By Manos Angelakis
The Lurton name represents a brand, but also a large family of exceptional winemakers with wineries in Europe (France, Spain, Portugal), Argentina (Mendoza), Chile, Australia, Uruguay and South Africa.
Their Bordeau wineries are well known - Château Climens, Château Bonnet, Château Desmiral, Brane- Cantenac, Villegeorges, Duplesis, La Tour de Bessan and many others. But two of the sons of André Lurton, Jacques and François have expanded beyond the French borders, to produce exceptional wines mainly in South America, Spain and Portugal.
This past October, the Lurton family presented many of their best wines to the trade and press in New York City. I know and love a number of these wines – Bérénice Lurton’s Château Climens in Barsac-Sauternes makes one of my favorite dessert wines; François Lurton’s Piedra Negra in Argentina and Hacienda Araucano Clos de Lolol in Colchagua, Chile have been my “meat and potato” selections; Christine Lurton’s Château Dauzac in Margaux is my “seduction red”. I’m at present down to the last bottle of 2003 Hacienda Araucano’s Clos de Lolol.
Others were new to me. I particularly liked:
François Lurton’s 2007 Le Pas de la Mule du Mas Janeil from the Côtes du Russillon- Villages; a lusty red blend with personality, where the majority of the wine is sourced from old Grenache vines.
Thierry Lurton’s 2008 Château de Camarsac Cuvée Prestge, a blend of 65% Merlot and 35% Cabernet Sauvignon; a bit oaky, but would be excellent accompanying the right foods.
Christine Lurton’s 2005 Château Labastide Dauzac from Margaux. One of the older vintages presented at the tasting. It is a fruity wine, full, with a remarkably rich palate. This is a meat-eater’s wine that should be cellared for another 3 to 5 years to smooth more the dominant vanilla, oak and chocolate notes.
Marie-Laure Lurton had two wines that I adored. 2009 Château La Tour de Bessan from Margaux and 2009 Château Duplessis, from Moulis en Médoc. La Tour de Bessan felt a bit more mature than the Duplessis, but both wines are still “in diapers” and need some cellar time. Frankly, the silky tannins and eucalyptus notes at the finish make La Tour de Bessan feel more like a Chilean wine than a Margaux. The Duplessis is definitely a Bordeaux beauty and shows the deft hand of an accomplished winemaker.
Bérénice Lurton’s Château Climens has a second label wine, the Semillon-based Cyprès de Climens. It is a smooth, fruity selection that taste to me more like a Trockenbeerenauslese from the Mosel. The 2007 that we tasted was young and very aromatic; an excellent example of what great dessert wines should taste like.
Sophie Lurton, daughter of the legendary Lucien Lurton, has Château Bouscaut, a property in Graves. She presented two wines, the 2009 white blend of 45% Sémillon and 55% Savignon Blanc and the 2008 blend of 45% Merlot, 48% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Malbec. The white was fresh and aromatic with good body and a long finish. The red was beatifully structured with an interesting peppery character at the long, elegant finish. The 2008 red was decidedly much more appealing than the forgetable 2007 that I tasted a year ago.
© December 2011 LuxuryWeb Magazine. All rights reserved.