Thursday, April 18, 2024

LeDomduVin: Château Lafont Menaut Pessac-Léognan 2021

Château Lafont Menaut Pessac-Léognan 2021

I recently bought this lovely Pessac-Léognan from my local supermarket to try out a 2021 Bordeaux within a 15-20 Euro price range.

What a pleasant surprise! Kudos to Philibert Perrin, the chateau's owner, and his team.

Chateau Lafont Menaut is located about 5 km south of Chateau Carbonnieux, the Perrin family's most renowned property.

The land, acquired by the Perrin family in 1990, was once covered with trees. So, they embarked on a deforestation program and stumbled upon an old, abandoned washhouse, the Menaut fountain, which became the origin of the Château's name.

Philibert gradually took over and started planting vines in 1993. The vineyards now consist of 17 hectares of red grape varieties (50 % Cab Sauv, 45 % Merlot, and 5 % Cab Franc) and 4 hectares of white (100% Sauvignon Blanc). Until 2000, Philibert made the wine at his brother Eric’s property, Chateau Haut-Vigneau.

In 2000, Philibert started the construction of the operating buildings: a vat room, barrel cellars, and living quarters. Construction ended in 2017 with the addition of a wine center and a tasting room. The final blend usually reflects the percentage of the planted grape varieties. Aging lasts about 12 months in French oak barrels, of which 30% are new.

So, why “a very pleasant surprise”? 

Well, ending a trilogy of great vintages (2018, 2019, and 2020), 2021 was a challenging vintage in Bordeaux, as producers had to battle frost, millerandage, and mildew. Chateau Lafont Menaut lost half of its production that year.

However, some very good wines were made with careful viticulture, hard work, and decisions and actions at crucial moments. Lafont Menaut is a very good example.

Chateau Lafont Menaut 2021

Intense, opaque, and deep color. Ripe dark cherry and red fruit aromas on the nose, with earthy, spicy, oaky notes and slightly smoky nuances. Tight, dark, and ripe, right after opening, after a few minutes and swirls in the glass, the palate offered a more gentle profile: round, fleshy, firm, yet fresh and juicy, with earthy and smoky notes. Nicely done!

Cheers! Santé!


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