2008 Cru Bourgeois Saint Julien
61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 9% Petit Verdot. 60% new wood. Sampled from a new barrel, and the oak does show, but what mostly shows is the fresh damson coulis style fruit. Weighty and supple. The maitre du chai remarked that for him it is better balanced than 2007, which seemed faint praise indeed, but the 2007 was very good here. The Petit Verdot (the last to be harvested) was picked on the 18th of October. Rating: 89-89 L&S (Apr 2009)
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Château Gloria is an unclassified St-Julien property that produces clarets that equal in quality those from the more prestigious classed growths. Henri Martin, a cooper by upbringing, took over the property in 1942 and began purchasing plots of vineyards from classed growth properties such as Gruaud-Larose, Talbot, Lagrange and Léoville-Barton. By the mid 1960s he had 50 hectares spread across the appellation. In 1982 he purchased Château St-Pierre and thus realised his lifetime ambition of owning a Grand Cru Classé property. Henri Martin died in 1991 and Gloria is now run by his son-in-law Jean-Louis Triaud. The wine is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. It is aged in a combination of large oak foudres and small oak barrels (50% new). Gloria produces a wine that is typically deep in colour and rich, cassis-laden and cedary on the palate. It normally needs 7-10 years of bottle age to show at its best.
A cooler, slightly herbal nose with a leafy, grainy edge. The use of oak is subtle and it adds a touch of peppery spice to the palate. Although rather old fashioned in style, this is a classy and refined Cabernet-Sauvignon dominated wine with the potential to age gracefully for several years to come. Drinking range: 2017 - 2021 Decanter Magazine (Dec 2016)
Château Gloria outperforms most Cru Bourgeois and even some Crus Classés thanks to Henri Martin's husbandry, and now that of his son-in-law, Jean-Louis Triaud, who has produced an attractively cedary, almost gamey blend of 61% Cabernet Sauvignon plus the usual Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, with stylish, dark red-berry fruit that's satin-textured and fresh. Drink now and for five years. Rating: 90-90 www.thewinegang.com (Feb 2015)
Rating: 90-93 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, www.RobertParker.com (Apr 2009)
Sample taken on 15 Mar 2009 [18 days earlier] but still smells fresh and cedary. Pretty firm, good fruit weight, but a bit tough on the finish. May just need more time than some. 2013-19 Rating: 16 Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com (Apr 2009)
Grapey and fruity, with blackberry and licorice. Medium-bodied, with silky tannins and a fresh finish. A little more fruit concentration would push it up. Rating: 87-90 James Suckling, The Wine Spectator (Apr 2009)
The Chateau Gloria 2008 has a fresh, well-defined bouquet with tobacco and graphite notes. It is very clean with well-integrated and judicious use of oak. The palate is medium-bodied with a rounded black cherry and spice-tinged entry leading to a plush, well-defined finish. This is a well-made Saint Julien that should age well over 10-15 years. Tasted January 2012. Rating: 91-91 Neal Martin, www.robertparker.com (Apr 2009)
Fine black-red, big earthy blackcurrants nose, fine Cabernet-dominated fruit with good grip and length, but also silkiness of texture and balance. Drink 2014-22. Rating: 16.5**** www.decanter.com (Apr 2009)
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