- Published: 18 March 2019 18 March 2019
It was a great pleasure to be invited to Trinity College, Cambridge to a tutored tasting of wine pairings comparing Pauillac and Saint Julien. Prof. Stephen Elliot guided the tour of these top vintages of 2010, 2009, 2008, 2005, 2000, and 1996, with a mystery wine thrown in at the end, to guess which commune it came from.
Pauillac and Saint Julien Tasting notes:
1. Chateau Langoa-Barton 2010, Saint Julien [Winner]
Bright ruby colour, primary fruit characteristics; cassis, still very youthful. Elegant, lovely balance of fruit and silky tannin, notable freshness.
Society luxury wedding planners specialising in the UK's most prestigious venues for making your dream of dreams a reality. Please contact us for more information about how we canhelp you realise your dream.
2. Chateau Batailley 2010, Pauillac
Red brick colour, more secondary aromas of cedar, tobacco. The fruit character is there but not as ripe and fresh as the first wine. The tannin has much more grip and less balance than the Langoa-Barton.
3. Chateau Moulin Riche 2009, Saint Julien
Less gravelly soil, so more Merlot. 20 hectares, gravel and limestone. A very hot vintage so bigger heavier vintage. Bolder fruit from the merlot with a slightly bitter tannic finish.
4. Chateau Haut-Batailley 2009, Pauilliac [Winner]
Straight away there are more secondary aromas like the 2010 Batailley. A bit of punch from the alcohol at the end. I prefer this to the Moulin Riche.
5. Chateau Léoville-Barton 2008, Saint Julien [Winner]
Bright ruby colour. Aroma of ripe blackcurrant. Ripe fresh fruit with pleasant soft tannin. Still a distinct freshness.
6. Chateau Duhart-Milot-Rothschild 2008, Pauillac
Slight brick-reddening of the colour. Secondary aromas of tobacco and leather. Much more open than the Léoville-Barton but not quite as fresh and elegant.
7. Chateau Branaire-Ducru 2005, Saint Julien
Fabulous vintage. Blackcurrant and cherry with a touch of liquorice aroma. Gorgeous freshness and acidity, lovely balance with the silky tannin.
8. Pontet-Canet 2005, Pauillac (Biodynamic) [Winner]
Beautiful aromas of plush blackcurrant and violets. Incredible concentration of fruit, beautiful acidity and silky tannin. The best of the evening.
The Manhattan Chandelier
Taken from The Redmile London range of exceptional crystal chandeliers. The large and magnificent Manhattan twenty light lead crystal & cut glass chandelier. Other sizes & styles available for worldwide shipment
9. Chateau Léoville-Poyferré 2000, Saint Julien [Winner]
Ageing very well with aroma of blackcurrant with a touch of secondary characteristics coming through. Plush soft fruit and velvety texture. Lovely balance of tannin. Really very enjoyable and ready to drink.
10. Chateau Lynch-Bages 2000, Pauillac
A little bit more mature than the Léoville-Poyferré, lacking the same fruit balance but still has a solid tannic structure. Not quite as impressive as no. 9 but drinking well now all the same!
11. Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou 1996 Saint Julien [Winner]
A strict Cabernet Sauvignon blend. Great youth, bright but mature cassis fruit aroma. Tasting beautifully with tannins that elegant with a gentle grip. Very good claret!
12. Chateau Pichon-Lalande 1996 Pauillac
A bit more plummy, lots of spice aromas. A decent mouthful of claret with soft gentle tannin but lacking the attractiveness zippiness of the Ducru-Beaucaillou.
13. This is the mystery wine, Chateau Léoville-Las Cases 1998, Saint Julien
I guessed this (wrongly) as being from Pauillac. Stephen, gave us a get-out-of-jail card by pointing out that the vineyard is just next to Chateau Latour, so, mistake or trick question? (I know, no excuses!). Same terroir as Chateau Latour fetching the most money of all the Léoville estates and the classiest.
Lovely concentration of blackcurrant fruit, a balance of cedar wood character and softening tannin. Still very youthful. Delicious surprise!
Fingerprints of global warming?
Stephen Elliot provided a list of grouped vintages for tasters grouped in the following categories:
Exceptional - 2016, 2015, 2010, 2009, 2005; Very Good - 2014, 2008, 2001, 2000, 1996, 1995; Good - 2017, 2012, 2006, 2003, 1999, 1998; Average - 2013, 2012, 2006, 2003, 1999, 1998
An observant taster on our table asked why the majority of exceptional vintages are mostly in this last decade, to which the reply was, "global warming". The follow0up question to that surely has to be, "for how long?"
Overall a really interesting and rare tasting, profiling two communes vertically. My preference score-wise has been for Saint Julien but it was interesting to note that the Pauillac’s appear to be maturing faster than the Saint Julien’s.
An aperitif by the coliseum
As COVID-19 conspires with the grimmest of winds and rain to force a societal retreat behind our own front doors, the word ennui springs to mind. The muddle of displeasure is pierced when Natalia hands me a large bulbous glass of a liquid I do not recognise.
Artichoke pasta and very fine Pigato
Britain’s lamentable exit
On the eve of Britain’s official departure from the EU, my partner and I decided to explore a small town on the Italian Riviera where thewintry cold doesn’t feel so much like cold war bite.
I had warned my significant other that I would be having an inverse departure party, a release of the sanity valve if you like!
Soave: volcanic wines with elegance and longevity
Sitting inside the ancient castle walls inside the town of Soave, a short drive from Verona in northern Italy, the unique slightly almond aroma of the indigenous grape, Garganega, rises gently from my glass. The castle sprawls up the side of an extinct volcano that gives the region its variant soil structures that mark out the better quality of Soave wines.
An American In Paris; Tanisha Townsend (@GirlMeetsGlass) discusses podcasts, Paris wine bars, & what she's drinking at the moment
Tanisha Townsend decided to move to Paris 4 years ago after regularly passing through the city en route to the world’s most famous vineyards. In fact, it was about 2 years ago at the Printemps de Champagne Bouzy Rouge tasting in Reims that I saw (who we shall now refer to as) GirlMeetsGlass chirpily speaking to her web followers on Snapchat.
Wine tasting in Galicia: The pilgrims search for Albarino
The cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, the final resting place of Saint James, rises out of the landscape, infested with antiquity. The rambling steep streets give way to shafts of dramatic light, emblazoned chapels, and tightly packed tapas bars, dusty, as old novels pressed together in antiquarian bookshops.
Interview: (Re)Defining the Entre-Deux-Mers, climate change & tasting with Stephane Dupuch
Driving into the Entre-Deux-Mers region from the north, the vineyards roll out like a bright green deep-pile carpet across the undulating land. It’s hard not to be excited about tasting wines with so much heritage, as we head to Chateau-Sainte-Marie to meet with 5th generation owner, Stéphane Dupuch.