Learn everything about Chateau Talbot St. Julien, Fourth Growth Bordeaux producer, with wine tasting notes and wine with food pairing tips. Learn the best vintages, a history of the property, information on vineyards and winemaking. If you want to read about other important, Bordeaux Chateaux: Links to all the best Bordeaux Wine Producer Profiles
Chateau Talbot Overview and History
Legend has it that Chateau Talbot takes its name from an ancient British soldier, Connetable Talbot. In 1453, Talbot was killed during the battle in the fight at Castillon and the estate was named in his honor. Jumping ahead a few hundred years, Chateau Talbot remained in the hands of the d’Aux-Lally family until 1917, when the Cordier family bought the property.
The Cordier family were well known in Bordeaux as negociants and for decades, they were responsible for distributing 100% of the wine from Chateau Talbot. That is no longer the case as the wines are now sold openly on the Place de Bordeaux to a wide variety of negociants. The Cordier family also owned another famous Saint Julien estate, Chateau Gruaud Larose as well other vineyards including Chateau Senejac in the Haut Medoc appellation. Lorraine Cordier and Nancy Bignon-Cordier, the daughters of Jean Cordier own and manage Chateau Talbot today.
Chateau Talbot the Modern Era
Over the past several years, the family has invested in improving the quality of their Left Bank wines as well as the vineyards and wine making facilities and barrel cellars. Wanting to take advantage of every possibility for making the most of their terroir at Talbot, they have two consultants, Stephane Derenoncourt and Jacques Boissenot.
To further the potential of Chateau Talbot, they also completely renovated their cellars, wine making facilities, vat rooms and barrel cellars. The improvement can be seen in the angular, modern, architectural cellar design, with its handles, all in the shape of the letter T, as well as in the increased quality of the wines from coming from Chateau Talbot today.
In 2007 Talbot changed direction in an effort to improve their wine. One of their first decisions was to hire Stephane Derenoncourt as their consultant. Prior to working with Stephane Derenoncourt, following picking, Talbot used to place the berries in a tunnel that blew warm air to remove excess moisture. That practice is no longer used today.
Another change has been to pick fruit at higher degrees of ripeness while increasing their levels of sorting and reducing their yields. Chateau Talbot has also begun experimenting with the Genodics system in their vineyards. The Genodics system emits various sounds and frequencies to enhance or curtail the growth of proteins in the vines. The hope is that the various levels of frequencies reduce or remove the ability of parasites and diseases from developing. In late 2017, following the harvest, Jean-Michel Laporte was named the director of the estate, a position he previously held at Chateau La Conseillante in Pomerol.
Chateau Talbot Vineyard, Terroir, Grapes, Winemaking
The vineyard of Chateau Talbot occupies 102 hectares of vines in the Medoc in the Saint Julien appellation. The vineyard is planted to 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc. This shows a decrease in the amount of Cabernet Sauvignon that was planted in the vineyard as recently as the mid, 1990’s.
With 102 hectares of vines, Chateau Talbot has one of the largest vineyards in the Medoc, and even more interestingly, that makes Talbot a contender for the biggest vineyard in the Left Bank that is in one large, single block of vines. Although, their vineyard takes a few twists, turns and angles, here and there, it is truly a single, massive parcel of vines. They have good neighbors, as their vineyard abuts vines from Chateau Leoville Las Cases, Leoville Barton and Leoville Poyferre. Chateau Talbot also occupies the highest elevations in the Saint Julien appellation at 23 meters at its peak. The terroir is mostly gravel, sand and clay soils over sandstone, clay, sand and iron, which is just below the surface.
There is also a small section of land, about 5 hectares devoted to the production of white Bordeaux wine made from plantings of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. The white wine vines are planted to 80% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Semillon in a cooler terroir that has much more clay in the soil. The vines for the red wine are on average around 30 years old. The vineyard is planted to a vine density of 7,700 vines per hectare.
Chateau Talbot Winemaking
To produce the red wine of Chateau Talbot, the wine is vinified in a combination of temperature controlled, large, truncated, wood vats and stainless steel tanks. The stainless steel tanks are used only for the young vines. The wine of Chateau Talbot is then aged in 50% to 60% new, French oak barrels for an average of 14-16 months. On average, the production of the Grand Vin is close to 25,000 cases per year of Chateau Talbot.
The best vintages of Chateau Talbot are: 2016, 2015, 2014, 2010, 2009, 2005, 1986, 1982 and 1961. Older vintages of Chateau Talbot are said to have the ability to age, so they might be worth taking a risk on, when buying at auction.
