Small and perfectly formed, Saint-Julien boasts more Cru Classe vineyards than anywhere else in Bordeaux. Nestled next to the prestigious commune of Pauillac, Saint-Julien does not have a first growth but it is home to 11 other classed growth estates, including five second growths. Many of the estates are close to the river, around the village of Saint-Julien-Beychevelle, and make good use of the free-draining alluvial gravels which allow the vines to produce rich, densely flavoured fruit. Further away from the river, toward the village of St-Laurent, the wines are less delicate but still of excellent quality.
Cabernet Sauvignon is the dominant variety used in the blended red wines of Saint-Julien and the appellation often wins praise for the delicate balance the wines achieve, combining the powerful, striking boldness of Pauillac with the more refined and sophisticated sensibilities of Margaux. Long-lived wines are the norm, and as they age they mature into gentle, refined, well-rounded wines of beautiful character.
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This is the popular second wine of Chateau Gruaud-Larose, a classic Saint-Julien Second Growth. Fabulous intensity on the nose. Luscious black currant and velvety structure on the mid-palate with plenty of complexity with underlying nutmeg and integrated oak on a long finish. This could easily be mistaken for their first wine. Drink now to 2020. 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot....read more
Eternally popular second wine from Chateau Gruaud-Larose. Garnet hue. Classic, mature Medoc nose of blackcurrants and bilberries with underlying spice and cedar. Smooth texture on a mid-weight palate of black fruit with damson, raisin and spice that flows onto a charming finish with hints of graphite and cedary oak. Drinking well now or keep to 2019. JG, May 2014...read more
Currants and dark fruits with hints of liquorice. Full and silky with ripe tannins and berry. Cigar tobacco and berry. Sweet tobacco. This is a wine that shows serious depth of fruit and refined tannins. Better in 2016. 92 points. James Suckling, jamessuckling.com, February 2013...read more
2006 was a highly successful vintage for Branaire-Ducru and the wines are beautifully developed, with rich, opulent fruit and complex notes of cedar, spice box and earth beginning to really show through. Drinking well now, , or hold for another 10 years to let those complex savoury notes emerge further. 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc....read more
Chateau Leoville Barton
Lovely summer berry nose with added black fruit. Medium-bodied, with juicy cassis, bramble, elderberries with that slightly characteristic Barton dryness towards the finish with more autumn berries and a touch of tobacco. More masculine style than the Langoa. 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc. 60% new oak barrels. Drink 2020 to 2028. JG, April 2013....read more
Chateau Leoville Barton
Black fruits enrich the nose lots of power and depth. The palate has black cherry and blackcurrant with some fresher bramble and bilberry in the middle then a touch of dark chocolate and liquorice richness. The tannins are firm but feel ripe and the richness of the black fruits fills out the back palate. 94 points. Derek Smedley MW, www.dereksmedleymw.co.uk, April 2009...read more
It has a generous bouquet with scents of blackberry, briary, a touch of sandalwood and tobacco, gaining more precision as it aerates in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, certainly one of the most finessed Gruaud Larose in recent years, with perfectly judged acidity. I love the focus here, a little understated at first but you cannot deny the intensity and precision on the finish. Drink 2023-2060. 93-95 points. Neal Martin, erobertparker.com, April 2017....read more
Chateau-Leoville Las Cases
Located opposite Chateau Beychevelle in Saint-Julien, the 60 hectare estate owned by Patrick Maroteaux pulled out all the stops in 2003. Opulent, rich black fruits and an inviting spicebox and cedar character are the defining characteristics and the wine has fared well since it was bottled, developing a savoury forest floor note and very fine, rewarding tannin. Drinking well now, and will continue to be in optimal condition until 2020....read more