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Château Talbot

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Address: 33250 St Julien-Beychevelle

Telephone: +33 (0)5 56 73 21 50



The name Château Talbot is derived from the Commander in Chief of the English army, Connetable Talbot who was beaten by the French in 1453 at the Battle of Castillon. The Cordier family has owned the estate since 1900. The best Talbots are fantastically generous and full flavoured wines that reach the giddy heights of the super seconds in years such as in 1982 and 1986. The 1949 from magnum drank a shade under fifty years old was a revelation, then still remarkably youthful and vibrant. Recently the 2009 was impressive but there is variation here. The 2008 is a disappointment and rather angular wines have been made in 2011 and 2012, admittedly two tricky vintages in which a number of properties didn’t succeed. Given this and given the heights to which Talbot can occasionally soar you’d have to say that the property could achieve both greater things and better consistency. The second wine Connetable de Talbot is well known and usually good value. There is also a white wine Caillou Blanc produced from a small five hectare patch.

Vineyard/Terroir: 102 hectares on Médoc gravel planted with 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc.

Winemaking/Elévage: Traditional with 50% new oak for the grand vin.

Tasting notes: 

  • 2015 Mid depth; purple edge; spicy, briary fruit tones; elegant; easy palate; fresh; purity but lacks a bit of middle; will likely infill during elévage; grip on the finish. Little compact at present. [66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 13.5% alc]. Drink 2022-2030. 89-91
  • 2014 Deep and saturated colour; opaque; tight to rim; blackcurrants and black fruits; some spices and freshness also; lacks some of the concentration of the best on the palate; but very clean and will flesh out nicely; this is impressive infant Talbot; pure and fresh. 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot. Drink 2024-2030. Tasted UGC 31 March, 2015. 90-91+
  • 2013 Depth; earthy purple at edge; some ink and blackcurrants; bit of cream; opens up nicely in the glass; some layers to this effort; blackcurrant fruit on the palate is cool and fresh; there is acidity but overall the fruit meets in the middle; quite a complete effort from Talbot in a tricky year. [78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot]. Tasted UGC 1/4/14. 87-89
  • 2012 Mid depth; slightly higher toned this; little dusty note; quite forward blackcurrant fruit; lacks a bit of depth and has pretty fresh acids. Vibrant and elegantly styled Talbot. Needs a couple of years to knit. 2017-2025. 87+ UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Mid depth; some Cabernet notes and spice on the nose; feels ‘high toned’; suggests angularity on the palate; some flesh but still a pretty angular effort here with a chewy, dry finish. Will fill out I expect but will always be lean and angular. 85-87 Tasted UGC Thursday April 11, 2013 [Earlier note] Mid depth; stalky blackcurrant notes; freshness; some spicy characters; palate has blackcurrant fruit and some spice and undergrowth; chewy on the finish and fresh acid; Sappy and angular but probably sufficient fruit here. Tasted UGC Tuesday April 9, 2013. 87-89 
  • 2011 Mid depth; some spice, little ink and resin; blackcurrants and some cream; chewy palate; little compact in the middle but reasonable length. Drink 2017-2026. 87 UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Mid depth, concentrated at the core; cassis, some blackcurrant, strong notes; some depth; nice entry, density  some earth and blackcurrants but a little dry in the mid-palate. Chewy finish. Not a bad effort but not the best. Tasted twice at UGC. 87-89.
  • 2010 Deep colour; blackcurrant aromatics with spices; complex with depth; full and substantial on the palate – one of the best Talbot’s of recent years – palate has texture and crunch and plenty of blackcurrant fruit and attractive earthy tones. Nice acidity. Good effort. Drink 2016-2030. 91+ MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier note] Mid depth; glossy looking; some herbs, a little spice, some blackcurrant with olive; slightly stalky note at the edge; fresh wine, grippy, little awkward at present; lots of grip and tannin. Quite dry on the end. This could just be a stage. Very structured at present. 89+ UGCB Oct ’12 [Earlier] Deep, dense and saturated; fresh Cabernet; feels not long past MLF; some spicy and blackcurrant notes; quite high toned and needs to settle. Feels a bit grippy and tannic. 88-90?/100 Tasted 5 April 2011. [Second tasting] Deep and saturated; some spice and blackcurrant but less expressive than some; good density on the palate with blackcurrants. Grip and tannin too here but should meld 88-90/100 Tasted 7 April 2011 UGC
