Château Talbot 2013
• Domaine: Château Talbot
• Appellation: Saint-Julien
• Classification: Fourth Growth, 4ème Grand Cru Classé
• Origin: Left Bank, Bordeaux, France
• Importer: Laguna Cellar
The grand vin of Château Talbot hosts the best qualities of Saint Julien terroir – a generous bouquet, stability, and ageability.
Those who love the wines from this fantastic appellation will no doubt have a strong affinity for the offerings of Château Talbot, as many wine connoisseurs consider this Fourth Growth estate to be one of Saint Julien’s most impressive properties. Château Talbot has also been run by the same family for over a century. The well-respected négociant, the Cordier family , oversee the daily operations at Château Talbot and will stop at nothing to produce some of the finest wines within their appellation. Désiré Cordier put it best when he said, “… To be an estate owner means, in a certain way, being in love with it.”
Legend has it the estate received its namesake from a British soldier named Connétable Talbot, the Earl of Shrewsbury, who was defeated at the battle of Castillon in 1453. The estate was classified as a Fourth Growth in 1855 and owned by the Marquis de Aux until it was purchased in 1918 by Désiré Cordier – the man who also oversaw the Second Growth estate, Gruaud Larose. The property has stayed within the Cordier family ever since and is currently run by Nancy Bignon Cordier, her husband Jean-Paul and their children. Château Talbot is a 107-hectare property, with 102 hectares planted with vines. The vineyards are planted with 67 % Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 4.5 % Petit Verdot and 1.5% Cabernet Franc on a single block in the richly graveled soils. The property has very good neighbors – including Château Léoville Las Cases, Château Léoville Barton, and Château Léoville Poyferré.
Every year during harvest time, the grapes are hand selected by a team of 120 people. The selection is rigorous, and only the ripest berries make their way into the grand vin. After their harvest, they make their way into the property’s state-of-the-art vat room. The vat room itself is an architectural marvel, with giant concrete columns emulating tree branches supporting the ceiling. The wines are vinified before beginning the blending process. The blending process is a team effort, where Nancy, Jean-Paul, and their consultants are Stéphane Derenoncourt and Eric Boissenot. Derenoncourt hosts an impressive resume, having worked for properties such as Domaine de Chevalier, Château Pavie Macquin, and even Napa properties like the Rubicon Estate Winery. Château Talbot also produces the only white wine in the Saint Julien appellation, Le Caillou Blanc. The wine is made from Sauvignon Blanc and some Sémillon. It is aged in a Burgundian style on its lees and was one of the first white wines to be made in the Médoc.
The wines of Château Talbot have a level of versatility that is associated with wines from Saint Julien. They can age well but can also be enjoyed younger after hours of decanting. The tannins are silky and luscious and the wine races with beautiful aromas of tobacco and licorice. Yet despite the complexity, it is always a charming wine.
"We all know 2013 was a tough year. Château Talbot did not escape the difficult conditions, but you will find a softness and frankness to the fruit if you drink this wine now or over the next three to four years - I would certainly halve the usual ten-year rule. It tapers away on the finish, but there are some attractive cedar notes and a soft floral aspect to the aromatic palate. Aged in 50% new oak." Jane Anson, Decanter, Producer Profile: Château Talbot, Rating: 89 Drink: 2020-2032
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