2020 Château Talbot, St Julien, Bordeaux

2020 Château Talbot, St Julien, Bordeaux

Product: 20208011853
Prices start from £240.00 per case Buying options
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2020 Château Talbot, St Julien, Bordeaux

Description

Cabernet Sauvignon 76%, Merlot 21%, Petit Verdot 3%

The 76% Cabernet Sauvignon is a record for Talbot, up from last year’s record of 69%. From those figures, the direction of travel is clear: more structure, more definition and more power. Some of Talbot’s more loose-limbed charm remains, and it’s to the wine’s advantage. Among the classic graphite and cedar notes are those wonderfully familiar touches of woodland, and a certain breadth. This is a step up from years past; there is now complexity and dimension. Jean-Michel Laporte and his team have made great progress.

Drink 2028-2042

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Case format
Availability
Price per case
6 x 75cl bottle
Berry Bros. & Rudd BB&R 20 cases £240.00
En Primeur Limited availability
En Primeur Limited availability
3 x 150cl magnum
Berry Bros. & Rudd BB&R 10 cases £246.00
En Primeur Limited availability
En Primeur Limited availability

About this WINE

Chateau Talbot

Chateau Talbot

Château Talbot is one of the best-known Bordeaux wine estates to a UK audience, not surprisingly because it takes its name from John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, who in 1453 suffered the ignominy of losing the  battle, and with it his life, which allowed Bordeaux and its vineyards to slip back into French control after belonging to the British Crown for over 340 years.

In the last century it has been owned by the Cordier family, and the red wine of the estate has long enjoyed a reputation for solid dependability. It is one of the largest estates in the Médoc and its 102 hectare single vineyard is situated inland from the Gironde River and west of the hamlet of St-Julien-Beychevelle.

Georges Cordier, who owned the property in the mid-20th century, was a great lover of white wine, and, determined to produce his own, took the highly unusual step of planting 5 hectares of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon in his vineyard, producing his first crop of white wine in 1945 (Le Caillou Blanc de Ch Talbot). The aim is to make wine in a Burgundian style, aged in oak barrels, with the 80% Sauvignon Blanc imparting vivacity and acidity, while the 20% Semillon imbues the wine with weight, backbone and ageing potential.

Red wine from Talbot is typically a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (66%), Merlot (26%), Cabernet Franc (3%), and Petit Verdot (5%) - the vinification includes 18 months maturation in small oak barriques (50% new).

Talbot has a reputation for consistency and is one of the most carefully made and reliable of the St-Julien Cru Classé clarets. The best examples are richly aromatic with a bouquet of cedarwood and vanilla scented cassis fruits and with a palate packed with well-delineated, ripe, black fruits and finely integrated tannins. It is classified as a 4ème Cru Classé.
 

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St Julien

St Julien

St Julien is the smallest of the "Big Four" Médoc communes. Although, without any First Growths, St Julien is recognised to be the most consistent of the main communes, with several châteaux turning out impressive wines year after year. 

St Julien itself is much more of a village than Pauillac and almost all of the notable properties lie to its south. Its most northerly château is Ch. Léoville Las Cases (whose vineyards actually adjoin those of Latour in Pauillac) but,  further south, suitable vineyard land gives way to arable farming and livestock until the Margaux appellation is reached.  

The soil is gravelly and finer than that of Pauillac, and without the iron content which gives Pauillac its stature. The homogeneous soils in the vineyards (which extend over a relatively small area of just over 700 hectares) give the commune a unified character.

The wines can be assessed as much by texture as flavour, and there is a sleek, wholesome character to the best. Elegance, harmony and perfect balance and weight, with hints of cassis and cedar, are what epitomise classic St Julien wines. At their very best they combine Margaux’s elegance and refinement with Pauillac’s power and substance.

Ch. Léoville Las Cases produces arguably the most sought-after St Julien, and in any reassessment of the 1855 Classification it would almost certainly warrant being elevated to First Growth status.

