Created by Henri Martin, this estate is unique in having been built up piece by piece over several years through the purchase of parcels, the majority of which were classified as “grands crus” in 1855. Martin grew up in a family of vineyard and cellar workers in Saint-Julien and dreamed of buying his own vines. He began to do so in 1942, purchasing a small 6-hectare plot, which was previously the property of Chateau Beychevelle. Over the course of several decades, Martin patiently and systematically negotiated with his owner friends in the commune of Saint-Julien to buy various “cru classé” parcels superbly situated on Günzian gravel. Eventually these plots made up the Château Gloria estate. Out of 50 hectares, 9 are in the commune of Pauillac, however these grapes are permitted for use in Gloria by special dispensation; the remainder vines are in St. Julien.
Forty years after he founded Chateau Gloria, Henri Martin purchased his first Classified Growth, Chateau St. Pierre, also located in Saint Julien. Henri Martin died in 1991 at the age of 88 and today both Estates are run by his daughter, Françoise, and son-in-law, Jean-Louis Triaud, along with their two children Vanessa and Jean.
As a new Estate, Gloria does not hold Grand Cru Classe status, but as such is something of an open secret in Bordeaux, offering quality easily on par with its neighbours. The Chateau’s vineyard is planted to 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Franc. The terroir here is gravel, sand and clay soils and the vines are on average 40 years old. The grapes are hand-harvested and fermented in temperature-controlled stainless-steel tanks. Furthermore, the wine spends 14 months in casks, 40% of which are new.
Chateau Gloria is a lighter, elegant style of Saint Julien that is often ready to drink within a few years of release but will also evolve in the cellar. This charming wine is very popular among those in the know, and is a contender for the best Bordeaux value wine from the St. Julien appellation