Stunner of Saint-Émilion’s Extraordinary Vintage
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate calls the 2015 Bordeaux vintage “extraordinary” and “outstanding,” awarding Saint-Émilion a 95-point vintage — the highest since 2005. Antonio Galloni’s Vinous considers it “radiant” and “the strongest vintage in a number of years.” Wine Spectator scores it 94-97 points. Such high praise usually commands high prices, especially if the wine hails from the hallowed soils of Saint-Émilion. So when we find a rich-fruited, silky-structured stunner like this 2015 Château Franc Laporte, which at the astonishing price of $19.99 gives credence to all the vintage’s hype — we go all in. Lock into at least one of our 150 cases of this drop-dead gorgeous, under-$20 Saint-Émilion blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc, and thank us later.
The secret to Château Franc Laporte’s perpetual excellence is the humbly sized 10-acre vineyard carefully cultivated for four generations. Ensconced on the famous clay and limestone plateau in Saint-Émilion — the compact landscape has nurtured a strong reputation for producing smooth reds marked by round tannins, pronounced red-berry fruit, and intriguing spicy notes.
Winemaker Michel Rollet’s total trust in the vineyard’s Merlot and Cabernet Franc shines in the 2015 Château Franc Laporte. He employs traditional vinification methods through temperature-controlled stainless steel vats and 70% new French oak barrels — tactics that nurture the terroir’s true nature. The result of such adherence is a sumptuous expression of balanced black fruit whose seamless oak integration will reach exquisite depths over the next 6-8 years.
This classic Bordeaux’s excellent combination value and already-legendary vintage will cause it to sell out fast. Do not sleep on this one.
Editor-in-Chief, Wine Access
Contributing Writer, Food & Wine