  • 2009 Mid depth; a little dumb, some blackcurrants, chalk; grippy palate [surprisingly] with freshness; plenty of material [more blackcurrant aromas on the palate] but less finesse. Feels chewier with more acidity and sap. Lacks the intensity of the best though. Drink 2019-2030 89+ MW Institute Nov ’13 [Earlier note] Mid red; blackcurrants, cassis and jam alongside undergrowth and tobacco; ripe style; not that complex; nice palate; quite sinewy at present; some tobacco and earth; good grip and length. 91+/100 UGC Oct ’11 [Earlier] Very ripe fruit; round; some leaf less super rich than stable mate Gruaud Larose but a very well balanced wine; feels round; some cassis and spice here on the nose – attractive. Palate very soft, mid weight and nicely done; some cassis and spice and briary notes to the palate; tannic edge on the finish but lots of fruit here and tannins feel very ripe and supple. Excellent 90-92+/100 Tasted 30th March & 1st April ’10 UGC Primeur tasting.
  • 2008 Quite dark at core; some strawberry notes but otherwise feels a bit neutral; some cream; quite grippy palate and feels a little hollow. Lacks depth of fruit and chew. Not austere, just hollow. 85 MW Institute Nov ’12 [Earlier] Mid red; earthy looking; quite clean stalky blackcurrant nose, some earth but clean; palate more open, some herbs and slight hole in the palate; seems to lack a bit of oomph. Blackcurrants on the finish. [2nd] more open, some strawberry and some oak resin, quite dense.  Inconsistent notes here 86-88?/100. UGG Oct ’10.
  • 2007 Earthy red; some depth; rather stinky, reductive nose initially; blew off to reveal more tobacco and meaty characters but remained a little on the feral side; earthy blackcurrant notes with some tobacco on the palate; meaty but then dips away and feels attenuated. Short finish. 84?/100 MW Institute Nov ’11 [Earlier] Mid red; some red fruits; not as attractive as stablemate Gruaud Larose or as good as the Leoville Poyferre. Palate elegant and fine; good blackcurrant fruit and some spice. Some herbal notes. Tannins quite dry. Goodish. 86/100 UGC London tasting Oct ‘09
  • 2006 Good colour, mid red; some leaf, spice and tobacco [but tall order coming after the Lafite!]; some savour here with extract beneath; not unattractive; mid weight palate, some spicy, weedy undergrowth notes with blackcurrants; good chewy extract and tannin, but not disjointed. Not a bad effort. Drink now – 2022. 88-90/100 MW Institute Nov ’10.
  • 2005 Deep colour, tight to the rim; quite backward [for Talbot] on the nose; obvious depth and density but pretty dumb at present; palate also structured and with some grip and flesh but not at all as flattering as I’d expected. While obviously good, on this Talbot ‘05 is a wine that has gone into its shell for a bit. Structure and weight suggest an excellent wine. Drink 2015-2025. Tasted Oct ’10. 88-90?/100
  • 2001 Deep red/black; sexy succulent nose, violets, roses, spices with blackcurrant underlay and sweet oak; wonderful and spot on; palate has some density and real tension between the elegance and the intensity; some tannin to resolve at the end but very fine effort for the vintage. A pretty wine. Sexy and forthcoming. Drink now – 2018. 90/100  Dec ‘06
  • 1989 Dark red/black; supple open fruit on the nose; medium bodied, soft fruit in balance. Lightish. Disappointing. 84/100 Sept ‘05
  • 1986 Dark and mahogany; legs, aromas of roast beef, tobacco, olives, tapenade with some cedar + lifted undergrowth. Fully mature – fine St Julien nose. Palate sweet entry, big beefy wine, savoury and meat like with tobacco and some cigar box notes. Tannins at end now softened. Will hold for 5 years more but at its peak. 94/100 Aug ‘09
  • 1949 Deep red/black; youthful; nose of a twenty year old wine rather than one that is nearly fifty – tobacco, spice, roast meats; palate chewy and rich and roasted. Terrific! Great length and amazingly youthful [served from magnum]. 95/100 May ‘96 

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