|4ème Cru Classé
As the general manager Jean-Pierre Marty remarks, Talbot does well in hot years. 37% Merlot, 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3 or 4% Petit Verdot. Nice bright nose. Curranty cassis. It quickly gathers pace on the palate, fine texture with cool flow and juice. M. Marty descibes it as 'a kind of progressive harmony'. Yes. Very attractive and a bit more solid than some of the earlier vintages of the 2000s. (2003 and '09/'10 excepted, of course.) Rating: 92 L&S (Apr 2012)
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The 2011 Talbot has a light and fragrant bouquet with red berry fruit, bell pepper and earthy notes, a touch of sage emerging with time. The palate is well balanced with a satisfying succulent on the entry, quite fleshy for a Saint-Julien in this vintage, not complexity but judiciously spiced and lively on the finish. For me, this Talbot overperforms in context of the growing season. Tasted blind at the annual 10-Year-On tasting. Drinking range: 2022 - 2036 Rating: 92 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (Apr 2022)
Good bright ruby. Sexy oak spices, mint and menthol complicate bright redcurrant and dark plum on the nose. Round but fresh and lively too, with lovely vinosity giving shape and lift to the dark cherry, plum and sweet spice flavors. Offers a fleshy sweetness that's unusual for the year. This lovely wine finishes with good length. Rating: 89 Ian d'Agata - Stephen Tanzer website (Jul 2014)
Good bright ruby. Sexy oak spices, mint and menthol complicate bright redcurrant and dark plum on the nose. Round but fresh and lively too, with lovely vinosity giving shape and lift to the dark cherry, plum and sweet spice flavors. Offers a fleshy sweetness that's unusual for the year. This lovely wine finishes with good length. Rating: 89 Ian d'Agata, www.vinousmedia.com (Jul 2014)
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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