Château du Glana

It is a sad but perhaps inevitable fact that the vast majority of visitors to Bordeaux, whether they be members of the wine trade, jobbing wine hacks or avid claret-obsessed consumers, spend nearly every minute of every day obsessing over the famous cru classé châteaux. All those minutes and days usually add up to the entirety of the trip, and as a consequence there is never any time left for smaller, more independent estates, be they cru bourgeois, cru artisan or some other non-classé designation.

Nowhere is this more true than St Julien. There are of course a number of non-classé domaines and vineyards here which I encounter regularly, in particular Château Lalande-Borie, Château Moulin Riche and Clos du Marquis, but it is somewhat far-fetched to think of these estates as ‘independent’. All are owned by neighbouring classed growths, Château Ducru-Beaucaillou, Château Léoville-Poyferré and Château Léoville-Las-Cases respectively, and two of them have certainly served as nothing more than a second wine at some point during their respective evolutions. Today they are all managed as quite separate entities, but they remain in the hands of their classed-growth overlords. In an appellation where more than 90% of the vineyard land belongs to the eleven cru classé châteaux, this is something we should not find surprising.

Château du Glana

So where can we turn for a truly independent, non-classé interpretation of this appellation? The answer most probably lies here, with Château du Glana.

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