of his wines.”

The Wine Advocate En Primeur - Neal Martin

“89-91 POINTS

“The Château Laforge 2014 is a blend of 92% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc, which Jonathan Maltus sees as an expression of the three terroirs that constitute this cru. The 80% new oak comes through on the nose, but it is deftly integrated with the plush black cherry and blueberry fruit, lending a smear of vanilla across the top. The palate is medium-bodied with saturated tannin, velvety smooth with lascivious black cherries, a little grainy in texture with fine acidity, though it needs just a little more precision towards the finish. This will be interesting to revisit once in bottle.”

2013

Wine Enthusiast, Barrel Sample, Roger Voss

“89-91: This is a well-structured and fresh-tasting wine, with a fine series of tannins and solid fruit. — R.V. (4/1/2014)”

Wine Spectator, Barrel Sample

“87-90 Points: Displays a good mix of red and black cherry and blackberry fruit, with twinges of anise and lilac on the lively finish. —J.M.”

Wine Advocate, Neal Martin

“86-88 POINTS: The Château Laforge, one of Saint Emilion’s steady performers, is a blend of 92% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc and comes from all parcels on different terroirs. It has a rounded, quite oaky bouquet that is nicely defined, very plush and rounded. The palate is sweet on the entry with soft and supple tannins. The acidity is quite fresh and lends it a citrus thread that lends vigour and edginess on the finish. Tasted April 2014.”

James Suckling, in Barrel tasting

“89-90 POINTS : A wine with a solid centre palate for the vintage, with iron, terracotta and berry character. Full and juicy. Very well done for 2013.

Matthew Jukes, En Primeur 2013

“POINTS 16 : (92 Merlot, 8 Cabernet Franc) 70% new oak.

I am impressed here because this is an overtly fruity wine made from five distinct parcels of fruit but it is so well knit together I cannot see any joins at all – just a seamless, succulent Merlot with brilliant, medium-weight and masses of style. Drinking right now, this is a wine that will make a lot of friends.

The Wine Doctor, Chris Kissack

“POINTS 14.5-15.5/20 : Merlot 92%, Merlot 8%. Alcohol 12.8%.

Merlot picked from October 8th to the 15th, Cabernet Franc on October 15th.

Warm, ripe, rather perfumed fruit, darker fruit character. Perfumed, light chalky edge to the fruit. The fruit is broad on the palate, quite grippy, polished fruit with an appealing savoury curranty character, correct, convincing, with a seam of ripe but very defined fruit and fresh acidity. Appealing character. Fine grip in the finish. A very nicely composed wine.

Jean-Marc Quarin, En Primeur 2013

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The Wine Cellar Insider, Jeff Leve

“88-90 POINTS : Using 92% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc, the wine reached 12.8% alcohol and delivers an aromatic profile of coffee bean, smoke and plum. The wine is soft, smooth, open and fleshy. The finish is a bit too short, else this is a very nice wine.”

Richard Hemming, Jancis Robinson

“POINTS 16+ : 92% Merlot. 8% Cabernet Franc. Sweet oak character, dark black fruit and quite bit of chewy extraction. Finishes with an almost sour blackcurrant character. Rather tart – has the fruit power to mature and soften though, so worth keeping a little. Drink 2018-2028.

Antonio Galloni, Vinous

“POINTS 87-90 : Dark raspberries, smoke, crushed flowers and spices caress the palate in a rich, resonant wine endowed with considerable depth and raciness. The 2013 has quite a bit of richness within the context of the vintage, not to mention terrific overall balance. The blend is 92% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc.

Robert Parker, Barrel sample

“POINTS 88-89: A strong effort in 2013, this blend of 92% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc possesses a dark ruby/purple-tinged color, lead pencil shaving, black raspberry, black currant and licorice notes, medium body, fine tannin and decent acidity. Enjoy it over the next 7-8 years.

2012

Robert Parker, barrel samples

“POINTS 90-92

Produced from three separate terroirs (limestone, gravel/sand and a combination of both), this Merlot-based effort (92% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc) exhibits notes of black currants, black cherries, licorice, tapenade, camphor and vanillin. It is neither as rich and majestic as the 2010 nor as explosively opulent as the 2009, but it reveals impressive ripeness, medium to full body, abundant glycerin and an attractive personality. Drink it over the next 10-12 years.”

DECANTER

“POINTS 16.5/20 (88/100)

Fragrant red berry aromas. Juicy fruit. Merlot (92%) at a perfect pitch. Tannins firm but fine. Harmonious.

Drink: 2016 - 2025

Taster: James Lawther MW

Wine Enthusiast, Roger Voss

“POINTS 89-91

Barrel sample. This is an attractively fruity wine that’s packed with blackberry flavor. The mid palate boasts fruit-cake and raisin flavors with a hint of smokiness that complement a firm tannic character. Spicy aftertaste lingers on the finish. — R.V. (4/9/2013)”

Neal Martin, Wine Journal

“POINTS 88-90

The 2012 Chateau Laforge has a light blackberry and cassis scented nose with touches of dark tea emerging. It is very smooth in the mouth with luscious dark berry, slight spicy fruit. The acidity is a little tart on the finish although I am looking for a little brightness on the finish. Tasted April 2013.”

Stephen Tanzer's

“POINTS 87-90:

(92% merlot and 8% cabernet franc): Dark ruby. Spicy black pepper and graphite complement dark plum on the nose. Fresh and lively on the palate, with dark plum and blackcurrant flavors carrying through to the smoothly tannic finish. This wine has been aged in 80% new oak since 2008. Enologist Gilles Pauquet, who is involved at Cheval Blanc, also consults here. Director Jonathan Maltus quipped that as he likes modern-styled wines and Pauquet more traditional ones, the two work well together.

Robert Parker In Bottle Review

“89 POINTS - Another of the boutique properties from proprietor Jonathan Maltus, Laforge is essentially an unfiltered, very old vine Merlot of St.-Emilion. In 2012, the blend is 92% of the Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc. With loads of juicy Chinese black tea, kirsch and raspberry notes, a lush, heady, medium-bodied texture, light tannin and a plump, opulent mouthfeel and finish, this is a sexy St.-Emilion to drink over the next 7-8 years. Robert Parker ”

James Suckling In Bottle

“90 POINTS

A silky and refined red with plum, berry and light vanilla character on the nose and palate. Medium body, dense center-palate and a delicious finish. Drink now or hold.”

2011

Wine Spectator

“POINTS 87–90.Pure and breezy, with good plum and blueberry notes and a rounded, lightly toasted finish.—J.M.

Wine Enthusiast

“POINTS 87–89 A fruity wine with plenty of dense tannins and a solid structure, this expression is powered by acidity, black fruit and a dark, dry finish. —R.V.”

Jane Anson, South China Morning Post

“POINTS 91 Changing style from Teyssier, mainly because lower yields. Here low 30s. 92% merlot, 8% cab franc, 13.65ph, 3.44TA. Things are tightening here. The fruits are darkening, five different parcels. Clay on limestone did best for Jonathan this year. Lovely grip on the finish.”

