Château Lagrange is in the St.-Julien appellation and is a Third Growth Bordeaux according to the Bordeaux classification of 1855. The estate traces its roots to the Middle Ages. After several changes of ownership in the 20th century Lagrange is today owned by Suntory, the Japanese conglomerate. There are 284 acres of vineyards planted to 65% Cabernet Sauvignon with remaining acreage planted to Merlot and Petit Verdot. Some 300,000 bottles are produced annually. Bruno Eynard is general manager and winemaker. Though the estate’s reputation suffered in the middle of the 20th century, recent decades have seen vast improvements. Robert M. Parker noted in 2003 that Lagrange “improved spectacularly after its acquisition by Japan’s Suntory.”
Saint-Julien is the smallest of the four main Médoc appellations with 2,175 acres of vineyards. It is just south of Pauillac on the left bank of the Gironde, and although it has no First Growth châteaux, its 11 Classified Growth estates are widely admired. Robert M. Parker Jr. has written that winemaking in Saint-Julien from all classifications “is consistently both distinctive and brilliant.” He adds it is Médoc’s “most underrated commune.” The best-known estates are Léoville Las Cases, Ducru-Beaucaillou, Léoville Poyferré, Léoville Barton and Gruaud Larose, and most of those have riverside estates. The soil in this appellation is gravelly with clay. Cabernet Sauvignon is the main grape grown, and it is blended with Cabernet Franc, Merlot and sometimes small amounts of Petit Verdot.