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Bordeaux 2017 In Bottle: St Julien

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

St Julien produces wine typically of high quality and in a consistent style. This is true of its wines in 2017. In terms of the left bank, it feels like the high point for me in this vintage on this side of the Gironde. Château Branaire Ducru has succeeded well and the Léovilles are very good as you’d expect. Amongst the Barton stable, there is a wonderfully fresh Château Langoa Barton and a very complete, and serious, Château Léoville Barton. Château Léoville Poyferré feels somewhat pent up but it is evidently concentrated with great texture. Siblings Château Gloria and Château St Pierre are both fantastic. What a marvel Gloria always is and St Pierre tops the lot, admittedly in a field sans Ducru and Las Cases. Château Beychevelle also looks impressive in 2017 for the vintage. Good wines have also been made by Château Gruaud Larose, Château Talbot and Château Lagrange, though they lack the depth of the very best. Still this is a particular achievement for Lagrange whose crop was especially affected by the April frost.

The following wines were tasted in October 2019 at the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux event in London.

Château Beychevelle, Grand Cru Classé, St Julien, 2017

Mid depth; fresh and attractive aromatics; good purity here; palate has depth and middle. This will work well. Tasted October 2019. Drink 2026-2035. 91+

Château Branaire-Ducru, Grand Cru Classé, St Julien, 2017

Mid depth; fresh blackcurrants; savoury note; works well; palate shows fresh, attractive fruit; overall lacks depth perhaps but has class; fresh and textured on the finish with savoury notes again. Showed better than a sample tasted five months earlier. Tasted October 2019. Drink 2024-3035. 91

Château Gloria, St Julien, 2017

Deeply coloured for the vintage; blackcurrants, tobacco notes and cedar; some leaf; nice layers here and forward; good punchy palate with plenty of fruit and depth; freshness too. This works really well. Tasted October 2019. Drink 2023-3035. 91+

Château Gruaud Larose, Grand Cru Classé, St Julien, 2017

Mid depth; red fruits, almost strawberry notes; already quite forward with some tobacco notes; savoury; palate has elegance but lacks a little depth; fresh finish. Tasted October 2019. Drink 2022-2035. 89

Château Lagrange, Grand Cru Classé, St Julien, 2017

Mid depth; stones, wet rock; clean and fresh blackcurrants; opens up nicely; good entry to the palate; fresh acidity and tannins have nice texture; lacks a bit of middle. Tasted October 2019. Drink 2023-2035. 89

Château Langoa Barton, Grand Cru Classé, St Julien, 2017

Mid depth; fresh and clean aromatics; clear blackcurrants; quite high-toned but pure; fruit has some chew to the tannin but this is clean as a whistle and shows wonderful purity of fruit. Tasted October 2019. Drink 2025-2038. 91+

Château Léoville Barton, Grand Cru Classé, St Julien, 2017

Bright lively colour; depth and tight to rim; aromatics a little brooding at first but evident depth; blackcurrant cassis comes with aeration; entry on the palate nice and cool with genuine depth, concentration and purity; works very well indeed. Super length. Tasted October 2019. Drink 2027-2040 93+

Château Léoville Poyferré, Grand Cru Classé, St Julien, 2017

Deep; intense blackcurrant aromatics; creamy; deep; great texture on the palate although this remains a pent up and currently a bit tight; lots of blackcurrant fruit and freshness; little backward on the day. Tasted October 2019. Drink 2027-2040 92

Château St Pierre, Grand Cru Classé, St Julien, 2017

Deep colour again [like sibling Gloria]; lovely aromatics; tobacco, earth, blackcurrants, pain grillé tones; spices; palate has great depth of fruit; there is a bit of chew to the tannins but there is a lot of matter here. Really good St Julien. Fresh. Surely no-one overlooks St Pierre these days? Tasted October 2019. Drink 2027-2040. 93+

Château Talbot, Grand Cru Classé, St Julien, 2017

Mid depth, but feels much lighter after the last three; some savoury and spicy notes alongside blackcurrant tones; some layers to the aromatics; fresh palate which feels a little angular and suffers a little from being tasted after Léoville Barton and St Pierre. Still, this is fresh and clean overall. Tasted October 2019. Drink 2024-2035. 89+

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