2008 4ème Cru Classé Saint Julien

Grapes Petit Verdot, Syrah, Cab Sauv, Merlot
Colour Red
Origin France, Bordeaux
District Left Bank
Sub-district Haut Médoc
Village Saint Julien
Classification 4ème Cru Classé
ABV 13%

Seems to have more volume and richness than an Talbot for ages - lovely harmonious nose, all balanced, and on palate it's fresh, pure cassis and cool black fruit. Good sweetness and ripeness. Tannins, which are unnaggressive, add volume and weight. Rating: 91-92 L&S (Apr 2009)

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The 2008 Talbot is just beginning to show the first signs of ageing on the rim. The bouquet is charming with perfumed blackcurrant, cedar and sage aromas, a splash of Indian ink developing with time in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin that lend this Talbot a smooth texture. There is lactic, an almost chocolaty element to this Talbot that possibly originates from the oak treatment that slightly compromises the terroir expression. It is built in a traditional style, not a deep or powerful Saint Julien but it delivers satisfying freshness with a dash of spice on the finish. You could drink this now although personally I would afford this another couple of years in bottle. Drinking range: 2018 - 2035 Rating: 90 Neal Martin, (Feb 2018)

Tasted ex-chateau and single blind in Southwold. I remember how disappointing this tasted out of barrel, but in bottle it has more going for it. It has a fine floral bouquet with plush black, truffle infused fruit, although the oak is dominant at the moment. The palate is medium-bodied with fine grip on the entry. Good acidity that cuts through its juicy middle, black cherries and cassis towards the finish. Fine. Tasted January 2012. Rating: 88 Neal Martin, (Mar 2012)

The evolved, soft, silky 2008 Talbot is unquestionably a sleeper of the vintage, offering a dark plum/garnet color, loads of roasted herb, berry, black cherry, plum and Asian spice aromas intermixed with an attractive forest floor-like note. Already drinking well, this medium-bodied St.-Julien should continue to evolve for 10-15+ years. Drinking range: 2011 - 2016 Rating: 90 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, (May 2011)

Château Talbot

St Julien Quatrième cru 1855 John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury was sent by King Henry VI to re-impose some English rule on this troublesome part of his Kingdom, but ended up being killed at the Battle of Castillon in 1453. Quite what connection he had with this particular bit of St Julien is unknown but, at least as far back as the 17th Century, the large estate in the centre of the appellation has been known as Château Talbot and it has generally been held that it was named for said John Talbot. Désiré Cordier bought Talbot in 1917 and it is still in the hands of the Cordier family. Sitting right in the middle of St Julien, surrounded by the great names of the appellation, and at 107ha of vineyard, Château Talbot is hard to miss. The vineyards are planted to 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. Fermentation takes place in a combination of traditional wooden vats and modern stainless steel, with the Grand Vin spending 14 months in oak (50%-60% new). There is a second wine named in honour of John Talbot, who's local title was Connétable Talbot. With such big production and with an easy name to read and remember in the English-speaking market, Château Talbot has a healthy following and reliable reputation. It is a reputation that Talbot, by and large, lives up to with well-flavoured structured wines.

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