I have to admit that I wasn’t exactly knocked over by the showing of the wines of St Julien in 2012 despite two detailed passes of the commune on separate days. Yes the best are correct enough and will make decent wine, but many don’t set the pulse racing, or offer the immediate charm of the best properties in the Margaux or Pessac-Léognan appellations or the potential of the even better wines on the right bank. Overall they feel a bit joyless, like the vintage rain has dampened their spirits. Unless they are released at prices less than available vintages now, few make sense as an en primeur purchase today.
Posts Tagged ‘Chateau Gruaud Larose’
St Julien has made an extremely serious fist of 2010. It’s the polar opposite of 2009 and possesses a weight, density and integrity all of its own. It feels like a hypothetical blend here of 2005 and 2000 with a bit of 1986 thrown in, though far better handled in the vineyard and in the cellar than ’86 was in those days. Now in bottle, these wines mean business, and you’ll be keeping them there a while. They need ten years age minimum, twenty at the top level, but at maturity they have the potential to be remarkable. If 2009 is considered a latter day 1959, then, in time, could 2010 be the 1961 of its generation?
Once again the overall feeling here in St Julien is of wines that have shut down, drawn into themselves and left their raw elements exposed. This is probably as you’d expect in a fairly cool, ‘classical’ Bordeaux vintage like 2008. There is sufficient depth of fruit in most of the wines for them to develop well in the medium term and you do feel that they need that time, now that they are caught out in No-Man’s Land, with all their hard edges poking out.
Chateau Léoville-Las-Cases is fantastically good in 2011
St Julien is one of Bordeaux’s most homogenous red wine appellations and the quality level is uniformly high. Once again in 2011 this commune didn’t reach the giddy heights of 2009 or 2010 but if priced correctly this could be a good vintage for consumption. That said at the top end Chateau Léoville-Las-Cases fantastically good, a wine made from extremely low yields and what was an extremely dry vintage overall. For me it tops the commune and is up with the very best wines of the vintage. Its strength and density are reminiscent of Latour, which it neighbours of course.