2012 Cru Bourgeois Saint Julien
Plush and rounded, lively and winning with a good mid-palate feel and the quite evident oak is attractive rather than overpowering. Rating: 89-89 L&S (May 2013)
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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.
The 2012 is a successful effort once again from Château Gloria, a property that has been on a major qualitative roll for decades. Dense ruby/purple in color, it has sweet, juicy, blackcurrant and black cherry fruit, no real evidence of any oak, but a fleshy, open-knit, meaty mouthfeel. Excellent purity, low acidity and ripe tannin all characterize this beautiful wine, which should drink well for 12-15 years. Another major sleeper of the vintage. Drinking range: 2016 - 2031 Rating: 87-89 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, www.RobertParker.com (Apr 2015)
The ripeness of the black fruited mix on the nose fills it out and gives a rich start to the palate. There is mid freshness but towards the back coffee beans and liquorice enriches give depth of flavour on the finish. 2018-30 Rating: 89-91 Derek Smedley MW, www.dereksmedleymw.co.uk (Dec 2013)
The Gloria 2012 is a blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot raised in 40% new oak and cropped just a little higher than the Saint Pierre. It has a strong graphite-infused, earthy bouquet that does not possess the same fruit concentration as the Saint Pierre. The palate is medium-bodied with firm, slightly dry tannins. There is decent fruit concentration here although the finish does not quite have the complexity of great successes in recent vintages. This will be an earlier-drinking, serviceable Gloria, although this year I prefer the Saint Pierre. Rating: 89-91 Neal Martin, www.robertparker.com (May 2013)
A wine that frequently out-performs some of St Julien’s classed growths, this is another impressive effort in 2012. It’s a medium-weight blend, with scented black fruits and a top note of green pepper. The tannins are on the firm side, but there’s enough concentration here for the wine to develop in barrel and bottle. Drink: 2020-28. Rating: 92 Tim Atkin MW, www.timatkin.com (Apr 2013)
Very dark purple. Mineral and fresh on the nose – quite a contrast to the flight of Haut-Médoc wines I have just been tasting. Real vitality here. Lots of dryness on the finish but no aggressive underripeness or greenness. Very zesty. Bone dry. 2022 - 2038. Rating: 17 Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com (Apr 2013)
Good depth of black fruits, both succulent and fresh on the palate, ripe elegant flavours, cru classe standard. Drink: 2016 - 2025. Rating: 17 Steven Spurrier (Apr 2013)
Rating: 17 Matthew Jukes www.matthewjukes.com (Apr 2013)
Solid, delivering a beam of raspberry and black currant fruit lined with ganache and backed by chewy yet energetic grip. Rating: 88-91 James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator (Apr 2013)
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