Château St Pierre, 4ème Cru Classé, St Julien, 2018

  Château St Pierre

Of the Henri Martin wines, there was one clear winner. Gloria was head and shoulders above its classified sibling, St Pierre. There's a fine line between ambition and too much ambition - this feels like it has overstepped the mark. Hopefully it will come together during élevage, but on this showing, this brute needs taming. Very noir, rather cumbersome, notes of prune, black tea and nori. Inky and mineral on the palate, but then dominated by rather dry, mouth puckering tannins. A bit OTT. 77% Cabernet Sauvignon and 23% Merlot,

Contains Sulphites.

About Château St Pierre

Saint Pierre was one of the most obscure classified growths until very recently, but under the directorship of Henri Martin (owner of Gloria), this small estate his emerged as a somewhat unlikely threat to the established order. In fact, this wine now regularly pops up in conversation alongside the likes of Ducru Beaucaillou, Leoville Las Cases and Leoville Poyferre. The style is classic, but polished with inky colour and profound depth. In 2009 and 2010 this estate reached new levels of excellence, but this has become a property we expect to excel year in year out.

Appellation: St Julien

St-Julien may not have any first growths like its neighbour Pauillac but has a raft of high-performing Châteaux in its ranks, second through to fourth growths, Including Ducru-Beaucaillou, Léoville Las Cases, Léoville-Poyferré, Léoville-Barton. Gruaud-Larose and Talbot. For many St-Julien is quintessential claret, robust, powerful but refined subtle and poised. Gravelly soils dominate, hence wide plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon with some Merlot.

Grape Blend: Cab. Sauvignon | Merlot

A classic partnership. The stock left bank Bordeaux blend also used to good affect in the New World. Cabernet's, acidic, tannic complex qualities marry ideally with Merlot's sweet, softy flesh characteristics.