Chateau Talbot White Bordeaux Wine
Chateau Talbot also produces a white Bordeaux wine called Le Caillou Blanc. Le Caillou Blanc is the only white wine produced in the Saint Julien appellation. In fact, it is also one of the first white Bordeaux wines ever produced in the Medoc. The first vintages of Talbot Le Caillou Blanc came out in the 1930’s. There is a second wine, Connetable Talbot as well as a third wine, Seigneur de Talbot.
When to Drink Chateau Talbot, Anticipated Maturity, Decanting Time
Chateau Talbot can be enjoyed on the young side with several hours of decanting. However, the wine is usually better with 7-10 years of bottle age. Of course that can vary slightly, depending on the vintage character. In the best years, the wine will best between 12 and 20 to 25 years of age after the vintage. Young vintages can be decanted for an average of 2 hours. This allows the wine to soften and open its perfume. Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment. Older vintages, from the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1980’s seem to age better than the current years. But time will tell.
Serving Chateau Talbot with the Best Wine, Food, Pairing Tips
Chateau Talbot is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift. Talbot is best served with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted, braised, stewed and grilled dishes. Talbot is also good when served with Asian dishes, hearty seafood or richly textured fish like tuna, mushrooms, pasta and cheese.
Château Talbot Wine Tasting Notes
21 Vintages 143147 Views Sort Vintage - Rating
Medium bodied with sweet black plums and a licorice, espresso personality, this one is already approachable with round textures and an oaky, juicy, dark fruit finish. The wine was made from a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot and 6% Petit Verdot.
Apr 29, 2017points - Tasted 1734 Views
Espresso, smoke, licorice, cassis and black cherry create the nose. Forward in style with round-textures and an earthy, blackberry and cassis finish. 91 - 93 Pts
Apr 20, 2016points - Tasted 1848 Views
Medium bodied, with bit of strictness in the tannin that leaves you with a touch of dryness in the finish, that takes away from the otherwise, complex aromatics and tasty, spicy, earthy fruits.
Feb 2, 2017points - Tasted 2252 Views
Forward in style with a nose of espresso, blackberry, dark cherry, cocoa and the woodsy aroma of terre-mere, this round-textured wine radiates an easy-to-like quality which is soft, fresh and clean. This is the best vintage for Talbot produced with the aid of the Stephane Derenoncourt team yet. 91-93 Pts
Apr 16, 2015points - Tasted 3079 Views
With a nice floral note on top of the red fruits, licorice and espresso, this medium bodied wine is set to give early drinking pleasures.
Feb 9, 2016points - Tasted 1925 Views
Medium bodied with a whiff of oak in the red berry nose, the wine is on the light side. This is for early drinking in its first decade of life. 87-88 Pts
Apr 20, 2014points - Tasted 2101 Views
Medium bodied, sweet and tart red berry dominated wine with an earthy, cedar and tobacco kick to the nose. Forward in style, the wine will drink well by its 10th birthday.
Nov 16, 2017points - Tasted 254 Views
Medium bodied, forward, with an open style that is already showing off its licorice, espresso, black cherry and round, earthy profile.
Mar 11, 2015points - Tasted 3219 Views
Licorice, black raspberry, and espresso scents open to a soft, polished, round, medium-bodied wine filled with black cherries. From a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot, the wine reached 13.6% alcohol. 89-91 Pts
Apr 23, 2013points - Tasted 1894 Views
Smoke, juicy, ripe, dark, red berries, licorice and espresso beans create the aromatics. The tannins are a bit dry, which carries through into the finish.
Feb 16, 2014points - Tasted 3784 Views
With truffle, coffee, smoke and black cherry jam, this medium-bodied wine has round tannins with a short, fresh red berry finish. 88-90 Pts.
Apr 13, 2012points - Tasted 3026 Views
2010 Talbot Using 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot, the wine offers cassis, earth and tobacco scents. Medium/full bodied, the cassis filled finish shows a hint of green flavors in the end. 88-90 Pts
Apr 20, 2011points - Tasted 4697 Views
Blending 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot, thanks to the help of consultant, Stephane Derenoncourt, the wine offers polished, round textures and a perfume loaded with coffee, ripe, juicy, dark berries, licorice and black cherry jam.
Feb 5, 2012points - Tasted 9274 Views
Deeply colored, with aromas of licorice, cassis, herbs, oak and earth, this charming, full bodied, round textured St. Julien wine is filled with juicy ripe blackberries and cassis.
