Grand-Puy-Lacoste originated from one large estate that included its neighbour, the property now known as Grand Puy Ducasse. The estate was owned by Monsieur de Guiraud and was left by him to one of his two daughters and her husband Dejean. Dejean owned nearby Lynch Bages, however, it was under his son’s ownership the estate was split and the layout of the estate came to exist as we know it today. The Château was passed down the female side of the family eventually arriving with one decedent who had married François Lacoste, this gave rise to the name used today. François was the owner during the 1855 classification where the price and reputation of Grand-Puy-Lacoste earned it Fifth Growth status. The Château remained in the Lacoste family for several generations, however, a period of instability and decline followed when the property was sold to Raymond Dupin in 1932. The estates’ fortunes began to turn around when Dupin sold half his shares to Jean-Eugène Borie. Today the Borie family own the majority shareholding and Jean-Eugène’s son, François-Xavier manages the property.
The vineyards of Grand-Puy-Lacoste cover 55 hectares and are planted on very deep gravel, forcing the plants to develop an extensive root system to find the water and nourishment needed for growth. Because of the soil’s poor quality, the vines “suffer for their beauty” and become more resistant with age, producing fully developed grapes with a fine sugar-acid balance. Cabernet Sauvignon is particularly well suited for this type of soil: it is a late ripening variety which needs a longer period to reach maturity than Merlot, so the heat given off by the gravel helps accelerate its growth. Grapes are fermented in 43 temperature-controlled stainless-steel vats, sized to correspond to specific parcels of vines. Vats are then tasted, and a blend is made before ageing. Grand-Puy-Lacoste sees 16 to 18 months in Allier oak (two-thirds new wood), while Lacoste-Borie, the Chateau’s second wine, has 14 to 16 months in oak, about half of which is new.
Grand-Puy-Lacoste has performed better than its 5th Growth peers and the wines produced are often excellent, combining flavours of black fruit and cedarwood. This estate is a true example of a powerful and silky wine synonymous with the Pauillac appellation.