Today was a Bank Holiday in the UK but not in France and saw the release of Chateau Talbot; beloved of the British, not just because we can pronounce it, but because of the very high quality and excellent value of their wines.
This family owned chateau has been in the Cordier family since 1917. It’s a relatively big vineyard with 104 hectares of vines, which is now run by Nancy Bignon-Cordier. She is helped by Jacques Boissenot and Stephane Derenoncourt, two of the best and most experienced wine consultants in Bordeaux. Since 2007 Nancy has made a number of major changes and investments, including reducing yields, with the result that they are making even better wines.
Unlike some of their neighbours they have always priced their wines extremely sensibly; so much so that in the recent Liv-ex survey showing how chateaux en primeur prices have moved since release, Ch Talbot is one of the best, if not the best, performing wines.
At £290 for this terrific 2014 this must be one of the star buys of the vintage. Highly recommended.
This has everything that one expects from a good Talbot. Brilliant purple in colour, it has a fine natural concentration, without being forced. It is enticing with hints of eucalyptus and cassis, the tannins are grainy but fully developed and it finishes long and full. Drink 2022-2033
90-92 points. David Roberts MW
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.
Score: 94/95. James Suckling
Tightly focused and ripe, with a lovely beam of blackberry, blueberry and plum fruit, lined with pastis hints and backed by brambly grip. Vivacious.
Score:90/93. Wine Spectator
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%.
Score: 92/95. Antonio Galloni
Talbot is a little lighter than expected but this is not a problem because the flavour and depth are delicious. Superb, juicy fruit is cut with great spice and touches of mint making this a mouth-watering, clean style of Talbot with superb weight and persistence. I admire the improvements made at this Château because the wines are shining in the glass right now.
Score: 17.5+. Matthew Jukes
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. Drink: 2018 – 2035
Score: 89/91+ Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (218)
Score: 93. Tim Atkin MW