Decanter

“THREE STARS Attractive dark fruit flavour with a chocolaty note. It has mid-palate substance and is a little chewy on the finish. Drink 2016-2023. (16 points)”

Robert Parker

“POINTS 90-93. This 2,500-case blend from three separate St.-Emilion terroirs is composed of 92% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc. Copious aromas of graphite, sweet black currant and black cherry fruit intermixed with notions of underbrush, forest floor, camphor and Asian spice emerge from this complex, medium to full-bodied 2011. Loaded with color, fruit and surprisingly silky extract, it should drink well for 10+ years.”

Tim Atkin MW

“Château Laforge POINTS 92. One of the cheaper wines in the Maltus portfolio, this is very soft, almost velvety on the palate, with classic Merlot plushness, silky tannins and refreshing acidity. It won’t make old bones, but this is a very drinkable, punters’ wine. 5+ years.”

Stephen Tanzer's Int. Wine Cellar

“POINTS 86-89.(92% merlot and 8% cabernet franc; 3.52 total acidity;13.5% alcohol; 30 h/h): Bright ruby. Deep, reticent aromas of plum and blackberry complicated by sweet spices. Enters the mouth fat and soft, then maintains its supple character in the middle, showing dense flavors of plum, chocolate and coffee. Finishes a little chunky but with decent lift thanks to harmonious acidity; just a trace of heat and chewy tannins to lower my score a little. The grapes come from all three major terroirs of Saint-Emilion; clay over limestone (next to Grand-Pontet), sand from the pieds de cotes below Angelus, and gravel from next door to Monbousquet.”

Wine Enthusiast in Bottle

“90 POINTS : It shows great depth of flavor, with delicious fresh berries, black fruits, balanced acidity and fragrance. The tannins are present, but given a great lift by the fruitiness. A wine to drink over the medium-term, from 2016.—R.V

Robert Parker, in Bottle Tasting

“POINTS 90 : Another project of Jonathan Maltus, the 2011 Laforge (100% old vine Merlot) offers a sweet kiss of kirsch, chocolate and licorice along with a deep ruby color, a fleshy, ripe, hedonistic personality and 7-8 years of drinkability. This lush, medium-bodied wine is again impressive.

2010

Decanter

“FOUR STARS - A Jonathan (Le Dôme) Maltus wine. A clear step up from previous years. A lighter touch has given more expression to the (Merlot) fruit. Fresh and elegant with finely textured tannins. 2016-2025.”

Robert Parker

“POINTS 90-93 - The Laforge, usually composed of approximately 92% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc, is intended to be a blend of the three major terroirs in St.-Emilion - the gravel, sand, and hard limestone hillsides. The 2010 exhibits sweet black currant fruit, powdered limestone and toasty oak in a full-bodied, rich, dense style, with the fruit very apparent and the acidity and pH lower than normal, giving the wine excellent precision/definition. This wine should drink nicely for 10-15 years. Drink: 2011/26.”

Neal Martin, Wine Advocates

“POINTS 89-91 - A blend of 92% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc, this has a certain “coolness” on the nose with refined blackberry, briary and wild hedgerow. The palate is medium-bodied with chewy tannins on the entry, succulent earthy black fruit that leads to a very supple, pleasing finish. Drink 2013-2020.”

Wine Cellar Insider

“POINTS 92-94 - Chateau Laforge, which takes its name from the trade of a former owner who was a blacksmith, is produced from 92% merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc. Licorice, spicy blackberry and earth aromas, medium/full bodied, round textures and a finish filled with chocolate covered black cherries.”

Jane Anson, South China Morning Post (1)

“POINTS 92 - Gorgeous bright en primeur colour, gourmet and sweet but very appealing. This blend was created on the first attempt by the way, apparently one of the very few than Jonathan and his team (Gilles Paquet is consultant) have ever pulled off - they did try others, but went right back to their initial suggestion because it worked the best! 92% merlot, 8% cab franc. Malolactic in 100% new barrel, ageing in the 80/20 mix that is now standard with Maltus. Drink 2016-2026.”

Wine Enthusiast

“POINTS 88–90 - Smoky ripe fruit, with some firm tannins. The wine is packed with berry fruits. –R.V.”

Wine Spectator

“POINTS 90-93 - Tight and racy, with licorice and graphite notes leading the way, while the core of violet, blueberry and linzer torte hangs in the back for now. Fresh and silky on the finish, with the floral note lingering. —J.M.”

Wine Spectator in Bottle March 2013

“Points 91 : Solid, with linzer torte and cassis notes woven together and lined with a sappy melted licorice note. Plenty of sweet spice fills in on the finish, which is dense but caressing in feel overall. Best from 2014 through 2024. - JM”

Neal Martin, in Bottle

“Points 89

Tasted at Château Teyssier, The Laforge 2010 has a fragrant bouquet of wild strawberry and raspberry preserve - defined and bright on the nose. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe rounded tannins, crisp acidity and a harmonious, sleek finish that will need 18 months to absorb the new oak. Tasted November 2012.”

Wine Enthusiast in bottle

“90 Points : Dominated by juicy Merlot, the wine has weight, density and a full, fruity blackberry character. This generosity is balanced by a restraining dry, tannic core. World's End LLC. R.V”

Robert Parker en bouteille

“Points 94: Showing slightly better from bottle than barrel (and it performed admirably there), the 2010 Laforge emerges from three major soil types in St.-Emilion – gravel, sand and hard limestone. It is largely a Merlot-based wine, with only about 8% Cabernet Franc added in. A big, forceful, classic, full-bodied St.-Emilion with sensational depth, the 2010 displays plenty of black fruit, hints of incense, graphite, and forest floor, and perhaps even a suggestion of black truffle.

It is deep, full-bodied, opulently textured, yet the tannic structure comes through in the finish. This is another sensational effort from proprietor Jonathan Maltus. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2032.”

2009

Robert Parker

“POINTS 91-94: Laforge is a blend of three separate St.-Emilion terroirs assembled by proprietor Jonathan Maltus that is usually a blend of approximately 92% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc. A big wine, the opaque purple-hued 2009 was somewhat closed the day I tasted it, but it revealed lots of minerality, blackberry, graphite, and subtle smoke notes. Meaty, rich, and full-bodied, with noticeable tannins, this cuvee needs time to settle down, but everything is there for an evolution of 10-15+ years.”

Neal Martin

“88-89 Points: Picked between 30th September and 8th October, the Cabernet Franc on 10th October, a blend of 92% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc, this has an inviting, silky, very pure, glossy bouquet with black cherry, boysenberry, a touch of creme de menthe and a touch of cassis. Good definition. The palate is full-bodied with firm grip, yet the tannins are quite fine if robust, a chalky texture to the finish, just missing a little length on the aftertaste, the tannins just a little raw. Tasted March 2010.”

