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.
Posts Tagged ‘Chateau Saint-Pierre’
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.
As you’d probably expect from Bordeaux’s most consistent appellation, no one has put a foot wrong in St Julien in 2009. Outstanding wines have been made at Chateau Léoville-Barton and Léoville Poyferre and Chateau St Pierre has produced an absolute blinder. All three are junior first growths. The same could probably be said of Chateau Léoville-Las-Cases and Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou I imagine but they don’t show at the UGC. Chateau Langoa Barton has produced a phenomenal wine too and Branaire-Ducru, Gruaud Larose and Lagrange are all impeccable. Chateau Beychevelle looked a tad bottle shocked. It was such a wonderful wine from barrel, I’m sure this will settle. Chateau Talbot also looks good. Finally a word about Chateau Gloria which, as I mentioned a month back, has produced a wonderfully precocious and vibrant St Julien at a fraction of the cost of its peers.
This was an extremely satisfying and strong appellation in 2009. Along with Pauillac and St Estèphe, St Julien is a contender for commune of the vintage, and has produced wines of great richness, intensity and strength in 2009. I’d be delighted to have almost all of these wines in my cellar. Given the slightly greater emphasis of Merlot in the blend here, the wines are usually a bit more approachable at early stage tastings and have more mid palate richness than the Pauillacs. They were certainly very flattering to taste and showed that there was also terrific ripeness in St Julien in this vintage.