Jul 20, 2011points - Tasted 8365 Views
2009 Talbot is earthy, offering licorice covered dark berry flavors with soft opulent textures, and a sweet finish filled with cassis, spice, and fennel. 90-92 Pts
Aug 26, 2010points - Tasted 9455 Views
08 Château Talbot is a big step up from previous vintages. Cassis, oak, and spice are in the bouquet. Even though opulent in texture, the wine lacks some concentration. What’s behind the improvement in the estate is the recent decision to hire Stephane Derenoncourt as the consultant. 90-92 Pts
Aug 31, 2009points - Tasted 6281 Views
Lean, earthy, medium bodied, tobacco and red berry on the nose. Light in color and in fruit, the wine is on the tart, herbal side of the style range and needs to be consumed.
Jun 23, 2017points - Tasted 1700 Views
Lean, earthy, medium bodied, tobacco and reb berry on the nose. Light in color and in fruit, the wine is on the tart, herbal side of the style range and needs to be consumed.
Mar 30, 2017points - Tasted 1777 Views
Better on the earthy, tobacco and crisp red berry nose, than on the lean, medium bodied, firm, palate.
May 25, 2016points - Tasted 2406 Views
Foursquare, medium bodied and focused on the crisp, red berry side of the Cabernet Sauvignon, lovers of older, less ripe styles of wine should be all over this.
Jul 25, 2013points - Tasted 3878 Views
Tannic, tight and still a touch okay, this is soft and approachable at a young age for Talbot. Licorice, earth, cassis, blackberry, smoke and coffee aromas lead to a fresh, round, dark berry filled finish. Another 5 years will add a lot of complexity to this wine.
Dec 11, 2011points - Tasted 11348 Views
Mature, medium bodied, with a focus on bright red fruits, cranberry, herbs and earth in its personality.
Jan 4, 2015points - Tasted 2356 Views
Already developed, this soft, lush, round textured St. Julien offers blackberry, black cherry, herbs, spice, earth and tobacco notes. This medium bodied wine is not going to make old bones. I'd drink it now, or at least finish it by the time the wines hits 15 years of age, give or take a few years.
Jan 27, 2013points - Tasted 4421 Views
There is a lot of classic charm here, with its tobacco, black raspberry, cedar and earthy character. The tannins are soft, but present, letting you know this is nice now, and will be better with a bit more time in the bottle.
May 9, 2014points - Tasted 5106 Views
Earth, barnyard, green olive tapenade, cassis and herbal aromas lead to a Bordeaux wine on the lean, austere side. The finish offers cassis, olives and a drying tannic finish. Still young, perhaps this will fill out with time, but it will always maintain the herbaceous, olive profile.
Jul 31, 2011points - Tasted 11329 Views
Typical Cordier funk nose with a touch of barnyard, cassis, black fruit, tobacco and a hint of rhubarb. Decent texture, but not much elegance or excitement. The wine delivers more on the nose than the palate.
Mar 12, 2012points - Tasted 4682 Views
Typical Cordier funk nose with a touch of barnyard, cassis, and black fruit, along with a hint of rhubarb. Decent texture, but not much elegance or excitement.
Jun 18, 2009points - Tasted 7077 Views
Powerful, masculine, brawny and still tannic, the wine is concentrated with beefy, dark fruits, earth and tobacco. Classic in style, with a lot of earth, cigar box, cedar and barnyard, some people are going to like this more than others.
Jul 25, 2013points - Tasted 4233 Views
It is a brutish style, but if you're looking for a boatload of ripe Cabernet fruit served with a massive dose of tannin, you found it! If you're seeking wines that exchanges elegance for power, this is it
Nov 21, 2003points - Tasted 2760 Views
Fully mature, with a nose of tobacco, cigar box, cassis, figs and a hint of jam. The wine is full bodied, concentrated and feels great through the earthy, cassis and cigar wrapper finish.
Nov 28, 2015points - Tasted 3265 Views
Barnyard, earth, leather, tobacco, cedar and black cherry, some rusticity and dryness in the textures with an earthy, solid textured, tart cassis and olive finish. This one of those wines that fans of more traditional Bordeaux will like it a lot more than I did.
May 26, 2012points - Tasted 4736 Views
Tough, austere and strict, the wine lacks charm. Lovers of these old, classic vintages could like this better than I did.
Apr 16, 2016points - Tasted 2478 Views
Starting to dry out, medium bodied with more cranberry than cassis, tobacco, earth, smoke, wet forest floor and cigar box, the finish has started to take on tart, rustic qualities. Better on the nose than the palate. drink up.
May 26, 2012points - Tasted 6407 Views