|4ème Cru Classé
Very deeply coloured. Almost a wrestling match at first, as Talbot often is at this stage. Powerful tannins and very structured. The fruit is there, shy but intense and sweet blackcurrant behind all the mass. It was a new bottle but revisited twice over forty minutes it had lifted its head and was beginning to smile a little more. Just needs time but the promise is evident. Drinking range: 2027 - 2042 Rating: 90-92 L&S (Apr 2017)
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55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot. Deep crimson hue. Pure, ripe, dark-fruit aroma intertwined with a smoky, flinty freshness. Still quite closed but very precise. Generous mid-palate fruit covers a plethora of firm but fine tannin. Structured but seductive at the same time. Lifts and drives with a saline note on the finish. Both delicious and ambitious. (JL) 13.5% Drinking range: 2026 - 2046 Rating: 17.5 James Lawther MW, www.JancisRobinson.com (Apr 2022)
Jean-Michel Laporte (previously at La Conseillante) arrived as technical director in 2018, just as this wine was being bottled, and it's not a bad vintage to usher him in to the world of Château Talbot. I drank this at friend's house a few months ago, and it had been open 24 hours by the time we were pouring it out, which just might be the ideal time, as the tannins were soft and open, and everything felt plush and welcoming. It has the balance of the appellation, the precision that Talbot has increasingly showcased over the past few years, and a sappy feel to the tannins. 50% new oak. Stéphane Derenoncourt as consultant, with Eric Boissenot. Drinking range: 2024 - 2042 Rating: 94 Jane Anson, Decanter (Nov 2021)
The 2016 Talbot has an airy, well-defined bouquet of blackberry, cedar and light minty aromas, perhaps more Pauillac than Saint-Julien. The medium-bodied palate delivers gritty tannins, a fine bead of acidity and a graphite-infused finish. This is very fine for Talbot, a Saint-Julien hewn in a typically classic style. Tasted blind at the Southwold tasting. Drinking range: 2022 - 2045 Rating: 92 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (Aug 2020)
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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