Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Grand Cru Classé
Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Grand Cru Classé

Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Grand Cru Classé

Bordeaux, France 2012 (750mL)
Regular price$95.00
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Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Grand Cru Classé

In the rarefied world of classed-growth châteaux, the village of Pauillac is a king of kings. Of the five First Growths, a.k.a. the crème de la crème, three are in this small hamlet. Latour, Lafite and Mouton all reside here, harnessing the gravelly terroir and long-standing traditions to craft wines that are sought out globally and easily command high three figure and often four figure prices per bottle. And right in the middle of these luxurious icons is Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste.

One of the oldest estates on the Left Bank, this property has long been a wine trade insider’s go-to for true Pauillac pedigree at a more modest price point (actually, modest doesn’t really cut it—this is a stunning value in today’s hyper-inflated market). I can clearly recall tasting a bottle of Puy-Lacoste next to Latour many years ago in the kitchen of a top tier restaurant. They were both revelatory, and also very similar; “Can you believe one of these is five times more expensive than the other?” the head sommelier asked. I couldn’t then, and still can’t. You, too, won’t believe how much wine there is for the money here.

The history of Grand-Puy-Lacoste goes back six centuries, but there are key points on that timeline, the most important being the historic classification of 1855. About a decade prior to that, Pierre-Frédéric Lacoste took the helm and was devoted to improving the quality of his family’s wine. This devotion paid off with a Fifth Growth designation, something that only a few dozen Bordeaux properties out of hundreds achieved. But today, many experts, Hugh Johnson among them, believe that Grand-Puy-Lacoste deserves an even higher rank. The geology, expositions, and general terroir of their vineyards is nearly identical to the First and Second growths that surround them. And when François-Xavier Borie took the helm in 1978, he made sure that everything at the estate, from vineyard work to winemaking, was of the highest quality. 

Of course, like all the greatest Bordeaux, Grand-Puy-Lacoste needs some time to show its full spectrum of depth and beauty. That’s why the 2012 we have for you today is so appealing. Because this vintage wasn’t quite as powerful and structured as blockbusters like 2010 and 2005, it also did not get the same level of hype and attention. But 2012 was a vintage of pure balance and elegance. That means that at a decade of age it is already popping, and it also means that the intrinsic value of this château is even more pumped up. Put simply, you can have a bottle of Pauillac that rivals neighbors selling for over $1,000—for under $100!

Prestigious history, top-tier terroir and timely innovation all combine to make Grand-Puy-Lacoste great. Idiosyncrasies of history make this wine an amazing value. But Bordeaux lovers, let me be perfectly clear: the goods are here. Red and black cassis fruit envelops layers of earth, cedar, tobacco and iodine-like minerals. It’s a wonderfully familiar, perfectly executed performance. You want this on hand for perfectly grilled steak, or, maybe even better, grilled lamb chops. It’s also a wine to have in quantity if possible, in case you need a banger to bring to a dinner party or a last-minute gift for a serious connoisseur. So we recommend a six-pack: four for you and 2 for just in case. Cheers!


Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Grand Cru Classé




Enjoying the greatest wines of Beaujolais starts, as it usually does, with the lay of the land. In Beaujolais, 10 localities have been given their own AOC (Appellation of Controlled Origin) designation. They are: Saint Amour; Juliénas; Chénas; Moulin-à Vent; Fleurie; Chiroubles; Morgon; Régnié; Côte de Brouilly; and Brouilly.

Southwestern France


Bordeaux surrounds two rivers, the Dordogne and Garonne, which intersect north of the city of Bordeaux to form the Gironde Estuary, which empties into the Atlantic Ocean. The region is at the 45th parallel (California’s Napa Valley is at the38th), with a mild, Atlantic-influenced climate enabling the maturation of late-ripening varieties.

Central France

Loire Valley

The Loire is France’s longest river (634 miles), originating in the southerly Cévennes Mountains, flowing north towards Paris, then curving westward and emptying into the Atlantic Ocean near Nantes. The Loire and its tributaries cover a huge swath of central France, with most of the wine appellations on an east-west stretch at47 degrees north (the same latitude as Burgundy).

Northeastern France


Alsace, in Northeastern France, is one of the most geologically diverse wine regions in the world, with vineyards running from the foothills of theVosges Mountains down to the Rhine River Valley below.

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