The wine’s deep ruby colour infers its still youthful character. Its intense perfume carries classic graphite and dense black fruit notes. The palate is powerful, with a full, robust body and a deep cassis core. The weight of rich fruit is wrapped up with a toasty oak structure, and the huge concentration, typical of the vintage, promises a long drinking window ahead for this rich, powerful claret.
Somewhat of a beast, this monolithic, oaky wine is full-bodied, highly extracted and difficult to evaluate. Some hints of roasted herbs, chocolate, black currant and coffee are present, but the oak dominates, as do the tannins. This wine seems much woodier, and more closed and foreboding than any other St. Julien I tasted. Forget it for 7-8 years and hope for the best.Drink: 2013-2020
Lagrange's relatively new winemaking team appears to have backed off the aggressive oak regime and the result is a wine with better overall balance. Still a backward, muscular/masculine style of St.-Julien, it reveals abundant tannin along with a subtle hint of vanillin intermixed with lead pencil shavings, white chocolate, black currant and cassis characteristics. Although less expressive than some of its 2010 peers, it is a big, powerful, rich wine that needs a decade of cellaring. It should last for 30 years. Drink: 2021 - 2051
Tasted at the chateau, the crop was picked between 29th September and 20th October, with much of the crop (the Cabernet) picked between 13th and 19th October. A blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Merlot, this is a very tightly wound on the nose, the Cabernet Sauvignon imparting a strictness and tautness: blackberry, wild hedgerow, cedar and a touch of graphite. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine tannins, a real sense of symmetry here with fine acidity. Very refined tannins and yet there is certainly great structure cloaked beneath that pure blackberry, cassis and cedar-infused fruit. Long in the mouth on the finish that is slightly drier than the 2009 when compared alongside. This is an outstanding Saint Julien from one of its most consistent performers in recent years. Drink 2018-
Headily perfumed. Sweetly charming on the front palate and then it segues into structured chew. Real vitality here. Very cool and dry on the end – not succulent at this stage! Drink 2020-2035
This is precise, with pure, unadorned cassis, blackberry and black cherry fruit flavors woven with toasty vanilla and anise. Offers a lovely, rounded feel, despite its obvious weight. Very long. -J.M.
A wine, with very pretty balance and length already. Full body, with a wonderful core of ripe fruit and a persistent silky finish. Lasts for a long time. Dense.
Fine expression of Cabernet fruit, elegant, less robust than many, but very good texture and depth. Drink 2018-30
Well positioned next to Gruaud Larose, this property is the largest classified growth in the Médoccomprised of over 112 hectares of vines, all in a single parcel - a rarity in Bordeaux. In 1983 after years of under performing, the château was sold to Suntory, the Japanese drinks group. After much investment in not only the vineyards and chai, but also in the château and gardens, it has emerged as a beautiful swan producing wines that are notable for their ripe, rich characteristics.
St Julien is like the middle child of the Médoc - not as assertive as Pauillac or as coquettish as Margaux. It lies firmly between the two more outspoken communes and as a result produces a blend of them both. St Julien's wines have often been sought out by aficionados for their balance and consistency, particularly in the UK. Yet due to its middle child nature, it can occasionally be overlooked globally and as a result underrated by those markets outside the UK. Despite the fact that it has no first growths, it has several second growths including Léoville Las Cases, Léoville Barton, Léoville Poyferré and Ducru Beaucaillou as well as the celebrated châteaux such as Talbot and Beychevelle.