Chateau Saint-Pierre 2011
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Barrel Sample: 91-93 Points
While the 2011 Saint-Pierre will not make anyone forget the 2009 or 2010, it is an outstanding effort. Yields were somewhat higher than at other estates (42 hectoliters per hectare), and the final blend includes a whopping 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc that came in at 13% natural alcohol. Proprietor Jean-Louis Triaud has been on a qualitative tear with this estate as well as with his much larger property, Gloria.
Barrel Sample: 90-93 Points
Barrel Sample: 89-90Points
Today, with an average vine age of 50 years, the vineyard now covers 17 hectares, planted with 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. Enjoying a fantastic terroir of gravelly soil, below which lie sand and clay, the vines, in a double Guyot training system, produce an average of 45 hectoliters per hectare using a planting density of 10,000 vines per hectare. Jean-Louis Triaud has great ambitions and conducts a rigorous selection in order to achieve his goals of great wine. "The annual production of Saint-Pierre is about 90 tons, which, after strict selection, becomes only 50 tons, which in wine terms is the equivalent of 5,000 cases for the Grand Vin. My desire is to make exceptional wines worthy of the best Crus in the area. It is a challenge, but the potential is there and we provide the necessary means."
An icon of balance and tradition, St. Julien boasts the highest proportion of classed growths in the Médoc. What it lacks in any first growths, it makes up in the rest: five amazing second growth chateaux, two superb third growths and four well-reputed fourth growths. While the actual class rankings set in 1855 (first, second, and so on the fifth) today do not necessarily indicate a score of quality, the classification system is important to understand in the context of Bordeaux history. Today rivalry among the classed chateaux only serves to elevate the appellation overall.
One of its best historically, the estate of Leoville, was the largest in the Médoc in the 18th century, before it was divided into the three second growths known today as Chateau Léoville-Las-Cases, Léoville-Poyferré and Léoville-Barton. Located in the north section, these are stone’s throw from Chateau Latour in Pauillac and share much in common with that well-esteemed estate.
The relatively homogeneous gravelly and rocky top soil on top of clay-limestone subsoil is broken only by a narrow strip of bank on either side of the “jalle,” or stream, that bisects the zone and flows into the Gironde.
St. Julien wines are for those wanting subtlety, balance and consistency in their Bordeaux. Rewarding and persistent, the best among these Bordeaux Blends are full of blueberry, blackberry, cassis, plum, tobacco and licorice. They are intense and complex and finish with fine, velvety tannins.
One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.