Weinwisser

“2009 Laforge POINTS 17/20: Rich purple garnet. Warm cassis bouquet and dark cherry marmalade, discrete Amarena touch, notes of Rumpot. Sweet on the palate with sweet, velvety but also light mealy extraction, blackcurrent finale. Can still lay down. 2013-2022”

Decanter Magazine

“THREE STARS. 16 points. Generous, fleshy fruit. Very Merlot. Has the opulence of the vintage but with tannic grip for a slightly more serious feel. Drink 2014-2024.

Wine Spectator

“POINTS 90-93. Blackberry and dark chocolate aromas follow through to a full body, with supersilky tannins and a beautiful finish with just a hint of coffee. Best ever? —J.S.

South China Morning Post

“POINTS 94 - 90% Merlot - the highest amount of Merlot that they do in any of the wines, as Maltus is definitely a believer in Cabernet Franc. This comes from a dispersed five hectares around St emilion – party by Grand Pontet (clay limestone), partly by Le Dome (sand), and partly by Monbusquet (gravel). Silky fruits. Vinification temp reached maximum of 28 (around 2 degrees lower than in 2008), with less time on skins at the end. Beautiful length, the tannins are quite insistent, but smoothed out.”

Wine Enthusiast

“POINTS 88–90 - A solid, chunky wine, with a slight mineral character, just enough tannin and very pure blackberry juice and sweetness - R.V.

Robert Parker (in bottle)

“POINTS 96. From proprietor Jonathan Maltus, this blend of three terroirs, two on sand and one on gravel, is a blend of 92% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc. About 2,000 cases are produced, and the prodigious 2009 is the finest vintage to date. Inky blue/purple, with notes of licorice, camphor, black truffle, blackberry and blueberry, this full-bodied wine has massive concentration yet at the same time displays elegance and harmony. The equilibrium and 60+-second length make for a huge, massive, but incredibly well-balanced wine, like a shadow of the proprietor himself. Drink it over the next 15 or more years. Drink 2012-2027.”

executive wine seminars

“92 Points - Deeply saturated color. Sweet, alcoholic, though tight nose doesn't reveal much, even after aeration. There are faint hints of dark berry fruit, licorice, and minerals. Youthfully tight in the mouth as well. This is a concentrated, thick, "puckery" wine with dark berry flavors and a boatload of dry tannin.We give 2 high marks for structure, concentration, and acidity.It is complex, chewy, and balanced, getting softer and more enjoyable as it sits in the glass. It grows on us, especially given a long finish.”

Derek Smedley, MW

“POINTS 93 - Drink 2015-30 - Merlot 92%, Cabernet Franc 8%

Tasted in Bordeaux November 2010

The nose has the richness of damsons and the power of sloe and black cherry. Sweet fruit, ripe tannins give a lovely lush quality to the mid palate with behind the sweetness vanilla and the herbal spice of the Cabernet Franc.”

2008

Robert Parker

“POINTS 92-94. This limited production offering, which comes from three separate terroirs, is a blend of 92% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc in 2008. A brilliant success, proprietor Jonathan Maltus’ 2008 offers an inky/ruby/purple color along with aromas of flowers, sweet black fruits, licorice, and subtle new oak. Full-bodied and opulent with the vintage’s sweet, ripe tannins, layered, concentrated fruit, wonderful density and purity, and a full-bodied mouthfeel, it should age effortlessly for 10-15 years.”

Decanter - Bordeaux 2008 Tasting Notes

“POINTS 16. Dark, full and savoury in style. Round and firm on the palate. Ripe and solid rather than complex. Drink 2014-2022.”

Derek Smedley MW

“The fact that it is largely Merlot is very evident from the fleshy black plum that gives richness to the nose and flesh on the palate. The firmness of the tannins tends though to overpower and hold back the fruit leaving the finish quite tight and short.”

Jane Anson

“POINTS 91-92. Cropped to four bunches per vine, this is comprised of five parcels from the three ‘terroirs’ of St Emilion; clay over limestone, sand, and gravel (from a plot next to Monbusquet). 92% merlot, 8% cabernet franc. There are again lovely tannins in this, so smooth. Holding off on pumping over right at the end of the process helps smooth things out, and holds off on over-extraction. There are vibrant red fruits here, a very pure, precise wine.”

Neal Martin

“POINTS 87-89. A blend of 92% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc, cropped at 4 bunches per vine, this has a light, floral, gravelly nose – think roses growing over a rockery. Good definition. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins, a little hardness towards the finish but it should mellow with time. Fine. Tasted April 2009.”

Wine Enthusiast

“POINTS 90-92. Spicy, ripe and concentrated, this works well as a forward, fruity wine. The fruit balances easily with a measure of wood.-R.V.”

James Suckling

“POINTS 90. This is better than I remember. Blackberries and spices with hints tobacco on the nose. Full body, with sweet and fresh fruit on the finish. Polished and refined. Best after 2012.”

Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast

“Points 91 Chocolate and ripe black fruits go with a lively, spicy acidity that gives the wine a great lift. It is lively and concentrated. ”

Robert Parker in bottle

“POINTS 92 - A sleeper of the vintage, the classic 2008 Laforge offers up notes of Christmas fruitcake, black cherries, cedar and spice in its evolved aromatics. In the mouth, it is elegant and medium-bodied, with good acidity and outstanding depth. This is complex, concentrated style of wine is impeccably well-made. Drink it over the next 7-8 years. Drink: 2011 – 2019.”

2007

Robert Parker on eRP, Who's Next, May 2008

“POINTS 89-91”

Decanter, April 2007

“4 STARS. Black-red, smoky and earthy nose, quite plummy, lovely rich slightly caramelly fruit with black cherries, good acidity to keep it fresh, fleshy, briary finish. Drink 2011-18. (17/20 points)”

Gill Lempert-Schwarz, WineVegas

“Nicely extracted black fruit, violets, crème caramel, soft rounded tannins, lovely finish, wine of the flight.”

Stephen Tanzer's, May 2008

“POINTS 87-89. (92% merlot and 8% cabernet franc) Red-ruby. Deep aromas of black cherry, tarry dark chocolate and mint. Fat, sweet and plush, with good volume and breadth to the plum, smoke and chocolate flavors. This is plump for the vintage, finishing with good breadth and a note of berry syrup. From a combination of terroirs.”

VinVino Life rates Bordeaux 2007, March 2007

“POINTS 89-90”

Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast, April 2007

“POINTS 88–90. Château Laforge, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru A gentle, ripe, fruity wine that has fresh tannins, some good fruit density, given a shape by some minerality and its sweet acidity. - R.V. ”

2006

Robert Parker

“POINTS 93. From the bottle, the 2006 Laforge, which was not included in the February report, was rated 93. A brilliant wine for the vintage, it possesses sweet tannins, abundant fruit, and remarkable concentration and intensity for this vintage.”

