Bordeaux 2018 at Two Years: St Julien
The appellation of St Julien offers many things, not least the region’s most convincing pretender to first-growth status. I think it also offers a little more consistency from one year to the next than some other left-bank appellations; in a commune which is overwhelmingly dedicated to the production of cru classé wines there is a well established order which seems a little more resistant to change than it does in Pauillac or Margaux.
And yet there are still surprises in St Julien, and still plenty to talk about, in this most recently bottled vintage. There looks to be some positive developments at Château Talbot here, this being the first vintage exclusively under the management of the talented Jean-Michel Laporte, once of Château La Conseillante. The same château has also bottled their 2018 in a commemorative bottle, celebrating one hundred years of ownership by the Cordier family. Château Lalande-Borie, the third and most westerly part of the Borie family’s St Julien vineyards, has disappeared, proprietor Bruno Borie having brought the property back into the Ducru fold, rebranding it Le Petit Ducru de Ducru-Beaucaillou. One cru classé proprietor has decided to replace the foil capsule atop their bottles with wax (are they trying to capture a slice of the natural wine market?) and there is one cuvée in which the blend boasts 69% Petit Verdot. Have you ever seen that in St Julien, or indeed anywhere in Bordeaux, before now?