Bordeaux 2019 at Two Years: St Julien
There is no doubt about the stars of St Julien in any particular vintage. The three Léoville estates of Barton, Poyferré and Las-Cases, together with Château Ducru-Beaucaillou, all have vines on or very close to the waters of the Gironde, ensuring the vines have well-drained soils, and giving them a wonderfully open aspect. Sure, one or two of these estates have been through a rough patch in recent decades, but I would take issue with anyone who claimed the current proprietors aren’t all playing at or at least very near to the top of their game.
I have noticed, however, that in some very recent vintages a number of other properties in St Julien seem intent on closing the gap between their own performance and that of these leading estates. With the past few years I have seen some stellar efforts coming from the likes of Château Beychevelle, Château Branaire-Ducru, Château Saint-Pierre and Château Talbot, proving that there is plenty of choice for those of us still wedded to the idea that any decent cellar deserves a few bottles of cru classé Bordeaux from this commune.
This tasting of 2019 St Julien threw up yet more evidence of improvements from among the ranks of these ‘other’ châteaux. It also gave me my first encounter with the wines of the Delon estates, which in this appellation includes not only Château Léoville-Las-Cases but also Clos du Marquis, as the team here chose not to send samples to me back in early 2020. I also tasted the wines of one or two of the appellation’s more confidentiel estates, making this a fairly broad and comprehensive look at the appellation.
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