Château Raymond-Lafon, 2017 Update

Château Raymond-Lafon, which sits in the shadow of Château d’Yquem, is unclassified and yet turns out some of the most convincing wines of the Sauternes appellation, certainly on a par with the classed growths. I called in immediately after a visit to Château Climens, and I sat down to a tasting of five recent vintages with proprietor Jean-Pierre Meslier.

Château Raymond-Lafon

Jean-Pierre (pictured above) chose to start with two recent vintages still in élevage, 2015 and 2014, both of which showed extremely well, the more recent vintage in a richer style (although not quite up there with the truly great vintages), the slightly older vintage showing a brighter, acid-fresh tension, but still with plenty of substance and botrytis character. The confident and evolving seam of botrytis is a strong feature of the Meslier wines, and they seem never to be short on substance or flavour. Even in a vintage such as 2011, which is certainly in the fresher more acid-rich style, akin to 2007 and 2013, the flavours and botrytis complexity come through.

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