Decanter, April 2007

“4 STARS. Intense, fragrant, fleshy fruit, tobacco and green tea flavours, very attractive deep Merlot picked at perfect ripeness. 2010-18.”

Falstaff, Austria, April 2007

“POINTS 90-92. Deep red garnet colour with violets glints. On the nose very intense, underpinned by the fruit, with nuances of tobacco. In the mouth, strong tannins that encourage you to drink more. Bitter chocolate.”

Jancis Robinson, April 2007

“POINTS 90-92. Deep red garnet colour with violets glints. On the nose very intense, underpinned by the fruit, with nuances of tobacco. In the mouth, strong tannins that encourage you to drink more. Bitter chocolate.”

Justerini & Brooks, 2007

“Jonathan Maltus has matured into one of the most respected winemakers of our time. Having entered the industry by chance some fifteen years ago, he is now owner of numerous properties in Bordeaux and Australia and has been awarded more stars and points by the press in that relatively short period than he would ever have imagined possible. Jonathan's Laforge, made from a variety of parcels of old-vine Merlot, which he has bought up carefully over the years, is a fascinating wine that represents all the major terroir types of St Emilion, spread over the plâteau, the slopes and the lower plain. The 2006 is a substantial wine, immediately attractive but also complex and built to last. Dark ruby, almost opaque; rich in dark berry fruit on the nose, with the hint of baked almonds and a touch of spicy oak; the palate has a meaty richness, the intense cassis fruit showing great ripeness and a hint of tobacco leaf giving complexity. This is a full-bodied (containing 92% merlot), supple wine, with a generous character, plenty of charm, and lots of style, and will certainly give great enjoyment.”

Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar – May/June 07

“POINTS 87-90. Good medium ruby. Superripe, sweet aromas of black cherry, licorice and tar. Chewy, layered and deep, with a sappy quality and sound underlying structure. A very promising effort, representing a crop level of 32 hectoliters per hectare.”

VinVinoLife - July 2007

“POINTS90”

Wine Enthusiast, April 2007

“POINTS 89–91. A dark, chocolatey wine, with coffee and mocha elements. It’s very powerful; the fruit is juicy, generous. —R.V.”

Neal Martin's Wine Journal, ERobert Parker

“POINTS 91-93. A touch of plum and black cherries on the nose with very fine definition. Full-bodied with spicy black fruits, a touch of pain grille with good acidity. Svelte and silky texture that belies the firm grip that you notice on the finish. Very well crafted.”

2005

Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate #176, April 2008

“POINTS 95. Tasting far superior than it did from cask, the bottled 2005 Laforge is fabulous. Moreover, there are 2,500 cases of this offering from the brilliant Englishman, Jonathan Maltus, who has proven he can turn quite a qualitative trick in both Bordeaux and Australia’s Barossa Valley. This dense purple-hued St.-Emilion offers up a glorious nose of graphite, blueberry and blackberry liqueur, licorice, and a whiff of acacia flowers. Full-bodied, thick, and juicy, this blend of 92% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc possesses terrific purity, an extravagantly rich mouthfeel, and wonderful precision. The result is a provocative, compelling wine that should be drinkable between 2013-2028.”

Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate

“POINTS 90-93. An offering from talented producer Jonathan Maltus, the 2005 Laforge displays full-bodied richness, supple tannin, and sweet berry fruit intermixed with mineral, floral, and subtle new oak notes. Powerful and rich as well as refreshing, vibrant, and well-delineated, with moderate tannin, it should drink well for 15 years.”

Robert Parker ‘Wine Advocate #170 May 2007’

“POINTS 90-92. Sweet black cherry and currant fruit interwoven with pain grille, white chocolate, and earth emerge from this chewy, well-made, impeccably pure, nicely textured, medium to full-bodied, St.-Emilion. It should drink well for 10-15 years.”

Decanter, April 2006

“4 STARS. Concentrated black-red, very rich old-vine Merlot fruit, almost New World in lush voluptuousness held in check by firm, spicy tannins, liquorice flavours, marvellous ripeness with refreshing acidity. Drink 2009-18. (17.5 points)”

“The Compelling 2005 Red Bordeaux Revisited? Prior to Bottling” , Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate #170 May 2007

“POINTS 90-92. Sweet black cherry and currant fruit interwoven with pain grille, white chocolate, and earth emerge from this chewy, well-made, impeccably pure, nicely textured, medium to full-bodied, St.-Emilion. It should drink well for 10-15 years.”

Farr Vintners, April 2006

“This estate belongs Jonathan Maltus, who also owns Le Dome. The wine comes from a number of parcels across Saint Emilion, comprising the 3 main terroirs found in the appellation - clay over limestone, sand, and gravel. The vines are in small strips which the grandfather of the previous owner used to claim, as a blacksmith, in lieu of unpaid bills. Green harvesting and a saignee reduces the yield to 28hl/ha. Fermentation is in wooden vats with malolactic in new French oak.”

Gary Walsh, Winorama

“95 POINTS. I don’t know how much it costs locally, but I want to buy a few. It’s Merlot dominant (as you would expect) with a small percentage of Cabernet Franc and as an unreformed Merlot enthusiast..well let’s just say I’m very enthusiastic… Delightful aromatics - black plum and blue fruits, tar, minerals, white flowers, camphor and liquorice all backed up with toasty oak. It’s a veritable shopping list of descriptors all right. In the mouth full bodied, concentrated and strong with plenty of dry tannic extract, fresh acidity and rich ripe fruit that saturates the palate - falling to savoury and earthy rather than sweet. Finishes long and dry with a slick of fine powdery tannin. Authoritative and engaging: a great wine.”

Gavin Quinney, Wine & Spirit Magazine

“92% Merlot, 8% Cab. Franc; 4 bunches per vine. Very animal nose with rustic traits, big nicely balanced wine with ripe fruit and great finish.”

Jancis Robinson, April 2006

“POINTS 17. Drink 2014-21. Very rich and opulent. Full and round and seductive. Quite delicate with fine tannins only on the finish. Sprightly. Not especially deep but energetic and certainly sends out a drink-me message loud and clear.”

Justerini & Brooks, April 2006

“A blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, a big wine with a bold structure that carries plenty of creamy blackcurrants and liquorice-tinged oak on the nose. The palate is full, meaty and rich, with a solid core of blackcurrant and cherry fruit, a very pleasant texture, and a tight finish that will require some ageing.”

Neal Martin, Wine Journal, April 2006

“POINTS 19. A deeper more broody nose that other wines within Jonathan Maltus' wines. Blueberry and violets finally making an entry. The palate is very concentrated with high acidity, a little more angular than I expected, very opulent on the finish. Needs time in barrel to sort itself out. The potential is there though.”

Neville Blech – Bacchus & Comus

“Ch. Laforge St. Emilion Grand Cru 2005. This is another estate wine based on a number of plots mainly situated in the commune of St. Sulpice de Faleyrens. 92% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc. Ripe fruit on the nose and also on the palate - a lot of concentration and grip here - deep and tannic, rounded and complex with nuances of sweet cherries and blackberries. Finishes very long. 94 pts.”

