2023 St. Julien Wine Buying Guide Tasting Notes, Scores, Vintage Info


For a detailed overview of the 2023 Bordeaux vintage, growing season, and harvest, with links to all of our appellation reports 2023 Bordeaux Vintage Analysis with Buying Tips for the Best Wines of the Vintage

All of the following 2023 St. Julien wines were tasted in Bordeaux in April in non-blind tasting conditions. Most of the wines were tasted at the property. However, I also tasted several wines at Negociants, Consultants, or with various trade groups. Whenever possible the wines were tasted on more than one occasion.

2023 Beychevelle – St. Julien – Black, red, and blue fruit, with a hint of chocolate, flowers, and espresso jump from the nose. The palate is packed with layers of supple, black cherries, vibrant black currants, cocoa, spice, black raspberries, and espresso. Energetic, medium-bodied, long, and intense, with purity, and lift, this is going to offer fabulous drinking with just a few years in the cellar. The key to the vintage this year was patience, which was to find the perfect moment to harvest. The wine blends 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, and 4% Petit Verdot. This is the highest percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon ever used in the blend! 13.3% ABV, pH 3.67. The harvest took place September 13 – October 6. This is the longest harvest on record. 50% of the harvest was placed into the Grand Vin. Drink from 2029-2060. 94-96 Pts

2023 Beychevelle Amiral de Beychevelle – St. Julien – Flowers, and black cherries form the nose. The palate is loaded with sweet, ripe cherries, currants, spice, and licorice, Round, forward, and supple, this will be delicious on release, and for at least a decade or more. The wine is produced from 51% Merlot with 49% Cabernet Sauvignon. Drink from 2026-2036. 90-92 Pts

2023 Branaire Ducru – St. Julien – Showing a depth in the color, aromatically, the wine exudes blackberries, plums, charcoal, tobacco, black currants, cinnamon, and flowers in the perfume. Palate-wise, the wine is perfectly balanced between its silky textures and vibrant acidities. The finish is soft, polished, refined, and flavorful, leaving you with hints of turmeric, chocolate, and sweet, black currants. This is clearly a top vintage of Branaire Ducru! The length of the harvest, with the extra hang time, gave the team the chance to pick when they wanted to. This is a wine that is going to age quite well, yet it will be delicious to drink with just a few years of aging. The wine blends 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5.5% Cabernet Franc, and 3.5% Petit Verdot. 13.1% ABV, 3.63 pH. The harvest took place September 12 – October 4. Yields were large at 53 hectoliters per hectare. Drink from 2028-2060. 93-95 Pts

2023 Du Glana – St. Julien – Flowers, cherries, tobacco, and cedar open the medium-bodied, forward, ripe, soft, wine. Sweet, and creamy, you can enjoy this with pleasure on release. If you are seeking a Saint Julien that sells for a song, this early-drinker is a great choice. Drink from 2026-2037. 90-92 Pts

2023 Ducru Beaucaillou – St. Julien – Saffron, licorice, turmeric, espresso, black cherries, blackberries, mint, and flowers create the perfume. The palate is vibrant, fresh, elegant, concentrated focused. The fruits are ripe, clean, and pure, with a racy, freshness. But, the wine is not overly bright, instead, it is silky, succulent, finesse-oriented, and elegant. The finish holds your attention for close to 50 seconds. The key to the success of the vintage at Ducru was finding the exact moment to pick each parcel to achieve phenolic ripeness. Ducru Beaucaillou continues its unstoppable roll of fabulous vintages. Produced from blending 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, with 15% Merlot, 13% ABV, 3.7 pH. Picking took place from September 8 – October 3. Drink from 2028-2065. 96-98 Pts

