Château Saint-Pierre, Saint-Julien Quatrième Cru

Château Saint-Pierre, Saint-Julien Quatrième Cru, 2018

  • icon-type Type

    Red

  • icon-year Year

    2018

  • icon-style Style

    Dry

  • icon-country Country

    France

  • icon-alcohollevel Alcohol level

    14%

  • icon-grapevariety Grape variety
    Cabernet Sauvignon 77%, Merlot 23%
  • Rating

    JS 94, RP 96, WS 95

Saint-Pierre is a name that up until recently was not particularly widely recognisable, its wines remaining underestimated despite their high quality and the valuable pedigree bestowed on the estate under the ownership of domaines Henri Martin.

It is perhaps easy to overlook the Château - at less than 17 acres it claims to be the smallest estate in Saint-Julien. But in recent years or so, the wine has come to command a broader spectrum of attention. With low production levels making this wine particularly favourable for price appreciation, particularly in mammoth vintages like the 2009, 2010 and 2016. Saint-Pierre is more tempting a prospect than ever before

About Château Saint-Pierre

Château Saint-Pierre is a winery in the Saint-Julien appellation of the Bordeaux region of France. The wine produced here was classified as one of ten Quatrièmes Crus Classés (Fourth Growths) in the historic Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855.

There is another, unrelated Château Saint Pierre at Toutens in the Lauragais 30 km east of Toulouse, which dates from the 18th century and is one of the château of the froment.

Originally owned by the De Cheverry family, from at least 1693 according to archives and under the name Serançan, the estate was renamed near the end of the 18th century when it was bought by Baron de Saint-Pierre, whose family connections to the estate remained until just after World War II.

For a period beginning in 1832, the estate was split into two vineyards, Château Saint-Pierre-Bontemps and Château Saint-Pierre-Sevaistre, but became reunited under the Dutch company Van den Bussche's ownership, although some of the best sections of the vineyard was sold to Henri Martin who incorporated the land into his Château Gloria.

In 1982 Martin bought the complete estate, and while selling some land to neighbouring Ducru-Beaucaillou and Gruaud-Larose, restored the château and brought improvements to the vinification. The current proprietors of the estate and residents of the château are Martin's daughter and son-in-law, Françoise and Jean-Louis Triaud.

The vineyard extends to 17 hectares (42 acres), with a grape variety distribution of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. After harvesting, the grapes are transported to the chai of Château Gloria where the wine is produced.

The annual production of the grand vin is approximately 5,000 cases, and with no second wine, the rejected and surplus fruit is sold off in bulk to local merchants.

Grape variety
Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world's most widely recognised red wine grape varieties. It is grown in nearly every major wine producing country among a diverse spectrum of climates from Canada's Okanagan Valley to Lebanon's Beqaa Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon became internationally recognised through its prominence in Bordeaux wines where it is often blended with Merlot and Cabernet Franc. From France and Spain, the grape spread across Europe and to the New World where it found new homes in places like California's Santa Cruz Mountains, Paso Robles, Napa Valley, New Zealand's Hawkes Bay, South Africa's Stellenbosch region, Australia's Margaret River and Coonawarra regions, and Chile's Maipo Valley and Colchagua. For most of the 20th century, it was the world's most widely planted premium red wine grape until it was surpassed by Merlot in the 1990. However, by 2015, Cabernet Sauvignon had once again become the most widely planted wine grape.

Despite its prominence in the industry, the grape is a relatively new variety, the product of a chance crossing between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc during the 17th century in southwestern France. Its popularity is often attributed to its ease of cultivation - the grapes have thick skins and the vines a re hardy and naturally low yielding, budding late to avoid frost and resistant to viticultural hazards such as rot and insects - and to its consistent presentation of structure and flavours which express the typical character ("typicity") of the variety. Familiarity and ease of pronunciation have helped to sell Cabernet Sauvignon wines to consumers, even when from unfamiliar wine regions.