Stephen Tanzer's, May 2008

“POINTS 90 . ($70) Good red-ruby. Nuanced, spicy aromas of black cherry, tobacco, mocha, graphite and licorice pastille. Rich, ripe and sweet, with fat red fruit flavors complicated by caramel, smoke and earth. Lots of sweet new oak showing today in the middle palate and on the aftertaste, which features building tannins. But juicy acidity keeps this wine youthful and fresh.”

Steven Tanzer, International Wine Cellar

“POINTS 89-91. Deep ruby-red. Black raspberry, licorice, menthol and mineral on the nose. Dense, rich and fine-grained but uncompromisingly dry and currently a bit unforthcoming in the middle. But this is ripe, balanced and sophisticated wine, finishing with substantial chalky, chocolatey tannins.”

VinVino, Gregor Drescher

“POINTS 91”

VinVinoLife - July 2007

“POINTS 91”

Wine Enthusiast Magazine

“POINTS 91. This is a New World-style of Bordeaux, all polished edges, and sweet, ripe fruit. There is structure and dry tannins, but these are well integrated into the smooth black cherry and dried fig flavors that are given extra interest by a herbal edge. The aftertaste is fresh, keeping acidity. — R.V.”

Wine Enthusiast Online, April 2006

“POINTS 88-90. A smooth ripe dense wine, with well-integrated fruit, very present acidity, but also powering through with intense flavors of dark cocoa. -R.V.”

Wine Spectator Online, April 2006

“POINTS 89-91. Lots of toasted oak and very ripe fruit. Full-bodied, with velvety tannins and lots of ripe and wonderful fruit. Solid wine. —J.S.”

2004

Decanter, 2005

“4 STARS. Huge, smooth colour, almost opaque, very deep expression of black fruits on the nose, bitter chocolate and opulent on the palate, almost plum cake spice, with density of flavour and tannic structure to hold it in check. Very fine. Drink 2009-20.”

Jancis Robinson, 2005

“Jonathan Maltus of Teyssier’s cuvée incorporating fruit from each of St Emilion’s three soil types. Mainly Merlot. Very rich, round. velvety and flattering. Few of the obvious faults of 2004. Big, sweet and long.”

Justerini & Brooks, 2005

“Elegant and restrained on the nose, with plenty of deep red fruit behind. Good weight that builds gradually on the palate to real power on the finish, with big, well-rounded tannins. Impressively stylish.”

Justerini & Brooks, October 2004

“Laforge is sumptuous and stylish, with power where it is needed”

Stephen Tanzer, IWC 2005

“POINTS 87-89. Good medium ruby. Dark berries, violet and licorice on the nose. Juicy, tight and minerally; uncompromisingly dry in a positive way. Finishes with substantial dusty tannins.”

The Great Southwold Tasting, January 2008

“POINTS 14.04. This fleshy and flashy dark wine was mostly marked 15-16 for the smooth concentration and a general sensation of good structure. Apart from a slight acidity in the tannins, no lack balance was detected in the whole.”

2003

Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate

“POINTS 90. This showy, flamboyant offering from proprietor Jonathan Maltus is primarily Merlot (92%). It exhibits a deep ruby/purple-tinged color as well as a gorgeous nose of ripe cherries interwoven with barrique, licorice, and loamy soil smells. With superb fruit, medium body, and a silky texture, it is ideal for drinking over the next 7-10 years.”

Decanter, 2004

“4 STARS. Huge colour and really fine aromatic Cabernet Franc nose, with the dominant Merlot providing fleshy fruit and smooth ripeness, backed up by finely grained tannins. Very good wine. 2007-14.”

Justerini & Brooks, 2004

“Although the label says St Emilion Grand Cru, four of this property’s six hectares are now Grand Cru Classé, thanks to the purchase this year of a parcel of 70-year-old vines that have been en fermage to Château Fonroque for some time, a property noted for its fine terroir. There is very deep colour to this wine and a big, opulent nose of ripe berry fruit and mocha, laced with minerally elegance, while the palate is very classy, smooth and supple, with great finesse. Big fruit in the core is tempered by excellent ripe tannins, and the long, fresh finish hints at greater things to come A beautifully balanced and satisfying St Emilion'”

Rene Gabriel, Movenpick/Weinwisser, 2004

“Dark ruby-garnet colour, with a lilac rim. Delightful, slightly creamy cherry bouquet, with touches of raspberry. Smooth and velvety on the palate, of essentially finer crafting than the less mellow 2002. A very good, but also a very expensive, wine. Drink: 2007 – 2013”

Stephen Tanzer's IWC, 2004

“POINTS 88-91. One-third of this wine comes from St. Sulpice de Faleyrens and the other two-thirds from several parcels on the côtes at the top of the village of St. Emilion (owner Jonathan Maltus recently purchased some land from Châteaux Canon and Fonroque). Following the fermentation in 2003, Maltus put seven liters of lees back into the barrels, and he planned to do regular batonnage until June ‘to pump up the middle palate’. 2003 Laforge (13.4% alcohol): Dark red. Roasted black cherry and black raspberry along with chocolate mint on the somewhat exotic nose. Sweet, full and voluptuous; thick but bright, owing to well-integrated acidity. Finishes with big but nicely supported tannins and very good persistence. Maltus was one of the few proprietors in Bordeaux who admitted to acidifying his low-acid cuvées in 2003, but in this instance, at least, the added acidity seems to be in harmony with the wine. An impressive showing – in fact, on this occasion I liked this wine as much as Maltus’ super-cuvée, Le Dôme.”

The Vine May 2004

“Good colour. Ample, ripe nose. Very good style and depth. Rich and oaky. Good acidity. Medium body. That is very good plus. Long and stylish at the end. From 2007/8.”

The Wine Advocate, 2004

“POINTS 87-89. This blend of primarily Merlot and small quantities of Cabernet Franc possesses medium body, elegant, precise, pure flavors (black currants, cherries, mocha, and caramel), good power, moderate tannin, and a nicely layered finish. It should drink well for 10-12 years.”

Vinifera, Jacques Perrin, 2004

“Jonathan Maltus is the owner of Château Laforge (6ha including a parcel close to Clos Fourtet), Le Dôme as well as Château Teyssier, all three in the appellation of St-Emilion. With the help of the œnologue Gilles Pauquet (who works particularly for Cheval Blanc), he produces classy wines with a rich and flamboyant style. He is one of the serious outsiders of St-Emilion. At present, the wine is not well known by the “makers of fashion” but they will pick up on it sooner or later. Made from Merlot (87%) and Cabernet Franc (13%), Château Laforge is immediately seductive by its deep dark colour. The nose combines notes of dark fruits with a touch of creosote. The taste distinguishes itself by its lovely style, its generous nature without heaviness and its magnificently finely worked tannins.”