2023 Ducru-Beaucaillou La Croix Ducru-Beaucaillou – St. Julien – Cinnamon, espresso, roses, cherries, and currants pop in the nose, The palate is medium-bodied, fresh, silky, vibrant, and expansive. You find blackberries, currants, creamy textures, and loads of freshness in the finish. The wine is a blend of 58% Merlot, and 42% Cabernet Sauvignon. 13.5% ABV. Drink from 2025-2040. 92-94 Pts

2023 Ducru Beaucaillou Le Petit Ducru – St. Julien – Flowers, black with blue fruits, and tobacco leaf gets the wine started. On the palate, the wine is medium-bodied, round, supple, and fresh, with a creamy, spicy, black cherry finish. The wine blends 72% Merlot, 24% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 4% Petit Verdot. 13.7% ABV. Drink from 2026-2037. 91-93 Pts

2023 Gloria – St. Julien – Medium-bodied, elegant, ripe, forward, soft, and floral, with layers of sweet, black fruits, soft, ripe tannins, and a refined, uplifted character, this is already quite nice to drink, and with a few years, it is only going to get better. The wine is produced from 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, and 5% Cabernet Franc. Drink from 2027-2043. 91-93 Pts

2023 Gruaud Larose – St. Julien – Tobacco leaf, cedar, red, with black currants, wet earth, smoke, and blackberries crowd into the perfume. On the palate, the wine is bright, fresh, juicy, classic, firm, crisp, and chewy, with layers of spicy, black, and red berries that linger. There is lift, and precision in this modern version of a classic Bordeaux. Give it some time in the bottle to fill out, and it is going to be even better! 2023 is the second, fully-organic vintage for the vineyard. The wine is a blend of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.5% Merlot, and 2.5% Cabernet Franc.12.62% ABV, 3.4 pH. Picking took place September 11 – September 25. Drink from 2029-2060. 93-95 Pts

2023 Gruaud Larose Sarget de Gruaud Larose – St. Julien – Leafy, fresh herbs, cedar, mint, tobacco, and red fruits show easily in the perfume. On the palate, the wine is bright, fresh, and fruity, with a core of red currants from start to finish. You should be able to enjoy this wine on release. The wine is a blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40.5% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, and 3.% Cabernet Franc. Drink from 2026-2033. 89-91 Pts

2023 Lagrange – St. Julien – Black cherries, black currants, flowers, and mint blend perfectly in the nose, and on the medium-bodied, fresh, energetic, bright, chewy palate. Give this a few years in the bottle, and it is going to be a very good wine to drink over the next few decades. Starting with the 2016 vintage, Lagrange has been on a hot streak! The wine is produced from 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 16% Merlot. Drink from 2029-2055. 91-93 Pts

2023 Langoa Barton – St. Julien – Blackberries, cigar wrapper, flowers, and cherries fill the nose with its aromatic profile. On the palate, the wine is fresh, chewy, and Cassis, tobacco, flowers, blackberries, and red currants show easily on the nose, and palate. There is a wealth of fresh, dark red fruits, creamy tannins, and infused with tobacco, powerful tannins, and a gentle, crispness to the spicy, blackberries on the mid-palate, and in the finish. The wine blends 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, and 3% Cabernet Franc. 13% ABV. Drink from 2028-2050. 92-94 Pts

2023 Leoville Barton – St. Julien – Black cherries, mint, cigar box, flowers, and cassis form the core of the perfume here. On the palate, the concentrated wine offers a big, chewy mouthful of black currants, spice, peppery herbs, and sea-salt. The finish has real staying power. The wine is the quintessential description of a modern version of a classic vintage. The wine is a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, and 3% Cabernet Franc, 13% ABV. The harvest took place September 9 – October 2. The length of picking is the key to the success of the vintage here. Drink from 2028-2060. 93-95 Pts

