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Bordeaux 2016: St Julien

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

I hope to expand on these tasting notes soon. Despite several [costly] speeding tickets that later turned up in the post, I arrived fractionally too late to the UGCB event held at Château Talbot to taste a number of wines from the St Julien commune. These included some of my favourites Gloria, Gruaud-Larose and St Pierre as well as the Bartons [Léoville and Langoa]. Below are the notes on the St Julien properties I did visit individually during primeurs week –  Château Ducru-Beaucaillou, Château Léoville-Las-Cases and Château Léoville Poyferré. There are also notes on Château Moulin Riche, Château du Glana, Clos du Marquis and Lalande-Borie. Hopefully I’ll get the opportunity to correct the omissions here at a later point.

I’d be convinced, given the quality of the wines below, that the other major estates from St Julien that are missing [Beychevelle, Branaire-Ducru, Gloria, Gruaud-Larose, Lagrange, Léoville-Barton, Langoa-Barton, St Pierre and Talbot] have most likely produced very impressive wine in 2016, which is clearly a vintage that favours the northern left bank properties.

The following wines are listed in loose alphabetical order. Do visit the recent posts on the individual properties if you want further details.

Château Ducru-Beaucaillou, Grand Cru Classé, St Julien, 2016

Lovely bright, saturated colour; really deep and saturated; beautiful cassis notes; very layered; a voluptuousness here; blackcurrant; a wonderful, vivid seam of blackcurrant fruit; purity on the palate; lovely entry to the palate; full and caressing; lots of layers and depth. Bloody good! Fruit texture goes on – and the palate doesn’t tire. Really lovely wine. Great length. [85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 100% new oak, 13.6% alc, TA 3.44, pH 3.71, IPT 80]. Tasted 3/4/17. Drink 2024-2046. 98-100

Château du Glana. St Julien, 2016

Deep and saturated; opaque at centre; ripe fruit; lovely cabernet tones, very polished; really attractive; bright fruit; clear and fresh; will work well as a St Julein; has nice acod and freshness. Very good effort here in this vintage. Lots of polish. Tasted Grand Cercle 2/4/17. Drink 2021-2028. 90-91+

Château Léoville-Las-Cases, Grand Cru Classé, St Julien, 2016

Deep and saturated look; very dark; legs; wow; cassis; schist; mineral; great nose; great beauty; purity; good entry; sweet ripe fruit; exceptionally pure Cab; length and matter; very deceptive. Excellent length. A wonder. Such terrific balance and yet nimble on its feet. Brilliant wine. [75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc, 90% new oak, 13.6% alc, TA 3.8, pH3.66 IPT 82]. Tasted 3/4/17. Drink 2024-2046. 97-100.

Château Léoville Poyferré, Grand Cru Classé, St Julien, 2016

Lovely colour; really saturated; knockout fruit here; wonderful; layered and fantastic; really impressive seam of fruit; beautiful cassis; excellent levels of extract; this could we be exceptional Poyferré; less alcohol than 2010 and better balance [13.6%]; excellent acidity; wonderful length. Fabulous LP. Up there with ‘09 & ‘10 – stylistically more like ’10 but with the tannin texture of ‘09. [60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 13.6% alc, TA 3.6, pH 3.66]. Tasted 3/4/17. Drink 2026-2046. 97-100

Château Moulin Riche, St Julien, 2016

Deep and saturated look; intense cassis; aromatic and layered; really lots of good fruit on the nose; good seam of fruit; good entry; excellent purity; really very fine; good texture and freshness; lovely wine; excellent balance between the tension and the acidity; very interesting. Length. [63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 11% Petit Verdot, 13.5%]. Tasted 3/4/17. Drink 2022-2030. 91-93+

Clos du Marquis, St Julien, 2016

Deeply colour; vibrant and lively edge; pretty fruit; aromatic; bright fruits; cherry; black cherry; some cassis; mineral; nice entry; texture here; flesh but also balance; feels nimble and appetizing; attractive length. Good acidity. [73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 55% new oak]. Tasted 3/4/17. Drink 2023-2036. 93-95

La Croix Ducru-Beaucaillou, St Julien, 2016

Deep colour; saturated; purple at edge; creamy cassis aromatics; bright; spicy notes from the Petit Verdot; very seductive fruit; lovely sweet entry; fruit envelops the palate; caressing; plenty of depth but a joyful perfumed quality; lovely. A beauty. Extract and matter – lots of finesse. [64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 66% new oak, 13.4% alc, TA 3.51, pH 3.65, IPT 78]. Tasted 3/4/17. Drink 2021-2030. 93-95

Lalande Borie, St Julien, 2016

Lovely colour; deep at the centre; lovely fruit here; bright; some perfume; finesse; some cherry and plum; really good; lively fruit; perfume; extract; and matter; wood is bit present in the sample but will doubtless settle; extra matter and stuff; quite oaky note. Twenty-five acres of vineyards close to Talbot and Lagrange on sandy soil; good balance and nice acidity. [55% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% new oak, 13.7% alc, TA 3.41, pH 3.67, IPT 77]. Tasted 3/4/17. Drink 2021-2028. 90-92+

Le Petit Lion du Marquis de Las Cases, St Julien, 2016

Healthy looking; vibrant edge; depth; minerals notes; cherry; some soft ripe fruits with some kirsch; nice sweet entry; very Bordeaux; emphasis on the fruit; nicely balanced; has real zap; don’t feel the tannins. [54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 30% new oak, 13.4% alc, TA 3.9, pH3.69 IPT 79]. Tasted 3/4/17. Drink 2023-2028. 90-92

La Petite Marquise du Clos du Marquis, St Julien, 2016

Deep colour; black cherry and blackcurrant fruit; vibrant and up; vibrant and lively – vivant! Fleshy on the middle but bright – but also with flesh. Bodes well.  Second vintage of the second wine. More Merlot and young vine than for big sister Clos du Marquis. [61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38.5% Merlot, 0.5% Cabernet Franc, 25% new oak, 15,000 bottles made]. Tasted 3/4/17. Drink 2021-2026. 88-90+

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