Wine Behind the Label - Williamson & Moore, 2005

“4 STARS. Chateau Laforge is produced from a number of superior Grand Cru sites, including the 'Le Chatelet' vineyard purchased from Chateau Canon in 2000. The wine is rich and supple, finely structured and with impressive depth and concentration. The high Merlot content (92%) of the blend accounts for its opulent, exotic style.”

Wine International, 2004

“POINTS 89-93. Jonathan Maltus's multi-parcel Saint-Emilion is rich, dense and candied. Tannins are high and slightly drying, but there's enough spicy, super-ripe mulberry fruit to cope. Drink from: 2006-2012”

Wine Spectator, 2004

“Blackberry and cherry aromas and flavors follow through to a medium- to full-bodied palate, with fine tannins and a clean finish. Don't know this château, but it's very pleasant. Almost 89-91”

Robert Parker Retrospective tasting

“POINTS 92: This beautiful, dense plum/garnet-tinged 2003 possesses notes of crushed rocks, licorice, ripe black currants, cherries, cedarwood and baking spices. Full-bodied, rich and soft, this opulent, nicely textured, heady St. Emilion should drink well for 4-5 years.”

2002

Andrew Jefford, The New France, 2002

“The six hectares are widely seperated, with some parcels (there are five in total) on the plain near Monbousquet, some on the plateau near Larmande and the best vineyards next door to Clos Fourtet, close to the town of Saint-Emilion itself. This is the most sweet-fruited and Merlot-rich of Maltus's wines, packed with cherry-plum cream.”

Clive Coates, The Vine, 2003

“Good colour. Quite firm on the nose. But rich underneath. This is really quite serious stuff. Fullish body. Ample and rich. Plenty of substance and with good grip, but no hard edges. Ripe, long and intense. Very classy finish. Very good indeed.”

Daniel Rogov, 2003

“POINTS 90-92. Produced as a "special wine" by Chateau Teyssier and considered by many to be a cult wine, this deep purple, medium to full bodied wine shows a highly traditional black currant, berry and mineral-earthy character. Plenty of oak here but with time in the glass that settles down nicely to let the fruits and other flavors and aromas show nicely. Best from release and until 2015.”

Decanter, 2003

“Excellent, deep purple, exotic, cigar, dark chocolate and blackberry fruit aromas. Concentrated without too much extraction, explosive pure blackcurrant, overtones of toast and leather. Sweet, supple tannins with a rich, silky finish. One of the few Merlot dominated successes of 2002.”

Martin Moran MW, Wine Republic, 2003

“POINTS 91-93. Perfumed nose with prune, raisin and oak while the palate shows those flavours too plus plum, chocolate and a liquorice or soy like spice. Ripe tannin adds weight, length and focus.”

Peter Moser, Falstaff, 2003

“POINTS 90-92. Deep ruby-red colour, a nose of opulently lush ripe fruit, sweet aromas with touches of cocoa, fine gingerbread spices, aniseed, cinnamon, full-bodied on the palate with a good finish, marked, yet mellow tannins, fine aftertaste of blood orange aromas.”

Rene Gabriel, Movenpick/Weinwisser, 2004

“Very deep, dense crimson colour. Somewhat cloying, compact bouquet, rich and very concentrated. On the palate, the wine is dense, given the massive extraction, markedly influenced by its vinification. Drink: 2007-2015”

Stephen Tanzer, 2003

“POINTS 87-90. (roughly 90% merlot) Good full medium ruby. Perfumed aromas of berries, bitter chocolate and flowers. Dense and lush in the mouth, with concentrated, sweet flavors of dark chocolate, coffee and minerals. In a fairly extractive style yet retains good balance. Finishes with big, broad, chocolatey tannins and chewy persistence.”

Stephen Tanzer's IWC, 2004

“POINTS 88-90 (In tank but not yet fined): Deep red. Sexy aromas of berries, mocha, vanilla and roasted nuts. Fat, lush and suave, with aromatic flavors of redcurrant, cedar, graphite and minerals. Finishes with subtle oakiness and sneaky persistence.”

The Vine May 2004

“Good colour. Good oaky, succulent nose. Rather more weight and grip than Château Teyssier, the basic Jonathan Maltus wine. More definition too. Long at the end. Very good. From 2006/7.”

VinVino Life, 2003

“POINTS 88-91.”

Wine Spectator, 2003

“POINTS 89-91. Good core of fruit in this wine, with berry and mineral character throughout. Medium- to full-bodied, with fine tannins and a long finish. From the same producer as Château Teyssier. Mostly Merlot.”

Wines of Bordeaux - David Peppercorn - 2002

“Bought from the daughter of the blacksmith of St-Sulplice-de-Faleyrens in '98, Laforge has caused quite a stir. It consists of a big, chocolaty richness and tannic structure, yet preserving a lovely freshness. The wine gets the full avant-garde treatment - malolactic in 100 per cent oak and no fining or filtration - so if you cellar it for any length of time, look out for the deposit!”

2001

Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, 2004

“POINTS 88. This blend of over 90% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc (2,000 cases produced) made by Jonathan Maltus is an open-knit, fruit forward, deep ruby/purple colored St-Emilion offering an unevolved but sweet nose of red currants, raspberries, earth, licorice, and vanilla. Medium-bodied, fresh, and lively, with good balance as well as palate presence, it is an elegant 2001 to enjoy now and over the next dozen years. ”

Clive Coates, The Vine June 2002

“Very good colour. Lovely nose. A very classy wine with very good grip. Fullish body. Very good tannins. The fruit is finely poised. The wine has a lot of depth. Long and vigorous. Very good indeed. From 2007”

Farr Vintners, 2002

“Around 2000 cases per year are produced here by Jonathan Maltus from 92% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc. The vineyards are in 5 different parcels of land which helps give complexity to what is basically a gorgeous Merlot fruit bomb. Elevage in 150% new oak which adds vanilla and toasted spice to the creamy, plump textured fruit”

Jacques & Fiona Thienpont, Belgium, 2002

“A new discovery, made by a very talented Englishman passionate about wine, Jonathan Maltus. He has produced a rich, soft & seductive wine with aromas of dark chocolate, spices, blackcurrants and tobacco. Full bodied and long.”

Justerini & Brooks, 2002

“The three soil types; sandstone, pure gravel and clay over limestone provide an excellent foundation for this complex and very well balanced winne. Deep crimson in colour, this wine offers rich, smoky aromas with raspberry fruits, big tannins and a long finish. A superbly balanced and stylish 2001”

Lea & Sandeman, 2002

“Bought in 1998, it is next to Monbousquet, on chalk and clay. Low yields of 30-35hl/ha, vinified in wooden vats, half of the malo is done in barrel, lots of new oak, working on the lees and microbullage. 92% Merlot, it is very densely-packed, big and serious”

Peter Moser, 2002

“POINTS 93-95. This is a limited production Saint Emilion wine that seems almost Pomerol in style, with 92 per cent Merlot. Pure fruit, intense, with perfect wood balance, sweet and long. Ripe fruit with good grip. Very fine with long, lasting length.”