The classic profile of Cabernet Sauvignon tends to be full-bodied wines with high tannins and noticeable acidity that contributes to the wine's aging potential. In cooler climates, Cabernet Sauvignon tends to produce wines with blackcurrant notes that can be accompanied by green bell pepper notes, mint and cedar which will all become more pronounced as the wine ages. In more moderate climates the blackcurrant notes are often seen with black cherry and black olive notes while in very hot climates the currant flavours can veer towards the over-ripe and "jammy" side. In parts of Australia, particularly the Coonawarra wine region of South Australia, Cabernet Sauvignon wines tend to have a characteristic eucalyptus or menthol notes.

The style of Cabernet Sauvignon is strongly influenced by the ripeness of the grapes at harvest. When more on the unripe side, the grapes are high in pyrazines and will exhibit pronounced green bell peppers and vegetal flavours. When harvested overripe the wines can taste jammy and may have aromas of stewed blackcurrants. Some winemakers choose to harvest their grapes at different ripeness levels in order to incorporate these different elements and potentially add some layer of complexity to the wine. When Cabernet Sauvignon is young, the wines typically exhibit strong fruit flavours of black cherries and plum. The aroma of blackcurrants is one of the most distinctive and characteristic element of Cabernet Sauvignon that is present in virtually every style of the wine across the globe. Styles from various regions and producers may also have aromas of eucalyptus, mint and tobacco. As the wines age they can sometimes develop aromas associated with cedar, cigar boxes and pencil shavings. In general New World examples have more pronounced fruity notes while Old World wines can be more austere with heightened earthy notes.

Alternative Names: Bidure, Bouche, Bordo, Bouchet, Burdeos Tinto, Lafite, Vidure

Merlot

Merlot is a dark blue-coloured wine grape variety, that is used as both a blending grape and for varietal wines. The name Merlot is thought to be a diminutive of merle, the French name for the blackbird, probably a reference to the colour of the grape. Its softness and "fleshiness", combined with its earlier ripening, makes Merlot a popular grape for blending with the sterner, later-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon, which tends to be higher in tannin.

Along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Shiraz Cabernet, Malbec and Petit Verdot, Merlot is one of the primary grapes used in Bordeaux wine, and it is the most widely planted grape in the Bordeaux wine regions. Merlot is also one of the most popular red wine varietals in many markets. This flexibility has helped to make it one of the world's most planted grape varieties. As of 2004, Merlot was estimated to be the third most grown variety at 260,000 hectares (640,000 acres) globally. The area planted to Merlot has continued to increase, with 266,000 hectares (660,000 acres) in 2015.

While Merlot is made across the globe, there tend to be two main styles. The "International style" favoured by many New World wine regions tends to emphasise late harvesting to gain physiological ripeness and produce inky, purple coloured wines that are full in body with high alcohol and lush, velvety tannins with intense, plum and blackberry fruit. While this international style is practiced by many Bordeaux wine producers, the traditional "Bordeaux style" of Merlot involves harvesting Merlot earlier to maintain acidity and producing more medium-bodied wines with moderate alcohol levels that have fresh, red fruit flavours (raspberries, strawberries) and potentially leafy, vegetal notes.

As a varietal wine, Merlot can make soft, velvety wines with plum flavours. While Merlot wines tend to mature faster than Cabernet Sauvignon, some examples can continue to develop in the bottle for decades. There are three main styles of Merlot - a soft, fruity, smooth wine with very little tannins; a fruity wine with more tannic structure; and, finally, a brawny, highly tannic style made in the profile of Cabernet Sauvignon. Some of the fruit notes commonly associated with Merlot include cassis, black and red cherries, blackberry, blueberry, boysenberry, mulberry, olallieberry and plum. Vegetable and earthy notes include black and green olives, cola nut, bell pepper, fennel, humus, leather, mushrooms, rhubarb and tobacco. Floral and herbal notes commonly associated with Merlot include green and black tea, eucalyptus, laurel, mint, oregano, pine, rosemary, sage, sarsaparilla and thyme. When Merlot has spent significant time in oak, the wine may show notes of caramel, chocolate, coconut, coffee bean, dill weed, mocha, molasses, smoke, vanilla and walnut.