Recommended Châteaux: Ch. Léoville Las CasesCh.Léoville Barton, Ch Léoville Poyferré, Ch. Ducru-Beaucaillou, Ch Langoa Barton, Ch Gruaud Larose, Ch. Branaire-Ducru, Ch. Beychevelle

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Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.

In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.

In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and  Australia.

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Critics reviews

Jane Anson95/100
Antonio Galloni, Vinous92-95/100
Neal Martin, Vinous92-94/100
Wine Advocate90-92/100
Jancis Robinson MW17/20
James Suckling94-95/100
Jeb Dunnuck91-93/100
Michael Schuster90-91/100
Jane Anson95/100
This is a great Talbot, a real success for the château. 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. Three years with Jean-Michel Laporte as director and he is doing great work.

Drink from 2026 to 2040

Jane Anson, Decanter (April 2021) Read more
Antonio Galloni, Vinous92-95/100
The 2020 Talbot is a hugely promising wine. It offers up an exotic mélange of inky dark fruit, chocolate, licorice, gravel, lavender and menthol. Brooding in the glass, with broad shoulders and tons of intensity, the 2020 is a Talbot that marries power, breadth and savory intensity with notable stylishness and tons of personality. Impressive.

Drink from 2030 to 2045

Antonio Galloni, Vinous (June 2021) Read more
Neal Martin, Vinous92-94/100
The 2020 Talbot has a fragrant nose with black cherries, bilberry, wild mint and chalk, quite harmonious and gaining intensity in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with a sweet, almost candied opening, predominantly red berry fruit laced with mint and orange zest, and a liberal sprinkling of black pepper. I admire the way this Talbot builds so that it finishes with a flourish. This may well land at the top of my banded score.

Drink from 2026 to 2055

Neal Martin, Vinous (May 2021) Read more
Wine Advocate90-92/100

Deep purple-black colored, the 2020 Talbot storms out of the glass with powerful blackcurrants, raspberry leaves and baked plums scents, followed by suggestions of dried Mediterranean herbs, tobacco leaf and graphite. The medium-bodied palate delivers lovely freshness and an approachable chewiness, nicely framing the herb-laced black fruits, finishing savoury.

Drink 2024 - 2038

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (May 2021)

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Jancis Robinson MW17/20
Cask sample taken 2 April. 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot. Aged in barrel, 60% new. Dark crimson. Savoury, saline nose. Luscious palate entry with ripe fruit that almost smothers the tannin. A very good effort from Talbot with velvety tannins in profusion and some winning perfume too. This is doing well under ex-Conseillante Jean-Michel Laporte.

Drink 2029 - 2046

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com (April 2021) Read more
James Suckling94-95/100
A tight, focused young red with blackcurrant, lead-pencil and chocolate character. It’s full-bodied and tense with a long, flavourful finish.

James Suckling (April 2021) Read more
Jeb Dunnuck91-93/100
The 2020 Château Talbot is a winner and certainly an outstanding wine. Offering lots of blackcurrants, green tobacco, chocolate, and lead pencil notes, it’s a classic Saint-Julien, with medium to full body, velvety tannins, and a rounded, layered texture. It’s ripe, yet certainly plays in the fresher end of the pool and should have 15-20 years of longevity.

Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com (May 2021) Read more
Michael Schuster90-91/100
Dense, fresh black-fruit and gravel impressions to smell; medium-full, fresh to crisp in acidity, very fine in firm tannin, classic, elegant, St-Julien balance; crisply ripe flavor, gently fleshy-cored, defined by a brisk acidity, and with just a touch of austerity, but fine, close-grained, quite complex, and with good length. Very good rather than grande année quality and character, just not the “ease” of, for example, the 2018 or 2019 here. Will certainly need time—a decade at least, I would say.

Drink 2030 - 2045

Michael Schuster, The World of Fine Wine (May 2021) Read more