The 2022 Talbot was picked September 9-28 at 40hL/ha, slightly higher than other estates, and matured in 60% new oak. Jean-Michel Laporte said he did a somewhat more extended maceration than in 2019 and 2020 during its 3.5 weeks cuvaison.
It has a fragrant bouquet, well-defined with black cherries, cassis, iris and touches of brown spice. The palate is well balanced with fine weight and depth, the 13% vin de presse landing backbone. Detailed and focused, it has the same mineral spine as Gruaud Larose nearby. Quite long and lively, with a tingle of white and black pepper on the finish.
This is a delicious Talbot, but it is the one Saint-Julien that needs a little more depth in the middle. Nevertheless, it should age for many years and appeal to those seeking classicism in this vintage.
Drink 2027 - 2060
Neal Martin, Vinous.com (May 2023)
Ruby colour with violet reflections, vivid and intense, well sculpted, this is delicious, with texture and heart. There are clear depths to the nuanced blackberry and cassis fruits, great quality, with St Julien balance. One to follow over ageing, this is an impressive Talbot. 60% new oak for ageing.
Drink 2030 - 2048
Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com (May 2023)
The 2022 Talbot is especially impressive, and if it fulfils all its promises, it is likely to emerge as this large Saint-Julien property's most exciting wine since the 1980s.
Unwinding in the glass with aromas of cherries, blackberries and cassis mingled with hints of violets and pencil lead, it's medium to full-bodied, velvety and concentrated, with a layered core of fruit, rich structuring tannins and a long, lively finish.
It's a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot that's matured in 60% new oak.
William Kelley, Wine Advocate (April 2023)
70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot. Cask sample.
Dark fruit with a stony mineral edge. Touch of blackcurrant leaf on the palate. Juicy and fresh with a firm tannic frame. Builds on the finish. Classic St-Julien that should age well.
Drink 2030 - 2045
James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com (May 2023)
The tannins really are integrated and fill out across the palate. The texture is so beautiful and refined. Medium-to-full-bodied and crunchy, with lovely texture and refinement.
James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (April 2023)
A great effort in 2022 with such excellent precision and detail to the tannins and fruit. Cool blueberries, blackcurrants, cola, vanilla, tobacco and liquorice give nuance and interest with fleshy tannins and bright acidity.
Great balance of intensity and finesse with such energy from start to finish. Really quite approachable and enjoyable, with impressive crystalline aspects and a lovely sense of place. Tasted twice. A yield of 40hl/ha. Ageing 16 months in barrels, 60% new. Harvest 9-28 September. 3.75pH.
Drink 2029 - 2048
Georgina Hindle, Decanter.com (April 2023)
Readers will love the 2022 Château Talbot, one of the finest vintages I can recall from this château. It possesses a gorgeous nose of pure cassis, blackberries, tobacco, and iron. It hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, a refined, layered, elegant mouthfeel, and perfectly integrated tannins.
A blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, and 5% Petit Verdot that’s resting in 60% new French oak, this utterly classic, pure, lengthy Saint-Julien will benefit from just a few years of bottle age and have a broad drink window. Bravo.
Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com (May 2023)
About this WINE
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.
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.
Cabernet 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.