JEB DUNNUCK: "This estate is in a cool, limestone terroir on the eastern side of Saint- Emilion, and it's been firing on all cylinders over the past decade, in no small part due to the talented director, David Suire. The 2018 Château Laroque checks in as almost all Merlot (there is 3% Cabernet Franc) that comes from an incredibly strict selection of just 41% of the total production. Brought up in a mix of new and used barrels, it's more about finesse than power, offering a gorgeous perfume of ripe black cherries, mulberries, cassis, violets, spring flowers, and chalky minerality. Medium to full-bodied, pure, and incredibly elegant on the palate, it builds nicely with time in the glass, has ultra-fine tannins, flawlessly integrated tannins, acidity and fruit, and a great finish. It's as classy as they come. Approachable today with a decant, it will drink nicely for 20 years or more. Readers looking for an impeccably made, classic, high-quality Saint-Emilion that doesn't break the bank should back up the truck for this beauty."
THE WINE ADVOCATE: "The 2018 Laroque is composed of 97% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc, aged in 50% new barriques. The alcohol is 14.5% and the pH is 3.48. Deep garnet-purple colored, it bursts from the glass with flamboyant notes of stewed black plums, Black Forest cake and boysenberries, plus hints of candied violets, star anise and unsmoked cigars with a playful waft of sassafras. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is packed with juicy black fruits, supported by plush tannins and tons of freshness, finishing long and fragrant."
WEINWISSER: "Tiefes Purpur mit opaker Mitte und zartem rubinrotem Rand. Was für ein konzentriertes Bouquet mit roten Kirschen, parfümierter Pfeifentabak und Waldhimbeeren. Im zweiten Ansatz Nougatpralinen, Lakritze und edle Cassiswürze. Am sublimen Gaumen mit weicher Textur, fein körniges Extrakt, unheimliche Fülle und Tiefe, die ich bis dahin bei diesem Wein noch nie erlebt habe, perfekter Modellathlet. Im aromatischen Finale Alpenheidelbeeren, zartes Fliederparfüm und tiefschürfende Mineralik. Genial gelungen und zeigt deutlich, dass sein großer Auftritt während den Primeurs keine Eintagsfliege war - Chapeau David Suire!"
THE WINE CELLAR INSIDER: "With a good depth of color, the fleshy wine is rich, full-bodied, luscious and loaded with a myriad of dark red berries, black cherries and just a touch of blue fruit. Concentrated, opulent and silky, the finish really sticks with you, which is a good thing as all this fruit is not something you want to miss. The wine blends 97% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc, 14.5% ABV. Chateau Laroque remains a diamond in the rough selling for a song. This will change Laroque gains more popularity, buy it now if this is your style of wine."
JAMES SUCKLING: "Aromas of ripe blackcurrants, spiced cherries, cloves, praline, tea leaves and crushed gravel. It’s medium-to full-bodied with firm, tightly knit tannins and fresh acidity. Fleshy, chewy layers lead to a long, mineral finish. Late bottling helped here. Try from 2023."
WINE ENTHUSIAST: "This well-textured, rich wine has a firm texture that promises a future of smoothness and concentration. Touches of vanilla from wood aging combine with ripe black-currant fruits in a wine that should be ready from 2026."
DECANTER: "The colour is deep and bright, the nose a little restrained but the pitch is fresh and there’s a good density of fruit. The signature of the limestone soils is clearly marked on the palate but the finesse of the tannins has been reinforced. It’s still a little closed but there’s good length on the finish. 41% of the production was selected for the grand vin."
WINE SPECTATOR: "This has some frank ripeness with a mix of dark plum, loganberry and cherry paste flavors. They're integrated nicely though, with a sandalwood and dried anise spine for form through the refined finish. Best from 2022 through 2032. 11,250 cases made."
FALSTAFF: "Dunkles Rubingranat, violette Reflexe, dezente Randaufhellung. Zart nussig unterlegtes Brombeerkonfit, etwas Lakritze, frische Orangenzesten, zarte Kräuterwürze im Hintergrund. Mittlere Komplexität, rote Kirschen und Beeren, frischer Säurebogen, integrierte Tannine, mineralischer Nachhall, salziger Rückgeschmack."