2009 Cru Bourgeois Saint Julien
Deep ruby, quite a pointed, directed fruit. Cassis. Immediately charming, intense fruit, very attractive velvet feel, full of flavour. Ripe raspberry top-notes, very fat, ripe and round and gourmand despite the vivid definition. A great value buy. Rating: 93-93 L&S (Apr 2010)
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Served blind at the Southwold 2009 tasting. I was mean with my score at first. Tasted blind it felt a little aggressive, but the more it remained in my glass the more I can to appreciate it (one yearns for a decanter and more time in situations such as this.) There is still some oak to be resolved here, but this is well defined, more complex than its peers with blackberry, crushed stone, cedar and raspberry jam. The palate is medium-bodied with firm grip on the entry. Masculine, harmonious with good concentration on the finish, this is an extremely fine wine. Tasted January 2013. Rating: 94-94 Neal Martin, www.robertparker.com (Jul 2013)
Gloria has long been one of the most popular wines in America, but I do not believe they have ever made better wines than they have over the last decade, and the 2009 is one of their finest. While this estate is not a classified growth, it certainly performs like one in 2009. A dense ruby/purple color is accompanied by an expressive, flamboyant bouquet of black fruits, Christmas spices, licorice and roasted Provencal herbs. Fuller-bodied, more concentrated and extracted than most vintages with soft tannins, its low acidity and a sumptuous, plump style remind me of a modern day version of the 1982 (which is fully mature but still in great shape). The 2009 Gloria is a very smart purchase for those looking to maximize their buying power. In fact, this may be the value of the vintage. Rating: 93-93 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, www.RobertParker.com (Dec 2011)
Full, rich and explosive on the nose. Very subtle and well balanced and gorgeous. Dry not drying finish. The zest of St-Julen with a hint of white pepper and clove. Nice wine! 2015-2023 Rating: 17 Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com (Apr 2010)
Superb deep colour, seductively floral nose with wild violets, fresh, fleshy fruit with great depth and well-balanced length. Drink 2014-20. Rating: ****17 www.decanter.com (Apr 2010)
Crushed blackberries and fresh herbs on the nose. Full-bodied, with velvety tannins and a long, rich finish. Solid core of everything here. Right up there with the 2005. Rating: 90-93 James Suckling, The Wine Spectator (Mar 2010)
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.
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