A very well-known Chateau throughout the world. En Primeur prices are usually reasonable and the popularity of the name ensures strong demand and increased prices when it is ready to drink. Not normally a wine to win blind tastings as it is relatively early-maturing, but always popular. The big, 105 hectare, vineyard is planted with 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot. Stephane Derenoncourt consults here. Jean-Michel Laporte (formerly of La Conseillante) is now in charge here and he is certainly upping the quality. There is now more body, depth and power than the Talbots of the past, but it is still fairly approachable at an early age.
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The 2019 Talbot has a very cohesive bouquet, "streamlined" being the operative word, before opening gradually to reveal a Pauillac-inspired aromatics, pencil shaving scents permeating the black fruit. Yet it is still unmistakably Talbot. The palate is medium-bodied with fine grain tannins, creamy in texture with more depth in the middle than previous vintages (a shortcoming that, estate director Jean-Michel Laporte told me in the past he wants to address.) The great aspect of this Talbot is that it doesn't take its foot off the pedal on the finish, exerting impressive grip with that pencil lead lingering in the mouth. Superb. Expect this to land at the top of my banded score. 2026 - 2055
Casting a deep garnet-purple color, the 2019 Talbot leaps from the glass with vibrant notions of crushed blackberries, boysenberries and ripe blackcurrants plus hints of pencil shavings, cardamom, incense and Ceylon tea. Medium-bodied, the palate is refreshing and nicely balanced, featuring a good core of crunchy black fruit and soft, approachable tannins, finishing with earthy restraint. 2023 - 2040
A juicy, fruity wine with lots of blue fruit, blackberries and dark chocolate. Pretty depth and structure to this. Polished and structured at the same time.
The 2019 Talbot is a big, powerful wine. Black cherry, plum, licorice, menthol, spice, lavender and earthy notes give the 2019 a distinct impression of savoriness. The tannins are a bit burly, as they often are with Talbot, and yet the 2019 appears to have enough fruit depth to balance things out.
The 2019 is a blend of 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot, which represents the highest proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon in recent years. There was a move to more extraction earlier in the fermentation, with the aim to increase roundness and power in the mid-palate. The yield is 46hl/ha, which is similar to 2018. The wine will spend 16 months in 60% new French oak. Deep ruby in colour, with cassis and liquorice on the nose. The palate is fresher, with fresh blackcurrant forming the base of a lithe and vibrant fruit core. The tannins are chalky but well integrated, allowing the fruit to shine. A well-proportioned and harmonious Talbot that focuses on balance over concentration. Long and savoury on the finish. Jean-Michel Laporte's influence is starting to take effect in the glass with this excellent effort.
St Julien's largest property at 110ha (up there with Lagrange if you're keeping track), this has lovely plump black fruits on the nose. Takes hold right from the start, with clear tannic build and a silky character to the tannins. This continues the run of good vintages that Talbot has been producing since 2016. Well balanced, with plenty of St Julien character. Tasted twice two weeks apart. Highest ever level of Cabernet Sauvignon at the estate. Harvest 19 September to 8 October. 60% new oak. Drinking Window 2026 - 2040
69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot. Barrel sample.
Overt spice and cassis nose. Palate juicy and invigorating. Perhaps a little leaner than some. Firm, grainy tannins provide the structure and finish. (JL)
Drink 2026 – 2038