Today sees the release of two leading Saint-Juliens, Chateau Talbot and Chateau Gruaud-Larose, both of them included in Decanter’s “Best Saint-Julien 2020 wines tasted En-Primeur”. Chateau Talbot is widely considered the quintessential Grand Cru claret and one of the best value wines in the regions. It has released today at £239 per case of six or £478 per case of 12. This makes it extremely compelling as the average price of vintages going back to 2005 is £579. Jane Anson of Decanter has awarded it with 95 points describing it as “a real success for the chateau” and praising the wine’s balance and freshness: “Subtle and deft touches throughout, from the smoked turmeric notes that lace the black fruits to the finessed aromatics that accompany the body of the wine. Balance and freshness, and a saline edge to the finish that is extremely moreish.”  A broad-shouldered Saint-Julien, Talbot 2020, as noted by Antonio Galloni of Vinous Media, “marries power, breadth and savory intensity with notable stylishness and tons of personality. Impressive.”

Chateau Talbot is located in the north east of Saint-Julien bordering the southern aspect of Pauillac. Its vineyards are some of the largest in the Medoc and occupy the highest point in Saint-Julien. The vineyards, turn, roll and wrap around, its neighbours being Leoville Las Cases, Leoville Barton and Leoville Poyferre. The terroir speaks for itself in the quality of this wine and in 2020, it has created a stunning offering. Indeed, at this price it is a must for any claret cellar.
 

TalbotWAJSReleasePrice
202090-9294-95£478£478
201991-9394-95£422£422
201891+96£518£520
20179193£455£450
20169292£492£510
20158894£400£550
201490+94£290£500
20138790£290£480
20129091£300£575
20119092£280£545
20109494£445£690
20099194£395£680
200890n/a£240£600
200787n/a£235£625
20068891£220£600
20058993£270£750

 

Talbot is one of the most recognisable Chateaux in the UK market, although it maintains a strong foothold around the globe. It is not surprising it is so well known in the UK as it is named after John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury. In 1453, he lost the battle which allowed Bordeaux to win its vineyards back after 340 years under the stellar guidance of the English Crown, then ramp up prices 600 years later. John Talbot lost his life in said battle, but his name lives on eponymously in a truly great Estate.

Chateau Gruaud-Larose, Saint-Julien’s “super second” has released today at £347 per case of six or £694 per case of 12, a 7% increase to the 2019 price. It is a classic release from the Chateau whose wines are known for their precision, power and longevity. Awarded 95 points by Jane Anson of Decanter, Gruaud-Larose 2020 is “elegant yet driven with gentle power, nothing going overboard or trying too hard. This takes a beat, then it comes strongly – evident spice and flesh, full of raspberry, blueberry, blackcurrant pastille, fennel, hawthorn and liquorice. The tannins build up through the palate and press in on the final moments.”

Gruaud-Larose, widely recognised as a “super second”, was founded in 1725 on the gravels of Saint-Julien, and initially run by the Gruaud brothers, a magistrate and a priest. It then passed to the former’s son-in-law Joseph-Sebastian de la Rose, adding the second half of the name before the end of the eighteenth century. Thereafter followed a turbulent period of history where the property was split under several different ownerships, before being united by the Cordier group in 1935 and rising to the prominence and prestige it enjoys today. Dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, Gruaud-Larose is well-known for its purity of fruit and power, one of the region’s fullest-bodied and long-lived wines.