1928-2011 Lascombes


During this year’s en primeur campaign I had a chance to taste nine mature vintages of Lascombs. I plan to assess more recent vintages for a more in-depth, standalone piece. But in the meantime, these wines see the light of day as a Cellar Favourite.

The 1928 Lascombes is the star of the show, even though it is the only vintage poured from regular bottles. It has a typical 1928 nose with gentle red fruit, warm brick and a touch of chlorophyll, remarkably lively after almost a century. The palate is medium-bodied with a fleshy entry, more substance than the 1961 and more complexity with brown spices, orange rind and just a touch of menthol. Superb length – this is (yet another) great 1928 that is clearly not giving up just yet. Excellent. 94/Drink 2022-2030. The 1957 Lascombes, from magnum, is an unusual vintage to pour. Alarm bells ring due to its pale hue, but the nose is fine, if fragile, with vestiges of red fruit and a touch of chlorine. The palate does not hold up as well in the glass as the nose; it’s quite lean with light red fruit and hints of white pepper and sage, but overall, even from the larger format, it feels past its best. 84/Drink 2022-2023.

The 1961 Lascombes is a very fine example of this auspicious vintage. Deep in colour, it has a beguiling bouquet with blackberry, pine and hints of menthol. Pressed iris flowers emerge with time whilst retaining wonderful focus. After 20 minutes, I notice a distant tang of kelp. The palate is medium-bodied with a saline entry, linear with fine structure, sapid with a fine core of mature black fruit. Maybe there is a touch of dryness creeping in on the finish, but otherwise, this is a very pleasurable 1961 whose large format (double magnum) no doubt extended its longevity. 92/Drink 2022-2030. The 1975 Lascombes, poured from double-magnum, is quite deep in colour. Light bricking on the rim. The palate offers light, airy scents of cigar humidor and vestiges of black fruit; it’s quite fragrant and opens nicely with aeration, even if it never achieves complexity. The palate is medium-bodied and nicely proportioned, a Margaux that has held up well, although, like many Left Bank wines, it attenuates towards the finish. Solid. 88/Drink 2022-2027. The 1989 Lascombes, poured from jeroboam, has a lot of decayed red fruit on the nose, very earthy with scents of cola emerging with time, yet it soon becomes fatigued in the glass. There is something “static” here. The palate is framed by light tannins considering the growing season, lacking substance and grip with a slightly confit finish; freshly-rolled tobacco and bell pepper notes appear on the aftertaste. I am not particularly taken with this and assume 75cl bottles will be past their best. 86/Drink 2022-2025.

The 1996 Lascombes from jeroboam has a simple nose, pretty in its own way, but it fundamentally lacks the DNA of a Margaux. There is a touch of rose petals with time. The palate is medium-bodied with dry tannins, rather hollow on the mid-palate with a light and slightly saline finish that needs more substance. This was not a great period for the Margaux estate, and this 1996 does nothing to alter that. 85/Drink 2022-2025. The 2001 Lascombes is served from jeroboam. It has quite a fragrant bouquet with a marine-tinged nose, spice box, crème de cassis and a touch of orange sorbet. I notice this gaining delineation with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied and structured with ample black fruit, quite Right Bank in style towards the white pepper and liquorice-infused finish that shows a touch of dryness. Not bad, though it is pipped by the 2005, so I would drink this over the next decade. 88/Drink 2022-2032. The 2005 Lascombes, served from jeroboam, has a well-defined nose with scents of blackberry, brine and cassis aromas percolating up with time, nicely focused. The palate is medium-bodied, with hints of menthol and liquorice infusing the black fruit. There is good density here though it is just missing a little finesse toward the finish. I find myself smitten by the aromas, but the palate leaves me wanting more. 90/Drink 2022-2035. The 2011 Lascombes is poured from magnum. It is pretty austere on the nose with blackberry, damp undergrowth scents and a touch of gravel. You wish there was more fruit. The palate is medium-bodied, though the tannins feel rustic and rather harsh, attenuating prematurely towards the finish. I am not a fan of this vintage, which validates my note from the 10-Year-On tasting last year. 86/Drink 2022-2028.

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