Alternative Names: Alicante, Alicante Noir, Bégney, Bidal, Bidalhe, Bigney, Bigney rouge, Bini, Bini Ruzh, Bioney, Black Alicante, Bordeleza belcha, Crabutet, Crabutet Noir, Crabutet Noir merlau, Hebigney, Higney, Higney rouge, Langon, Lecchumskij, Médoc Noir, Merlau, Merlaut, Merlaut Noir, Merle, Merle Petite, Merleau, Merlô, Merlot Noir, Merlot black, Merlot blauer, Merlot crni, Merlot nero, Merlott, Merlou, Odzalesi, Odzhaleshi, Odzhaleshi Legkhumskii, Petit Merle, Picard, Pikard, Plan medre, Planet Medok, Plant du Médoc, Plant Médoc, Saint-Macaire, Same de la Canan, Same dou Flaube, Sème de la Canau, Sème Dou Flube, Semilhon rouge, Semilhoum rouge, Semilhoun rouge, Sémillon rouge, Sud des Graves, Vidal, Vini Ticinesi, Vitrai and Vitraille

About Saint-Julien

Saint-Julien is a small but important red wine appellation of the Haut-Médoc district on the Left Bank of Bordeaux in south-western France. Its reputation is based on its status as a reliable source of consistently elegant, age-worthy wines.

Sandwiched between the more famous appellations of Pauillac and Margaux, Saint-Julien is sometimes unfairly overlooked because it does not have a first growth chateau in the 1855 Bordeaux classification. Pauillac has three of the five Médoc first growths and Margaux has one.

Saint-Julien makes up for this by being home to 11 classed growths, which generate three-quarters of the appellation's output. Five of these are highly rated second growths: Châteaux Léoville-Las Cases, Léoville Poyferré, Léoville Barton, Gruaud-Larose and Ducru-Beaucaillou. The first three were once a single estate, which would have been extremely large for its time. The third growths are Langoa-Barton and Lagrange; the fourth growths are Châteaux Beychevelle, Branaire-Ducru, Talbot and Saint-Pierre. All but the latter property are likely to be familiar to most collectors; Château Saint-Pierre is relatively small with 17 hectares (42 acres) of vineyard which supply a wine made at the unclassified Château Gloria.

Almost every acre of the Saint-Julien commune is covered with vines, except for a strip about 500 meters (1600ft) wide on the silted banks of the Gironde estuary to the west. The châteaux which own them can be split into two neat groups: those around the village of Saint-Julien-Beychevelle and those around the village of Beychevelle. These two similarly named villages are only 2 kilometres (1.5 miles) apart, which illustrates the smallness of scale that operates in the Médoc. In fact, the vineyards in the north of Saint-Julien back directly onto the vineyards of Château Latour in Pauillac, yet the wines they produce are different in both status and style.

The appellation laws for Saint-Julien - established in 1936 with many other regulations in Bordeaux - state that its wines must be made from grapes grown in the commune of Saint-Julien Beychevelle, or very specific parts of the communes of Cussac and Saint-Laurent. The document lists the plots (parcelles) eligible for the title.

The grapes permitted for use here are Cabernet-Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Carmenère, Petit Verdot and Malbec. They must come from vineyards planted to a minimum density of 6500 plants per hectare (2631 per acre), with specified vine-management techniques.

Saint-Julien is bordered to the west by the Saint-Laurent commune, whose wines are eligible only for the wider Haut-Médoc appellation. An example of the effect of this can be found in Saint-Laurent's Chateau Belgrave. It lies just a few hundred meters from Château Lagrange, which can claim the valuable Saint-Julien name, yet Chateau Belgrave cannot.

As is the case with many other prestigious Bordeaux appellations, national and foreign investment is common in Saint-Julien. Châteaux here are owned by a combination of wealthy individuals and international companies.

Regular price $506.00

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This is a wine from our Overseas - In Bond Collection. The wine is quoted as a price in S$ for purchase and transfer into a UK bonded warehouse. The purchase price is a duty/tax free price and does not include delivery to Singapore. Please contact us below if you wish to enquire delivery or storage options for a wine from our Overseas - In Bond Collection to Singapore or elsewhere.

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