Talbot 2016

St Julien, Fourth Growth

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Tasting Notes

The 2016 Talbot takes a little coaxing from the glass. The almost Margaux-like nose features pure blackberry and black cherries, and violets come through with time. You just want it to give you more. The medium-bodied palate is a little gravelly and saline, with fine tannin and a structured finish that needs more finesse and complexity. This is a fine classic Talbot, though not in the same league as the appellation's front-runners.

Score: 92

Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2022-2045 01 January 2019

The 2016 Talbot has a conservative bouquet with slightly leafy black fruit, a subtle earthiness that percolates through with time. At first, the aromatics seem standoffish, but you gradually warm to its charms. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp and tensile tannin. There is an edginess to this Talbot, and it does not quite possess the harmony and charm of other Saint Julien 2016s. But, there is personality here a bit curmudgeonly and yet you keep going back to take another sip. One to watch.

Score: 90 - 92

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2022-2045 28 April 2017

The 2016 Talbot is aromatically quite expressive, but less available on the palate, where it is quite closed down. Time in the glass brings out a host of sweet tobacco, smoke, leather, cedar, mint, licorice and red-toned fruit. In two tastings, Talbot gave the impression it is going to need at least a few years to fully come into its own. Even so there is plenty to look forward to once the tannins start to melt away a bit. Consultants Stéphane Derenoncourt and Julien Lavenu have done quite a bit to raise the bar here, but I get a sense more is possible. Tasted two times.

Score: 94

Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2056 01 January 2019

The 2016 Talbot is shaping up to be a jewel of a wine. Black cherry, plum, gravel, smoke, lavender and mint all flesh out in this decidedly imposing, vertical Saint-Julien. Concentrated and forbiddingly tannic at this stage, the 2016 is going to need at least a few years to start coming into its own. It should age gracefully for decades.The blend is 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot and 6% Petit Verdot. Stéphane Derenoncourt and Julien Lavenu consult. Tasted three times.Tasted two times.

Score: 92 - 95

Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com 25 April 2017

The 2016 Talbot is medium garnet-purple colored and opens with pretty floral notes of roses and lavender with a core of cassis, blackberry preserves and kirsch plus wafts of cigar box and spearmint. Medium-bodied with a lovely intensity of black and red fruit flavors, it has a ripe, grainy texture and compelling freshness, finishing savory.

Score: 92

Lisa Perotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2020-2036 30 November 2018

Lovely deep damson colour with violet edging that suggests a healthy pH. Great balance of fruit and acidity, this is one of the fresher wines of the appellation. The fruit is cleanly extracted, fresh and well paced, with a lovely layer of complexity driven by smoke-edged mineral notes. Aged in 50% new oak.

Score: 94

Decanter Maturity: 2027-2050 20 April 2017

40% M, 5% PV, 55% CS. Dark colour. The nose is ripe but classic St Julien with aromatic blackberry and cedar and a hint of light spices. Middleweight but builds on the palate with a juicy core of fruit with cedary nuances. Elegant and balanced. A lovely St Julien.

Score: 92 - 95

Albany Vintners 19 April 2017

Very dark and shiny. Not that intense but very well mannered. Sweet, almost thick, start. Very flattering. If I had to choose one wine to represent the vintage in typical style I might well choose this one though the hint of heat on the end is a little worrying. Should be rewarding in the end. Great harmony.

Score: 17

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2025-2045 18 April 2017

Pure, with a core of cassis and blueberry fruit streaming through, carried by ample yet embedded graphite-edged grip. Keeps a fresh feel through the finish. Lovely.

Score: 93 - 96

James Molesworth, Wine Spectator 06 April 2017

A full-bodied red that stays in check with a firm and lightly chewy tannin backbone. Full body and an intense finish. Shows excellent potential.

Score: 93 - 94

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com 24 March 2017