This relatively large estate is often unfairly overlooked by the critics. In our opinion, it makes one of the most consistent wines in St Julien. Whilst it doesn’t necessarily have the finesse of the great terroirs, it always has real drive and energy, and the bright fresh fruit characteristics of the 2014 vintage perfectly highlight the Lagrange style. Strong, full and concentrated.
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.
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. Drink 2024-2032
Tightly focused and ripe, with a lovely beam of blackberry, blueberry and plum fruit, lined with pastis hints and backed by brambly grip. Vivacious.
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.
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.
Deep colour and rich fruit – good blackberry spice and quite smooth flavours. Will open up early but can last. Drink: 2018-2028
(62 Cabernet Sauvignon, 32 Merlot, 6 Petit Verdot) 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.
A mark of the significant English influence in Bordeaux, Talbot was named after John Talbot, Earlof Shrewsbury, who fought gallantly but unsuccessfully against the French in Castillon in 1453. For many years, it was a twin to Gruaud Larose which also bore the Cordier label. However, since 1992 Jean Cordier exchanged his shares in Gruaud to take complete control of Talbot. It is now run by his daughter Nancy. Talbot has produced a continuous stream of excellent wines vintage after vintage.
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.