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Chateau Talbot Saint Julien - WA 2022

wa"Of this estate's 110 hectares, occupying one large block, 94 are planted to red varieties. The grand vin consistently derives from the plateau's higher-altitude gravel soils, but other parcels make a contribution in some vintages (Talbot also own a solitary one-hectare block within the heart of Gruaud Larose that they are reluctant to part with). Historically, the density of plantation at Talbot was always rather low—because it was ploughed by oxen rather than by horse, Jean-Michel Laporte speculates—but new plantings these days are at 8,000 vines per hectare, with Merlot being replaced by Cabernet Sauvignon in the deep gravels. In 2006, modernization began, with lower yields, a later harvest and war on Brettanomyces (almost a house signature in the past). Laporte, formerly winemaker of Pomerol's La Conseillante, has continued his predecessor's work and seeks to bring a bit more mid-palate volume to the wine, increasing somewhat the percentage of new oak to 60%. 2019 is his second vintage at Talbot, and it's certainly impressive. Anyone who has tasted wines such as the 1945, 1982 and 1986 knows what Talbot can achieve, so this is clearly an estate to watch. - William Kelley

- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (April 2022)