2023 Leoville Las Cases – St. Julien – Cigar wrapper, creme de cassis, flowers, cherries, mint, and blackberries produce the bouquet. The palate is intense, full-bodied, concentrated, racy, and vibrant. The fruit has lift, length, purity, and a creamy edge to the racy-mouth-feel. The finish lingers, with layers of perfectly, ripe, berries that build, and expand in the mid-palate, through to the juicy, sapid finish. As always, Leoville Las Cases requires bottle aging. But for Las Cases, it is going to be a pleasure to taste relatively early, with just a decade of age. Produced from a blend 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Merlot. 13.10% ABV. 3.79 pH. Harvesting took place September 9 – October 2. This is not only the third time in the history of the estate with more Cabernet Franc than Merlot in the blend. It is also the smallest amount of Merlot ever placed into the Grand Vin. It is also interesting to note that LLC was the first major wine to be released in the 2023 campaign, setting the stage for what could take place this year. Drink from 2030-2065. 96-98 Pts

2023 Leoville Las Cases Clos du Marquis – St. Julien – Cigar box, blackberries, dark red pit fruits, flowers, and tobacco leaves, along with black currants fill the perfume. The wine is concentrated, juicy, sweet, and ripe. The tannins are soft, ripe, and round. The fruit has a creamy edge in the finish, with just a bit of chewiness to the berries, making it deceptively easy to drink. Yet this can age for 2 decades. The wine was made from a blend of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc. 13.25% ABV. Drink from 2027-2043. 92-94 Pts

2023 Le Petit Lion du Marquis de Las Cases – St. Julien – Creme de cassis pops with your initial sniff before you find the flowers, blackberries, and tobacco notes. The wine is forward, with ample layers of blackberries, and creamy-textured, red currants to age for 12-15 years. This is a perfect introduction to Leoville Las Cases. The wine blends 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, and 8% Cabernet Franc. 13.5% ABV. Drink from 2027-2039. 90-92 Pts

2023 Leoville Poyferre – St. Julien – Flowers, cherry pipe tobacco, herbs, currants, black raspberries, licorice, and smoke open the perfume. On the palate, the wine is silky, vibrant, rich, and refined. There is freshness, with ample fruit, which allows you to focus on the finish which is all about the sweet, clean, and pure red fruits with their lift, and energy. This is interestingly light on its feet, yet it is no featherweight wine. Holding its own, this is quite fresh, almost vivacious on the palate. and in the red berry finish. The oak already feels well integrated into the wine. The wine blends 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot. 13% ABV. Drink from 2028-2055. 95-97 Pts

2023 Leoville Poyferre Pavillon de Léoville Poyferré – St. Julien – Black cherries, tobacco leaf, licorice, currants, and spice are on display in the nose. The palate offers its medium-bodied pleasures with ease, allowing you to find fresh, bright, peppery, red fruits with a soft, supple edge. This is ready to enjoy on release, and for at least a decade after that. The wine blends 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Franc, and 6% Petit Verdot. 13%, ABV. Drink from 2026-2037. 90-92 Pts

2023 Moulin-Riche – St. Julien – Cherries, licorice, plums, and blackberries are on display in the floral-oriented nose. The wine is medium-bodied, soft, fresh, fruity, lively, and round. The finish delivers a nice polish to the end notes. You can enjoy this on release, and for at least a decade, or more after that. The wine is a blend of 49% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, and 18% Petit Verdot. Drink from 2026-2037. 90-92 Pts

2023 Saint-Pierre – St. Julien – Espresso, chocolate, black cherries, licorice, and flowers, form the nose. On the palate, the wine is round, soft, and polished, with ripe, chocolatey black cherries, licorice, and a touch of oak in the creamy finish. This is going to be delicious with just a year or two after it’s released. Drink from 2028-2045. 92-94 Pts

2023 Talbot – St. Julien – Licorice, blackberries, black cherries, flowers, and tobacco create the aromatic profile. On the palate, the wine is round, creamy, and soft, with a touch of salinity in the fresh, and fruity finish, that makes you want to take another sip. Drink from 2028-2045. 92-94 Pts

Up next, we cover all of the best 2023 Pauillac Wines

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