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CHÂTEAU TALBOT

2014 4ème Cru Classé Saint Julien

Colour Red
Origin France, Bordeaux
District Left Bank
Sub-district Haut Médoc
Village Saint Julien
Classification 4ème Cru Classé

Very impressive on the attack, quite bright fruit with lovely concentration. Lots of lifted red plum and a creamy spicy weight. Oak presence does build towards the finish, but everything is in place for a longish future. 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot. Rating: 91-92 L&S (Apr 2015)

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The 2014 Talbot has a ripe and generous bouquet with black cherries, boysenberry and light violet petal aromas that gain intensity with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with slightly chewy and chunky tannin, good weight in the mouth if just missing the finesse of its peers towards the finish. Tasted blind at the annual Southwold tasting. Drinking range: 2020 - 2035 Rating: 90 Neal Martin, vinous.com(Mar 2018)

Very dark and slightly evolved-looking. Dense and for the moment somewhat impenetrable but promising. Lots of life in there. Somewhat inky for the moment. But gorgeous. Drinking range: 2024 - 2044 Rating: 17.5 Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com(Feb 2018)

The Château Talbot 2014 has a simple bouquet that is missing the sophistication and nuance that is a consistent in Saint Julien wines this year. Aerating the glass for 5 minutes does seem to evolve more delineation. The palate is medium-bodied with chalky tannin. There is a nice line of acidity here, a little hardness towards the finish but an attractive spicy aftertaste that lingers in the mouth. I can envisage this to be a more austere Saint Julien but if it gains flesh during élevage it could be an interesting proposition. Drinking range: 2018 - 2035 Rating: 89 - 91+ Neal Martin, www.robertparker.com(May 2015)

Ample and broad on the palate, the 2014 Talbot captures the essence of the vintage with an enticing mélange of fresh blue and purplish-hued fruits. Graphite, lavender, mint and sweet spices waft from the glass as the 2014 gradually opens up. At times, Talbot is muscular and powerful, while at other moments it comes across as much more feminine. It is precisely those contrasts that make the 2014 so intriguing. Polished, silky tannins wrap around the super-inviting finish. The 2014 was vinified in cement and steel, with pump overs only. The blend is 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot and 6% Petit Verdot, while new oak is around 50%. Tasted twice. Rating: 92-95 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com(Apr 2015)

Dark purplish crimson. Sweet, almost bonbon nose. But a bit short of juice on the palate. Hard work and drying on the end. May come right eventually but for the moment it is much more obdurate than its neighbours. Drinking range: 2024 - 2032 Rating: 16+ Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com(Apr 2015)

The nose is quite tight the start of the palate firm fresh but a bit closed. The touch of sweetness in the middle is overtaken by freshness the finish lacks richness is quite short and tending to dry. Drinking range: 2025 - 2036 Rating: 86-89 Derek Smedley MW, www.dereksmedleymw.co.uk(Apr 2015)

There's usually a fair bit of Talbot to go round, given its status as one of the largest vineyard holders in the commune. This is quite a backward wine, with tannins that need at least a decade to soften in bottle, supported by cigarbox and blackberry fruit and a fresh, blackcurrant leaf lift. Drinking range: 2025 - 2032 Rating: 93 Tim Atkin MW, www.timatkin.com(Apr 2015)

This is really powerful with excellent depth of fruit and richness. Spices, blueberries and lightly toasted oak now. But it shows really serious structure. Best Talbot in years, maybe decades. Rating: 94-95 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com(Apr 2015)

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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