Rene Gabriel, Movenpick/Weinwisser, 2004

“This blend of over 90% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc (2,000 cases produced) made by Jonathan Maltus is an open-knit, fruit forward, deep ruby/purple colored St-Emilion offering an unevolved but sweet nose of red currants, raspberries, earth, licorice, and vanilla. Medium-bodied, fresh, and lively, with good balance as well as palate presence, it is an elegant 2001 to enjoy now and over the next dozen years. Points: 88”

Robert Joseph, Wine Magazine, 2002

“From the same Jonathan Maltus stable as Le Dome, this is ripe, juicy and very plummy with good complexity and more mineral character than has been apparent in some previous vintages”

Stephen Brook, Bordeaux - People, Power and Politics, 2001

“Laforge is a blend of five parcels, some near the village on the plateau, the rest on a fine gravel croup near Monbousquet. First made in 1998, Laforge is flamboyant Merlot, low-cropped to 32hl/ha. Maltus gives it the works : micro-oxygenation, malo en barrique, batonnage, and a lot of new oak”

Stephen Tanzer, 2003

“POINTS 87-89. Deep red-ruby. Roasted aromas of dark fruits, minerals, chocolate, tar and mint. Sweet and shapely, with pungent oaky torrefaction and an intriguing mineral element. Good chewy, dense wine, finishing with building tannins. Fairly showy wine, particularly in light of the fact that it had just been fined.”

Stephen Tanzer's IWC, 2004

“POINTS 89. (92% merlot): Full ruby-red. Redcurrant, tobacco, earth, game and sexy oak tones on the slightly funky nose. Fat and sweet in the middle, with a note of burning tobacco. Plump and quite persistent.”

Steven Spurrier, Decanter, 2002

“4 STARS. Very deep velvety purple-black colour, concentrated blackcurrant and tobacco leaf nose, a gamey almost Syrah fruit with a rich Pomerol-y texture as well as a firm backbone. A very successful characterful wine”

Tastings/Beverage Testing Institute, Chicago, 2002

“Saturated dark red-purple hue. Crisp, dark fruited aromas follow through with very fresh berryish flavors on a moderately full-bodied palate that finishes with minerally, fine-grained tannins. This looks to have great cellaring potential”

Vinifera 2002

“This wine is sourced from five different parcels with a majority of Merlot (92%) and is characterised by a lovely rich aromatic nose of dark fruits.”

Wine Magazine 2003

“POINTS 93. Sweet fruit with good depth and weight of flavour. This has lots of oak but a nice depth of fruit on the mid-palate, a ripe sweet middle and fair depth of flavour on the finish. Still quite tight -DSTight and rich with good balance, this is a serious wine with good damson fruit.-Red fruit and plum compote with spice and rich soft tannins on the palate.- Drink 2004-2010.”

2000

Ballantynes, 2001

“Laforge runs the spectrum of St Emilion with soils of three differenttypes, sandstone, pure gravel and clay limestone. The balance of this wine is extraordinary probably helped by the different soil types. Deliciously ripe fruity aromas of blackberry and tobacco, very pure and rich. The tannins are sweet and ripe and as good as the 1998 was here, I feel that the 2000 is the best yet. All the wines here were planted in 1957 after the frost of 1956 and can claim to be Vieilles Vignes. Sumptuous.”

Clive Coates, The Vine June 2002

“Very good colour. Rich nose. Classy and concentrated. Fullish body. Gently oaky. Poised and harmonious. Very good grip. This is classy and very lovely. Very good indeed. From 2007.”

Clive Coates, The Vine, 2001

“From three different terrroirs in Saint-Emilion: sand, gravel and clay over limestone: 5 different parcels. 92% Merlot. Good colour. Laid-back, complex, gently oaky nose. This just gets better and better. Medium-full body. Very rich and concentrated. Excellent acidity. Long and classy. Very good indeed.”

Decanter, 2005

“World Wine Awards - Silver Medal - Sleek with loads of spice and plum/fig fruit notes. Really delicious. Opulent, mellow, expressive.”

Justerini & Brooks, 2001

“The three soil types of St. Emilion give this wine a balance and harmony found in few others from the appellation. A ’palate’ of St. Emilion. Wonderfully ripe juicy fruit aromas of blueberry, blackberry and tobacco, very pure and stylish. The same fruit expands and explodes on the palate, tannins are sweet and fine and sumptuous. Laforge has grown in quality and stature with the 2000 vintage and shakes off any vestiges of being a garage wine. With a production of 2000 cases however, it will not get any larger.”

Rene Gabriel, Movenpick/Weinwisser, 2004

“Rich garnet colour, with depth in its heart. Full-bodied, with a delightfully spicy bouquet of peppercorn and peat. Very meaty on the palate, with ripe acidity, a marked tannic texture, and a blackcurrant finish. Points: 17/20. Drink: 2006 – 2012”

Serena Sutcliffe, Decanter Magazine, April 2001

“4 STARS. From the same stable as Le Dôme and almost on the same level. 92% Merlot and from 3 different terroirs. Irony and yet very spicy, oriental nose. Big and chocolatey. Tannin and acidity. Mouth coating with a wonderful toasty, leathery finish. Old vines and meticulous wine-making have done it again.”

Stephen Tanzer, 2003

“POINTS 91. Saturated dark red. Superripe aromas of roasted black raspberry, smoke and game, with a hint of exotic spices. Silky, fat and sweet, with terrific volume. Chewy, concentrated flavors of raspberry, tar, iron and mocha, with just enough acidity to maintain its shape. The rich, sweet tannins reach the front teeth. The crop level was a rather low 32 hectoliters per hectare following a saignee, according to owner Jonathan Maltus, who also makes Teyssier and Le Dome.”

Tastings/Beverage Testing Institute, Chicago, 2001

“POINTS 90-95. Exceptional. Opaque purple-red hue. Fantastically-developed sweet black fruit aromas. Concentrated and rich on the attack with a medium body and a long, smooth finish. Should be a solid mid-term cellaring candidate.”

The Wine Journal, 2004

“An intense, modern nose of plum, liquorice, blueberry and ink. Much more backward than the 2001. The palate is very New World in style, with layers of rich black fruit laced with tobacco. Good definition and of course, excellent concentration. Pencil-lead on the finish. Difficult to see how you can not like this? Give it another 3 or 4 years before opening a bottle.”

Vinifera, 2001

“92 % Merlot - 8 % Cabernet Franc. This property of 6 ha runs the spectrum of St Emilion with soils of three different types: pure gravel, clay limestone closed to Clos Fourtet and sandstone. Dark colour. Wooden nose. A beautiful full mouth, a spherical body with interesting fine tannins and a wonderful finish.”

