We recently opened a selection of clarets from the excellent 2019 vintage. The tasting served to not only confirm but increase our conviction that this delightful vintage is potentially up there with the greats.
The wines are characterised by sweet, dark fruit, silky tannins and juicy acidity. They are plush, charming and full of energy; they are wines that make you smile when you drink them. They may not have quite the lofty breeding of the 2016s but they are not far off and have the added benefit of being a little bit more accessible with wonderful balance and a very inviting style.
On release the 2019 vintage presented a rare opportunity; a quality vintage at a discounted price. As the vintage was released during lockdown, at a time when it was touch and go whether there would be an en primeur campaign at all, the majority of châteaux released their wines with a sizeable price reduction from their 2018s. For the most part these prices have now risen and settled at around (and sometimes above) the prices of the 2018s, but there are still opportunities to pick up 2019s at, or close to, release price.
One such opportunity and a standout during last week’s tasting is 2019 Saint Pierre. This is a fantastic Saint Julien and is still available at its original release price, just £420 per 12 in bond. This is nearly 20% less than the 2018 (£506/12), 35% less than the 2010 (£650/12) and almost 50% less than the 2009 (£800/12).
Neal Martin awarded it 94-96 points in his June 2020 review calling it “superb, absolutely superb” and we concur. It is a wine of verve and class: the palate is surfeit with juicy, black fruits and perfectly balanced with a racy seam of acidity. It is hedonistic without being extracted and any new oak is subsumed by the glossy fruit rather than dominating the palate. It was a joy to taste and will be hard to resist as soon as it is landed but it has all the components to age for at least a couple of decades and perhaps more.
This 4th Growth Saint Julien is truly a bargain and, like many 2019s still at release price, deserves serious attention before word truly gets out about just how fantastic, not to mention undervalued, these 2019s are.
|Bordeaux||2019||Saint Pierre Recommended||BT||48 \ 0||576||420.00||12||576||46.666666666667||96.00||94.00||Saint Pierre||0.75||10|
|Wines are offered subject to remaining unsold. E&OE.|
The 2019 Saint-Pierre, the sibling of Gloria owned by Domaines Martin rather than the Right Bank estate, is an address that has rapidly become one of the go-to Saint-Juliens in recent years. The bouquet is exquisite: pure blackberry, raspberry and briary scents infused with cedar and hints of mocha, very well defined a little more generous than Gloria. The palate is fresh and detailed with grippy tannins. Very good structure here, a sturdy yet paradoxically elegant wine with a lip-smacking salinity on the long finish. Superb, absolutely superb. Drink 2025 - 2050.
Deep ruby-purple colour. Intense, dark-fruited succulence on the nose, layered with cedar and sweet baking spices. The palate is fleshy with cassis fruit and plush with soft, seductive but persistent tannins. Spice and deep fruit build through the mid-palate, adding breadth without becoming too sweet or smoky. This is a highly polished and spicy wine, but the balance is finely judged throughout. Long, incense-lined finish. This should have a long and open drinking window. Moreish already.