In a nutshell: A very pleasurable Merlot dominated left bank Claret from the northern Médoc.
The lowdown: Château Lacombe Noaillac is one of most northerly estates on the Médoc peninsula and, being close to the sea and Gironde estaury on three sides is subject to quite a maritime influence. From the excellent 2015 vintage this wine is a traditional Medoc blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with also a bit of Cabernet Franc. Aged for twelve months in a mix of oak barriques and stainless steel tanks it's fruit filled and savoury with a definite plumpness of texture making it really pleasurable drinking.
When to drink: A delicious Cru Bourgeois Claret that's matured well and is drinking really well. Perfect with roast red meats and game.
Built in 1834, the Château Lacombe Noaillac is located in the communes of Jau Dignac and Loirac in the north of the Médoc. Ideally positioned between the Gironde estuary and the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean, the vineyard benefits from a temperate oceanic climate in what is the northernmost vineyard of the Médoc.
Jean-Michel Lapalu, son of Claude Lapalu, bought the property in the late 70's restructuring the vineyard between 1979 and 1982 before Antoine Moueix Propriétés acquired the estate in 2016. The 26-hectare vineyard is on a soil of fine Garonne gravel, at a mean altitude of 18 meters above sea level and, due to the location, has a marked maritime influence. Nearly two thirds of the planting of the 26 hectares of vines are of Merlot, with around a quarter being Cabernet Sauvignon with the remainder being Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.
Whilst only a modest Cru Bourgeois estate with the guidance of the respected Moueix ownership their wines certainly punch above their weight and are dependable and excellent value examples of the northern Médoc.