Wijn Verlinden, 2001

“The vineyards of the second Château of Jonathan Maltus of Château Teyssier, can be found throughout the Saint-Emilion region: he has parcels of the most important soil types of the area: gravel, sand and clayey chalk. These three ’terroir’ types come together to make a very good wine. The wine, which is made with 92% Merlot, has a fantastic concentration with nuances of chocolate, vanilla and preserved fruit.”

Wine Magazine 2003

“POINTS 93. Sweet fruit with good depth and weight of flavour. This has lots of oak but a nice depth of fruit on the mid-palate, a ripe sweet middle and fair depth of flavour on the finish. Still quite tight -Tight and rich with good balance, this is a serious wine with good damson fruit.-Red fruit and plum compote with spice and rich soft tannins on the palate.-Drink 2004-2010.”

Wine Magazine, 2001

“Toasty, sandalwood aromas with floral perfume. Seductive red fruit and banana, with toffeed oak. Savoury. Forward and appealing.”

1999

Clive Coates, The Vine, 2000

“This is Jonathan Maltus' (of Chateau Teyssier) second vintage. Good colour. Lovely fruit on the nose. Fragant, pure, ripe and stylish. Good touch of oak. Medium-full body. Very good tannins. This is really quite serious, up to good (even very good) grand cru classe quality. Composed. Long and impressive. From 2003/2004.”

Clive Coates, The Vine, 2003

“Full colour. A rich but quite solid nose. Oaky. Fullish body. Meaty. Ripe and positive at the end.”

Decanter, 2000

“One of the best of the Right Bank - Jonathan Maltus's new multi-parcel Merlot babe has decadent, fragrant blackcurrant and creamy sweetness.”

Direct Wine Shipments, 2000

“This is an awesome example of exceptionally skilful winemaking. Laforge is now one of Bordeaux's superstar micro-wineries. It delivers sumptuous fruit and epic concentration. One of the wines of the vintage.”

Justerini & Brooks, 2000

“This tiny property, neighbour of Monbousquet, produced less than 1,000 cases in 1999. It was picked on 16th September, which was warm (27°C) and sunny with many of the Merlot vats reaching a stunning 14.2° alcohol after fermentation. Cuvaison was short to maximise fruit in the 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc assemblage. The nose is more expressive than any other 1999; raspberry and cream, bramble and Black Forest Gateaux. Yet on the palate it is cool and collected, very concentrated with velvety textured, long layered fruit.”

Neil Martin, Wine-Journal, 2002

“A dense smoky nose. Well-balanced controlled palate. Not over-extracted. Elegant rounded ripe tannins. Lovely definition. Svelte. This really delivers style and class. Beautiful.”

South China Post, 2002

“Floral note, concentrated fruit, French oak spice, smooth tannins, oodles of flavour and style, a good wine made with flair.”

Stephen Brook, WineToday, 2001

“Laforge comes from five different parcels. With low yields and very expensive oak, Maltus makes a very rich, very powerful wine”

Tastings, Chicago, 2000

“Deep, saturated blackish-ruby hue. Rich, ripe vanilla and pure black fruit nose. A supple entry leads to a gorgeous, moderately full-bodied palate with supple tannins. A generous, modern, flashy style that will be accessible in youth but has the extract to develop over the mid-term.”

1998

Ben Ellis Wines, 1999

“The wine's colour is very deep, and the bouquet full of ripe, sweet fruit with notes of liquorice and cherry. Overall this is a very juicy and glamorous wine.”

Clive Coates, The Vine, 2000

“Two hectares just north of the town of Saint Emilion, plus 3 hectares near Chateau Monbousquet on a gravel croupe over crasse de fer in Saint Sulpice. Good colour. Very good succulent fruit on the nose again. Quite a bit firmer and more backward than the 1999. Medium-full body. Good grip. Plenty of wine here. Very well-made. But perhaps in the 1999 there is more style. Very good. From 2004.”

Justerini & Brooks, 1999

“The wine's colour is very deep, and the bouquet full of ripe, sweet fruit with notes of liquorice and cherry. Overall this is a very juicy and glamorous wine.”

Maison Sichel, 1999

“The colour is rich, dark and intense, almost black. Its aromas show great richness and complexity, initially fine elegant oak, slightly toasted then ripe red fruit of great intensity. On the palate it is full, quite rich and supple. The tannins are firm and very ripe. It has a perfect balance and an extraordinary length.”

Tastings, Chicago, 2000

“Deep, saturated blackish-garnet hue. Reserved, brooding, cedary aromas. A rich entry leads to a powerful, chocolatey, full-bodied palate. Ripe and generous, but well structured and grippy. Best with mid-term cellaring.”

Vinifera, Switzerland

“This small estate of 3 ha is located on Saint Sulpice de Faleyrans, immediately close by Monbousquet, on a gravel croup over crasse de fer. The fullness and the density of this wine are explained by the old age of the vines and by a very controlled yield. The luxurious breeding, as well as the latest techniques that are in vogue in Saint Emilion, will make it possible to further refine the ripe, firm, but still angular tannins.”

Wine-Journal, 2002

“Tasted twice. Very backward cigar-box nose. Musk? Thick chewy tannins. Very powerful. Quite a broody wine but long-term it will blossom. Rich exotic finish. Very impressive.”

VINEYARD

CHATEAU LAFORGE is a blend of 92% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc. The vines are cropped low — around 30 hectolitres a hectare — four bunches to the vine (less than half the volume authorised by the Appellation), ensuring concentration. The soil/terroir is the three types that exist in Saint Emilion — sand, gravel, and clay over limestone. The vines that make up the gravel contribution are usually the first we pick each year — the gravel acting like a night-storage heater.

TECHNICAL

CHATEAU LAFORGE receives two to three runs of green harvesting —at fruit set and veraison - ensuring that only the most perfect handpicked berries get into the vats. On arrival at the winery the grapes are sorted — firstly by bunch and then, after destemming, grape by grape. Only conveyors are used to transport the grapes and the wine is fermented in wooden vats after extreme cold maceration. The wines undergo malolactic fermentation in new French oak, and are aged in an air-conditioned cellar at 18 °C.

ANYTHING UNUSUAL?

CHATEAU LAFORGE used to be called PETIT MAUVINON, a pretty uninspiring name. When we bought the Chateau in 1998 we asked if they had any other names allowed and up popped CHATEAU LAFORGE. On top of that, the previous owner's grandfather used to be the local blacksmith!

WHAT THEY SAY

96 POINTS, ROBERT PARKER, THE WINE ADVOCATE

"From proprietor Jonathan Maltus, this blend of three terroirs, two on sand and one on gravel, is a blend of 92% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc. About 2,000 cases are produced, and the prodigious 2009 is the finest vintage to date. Inky blue/purple, with notes of liquorice, camphor, black truffle, blackberry and blueberry, this full-bodied wine has massive concentration yet at the same time displays elegance and harmony. The equilibrium and 60+-second length make for a huge, massive, but incredibly well-balanced wine, like a shadow of the proprietor himself. Drink it over the next 15 or more years. Drink 2012-2027."