France, Saint-Julien

Wine is being produced throughout France and has been done for over 2,500 years with certain Châteaux dating their history back to Roman times, around 6th Century BC. Ranking second in the world in per-capita consumption and first in total production quantity. More-so than the overall quantity of wine is the quantity of truly great wines coming out of France makes the nation the envy of wine-making nations worldwide.

Two concepts pivotal to the higher end French wines, in particular, are the idea of 'terroir' and the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) system. Terroir refers to the way the geography, geology and climate find their way into the glass, telling a story of the origin of the wine. The AOC was set up in 1935 and has the primary goal of protecting the authenticity of the wines and the livelihoods of the producers. Appellation rules strictly define which varieties of grapes and winemaking practices are approved for classification in each of France's several hundred geographically defined appellations, which can cover entire regions, individual villages or in some cases, like in Burgundy even specific vineyards.

Classic wine regions in France include Champagne (home of Champagne), Burgundy (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay), Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot), Alsace (Aromatic varietals), Loire Valley (Chenin Blanc, Crémant) and the Rhône Valley (Syrah, Grenache Mourvedre)

The Bordeaux classification of 1855 is still in use, as is the Sauternes and Barsac Classification of the same year. Wines from certain regions can be bought En Primeur, which is when the wine is sold prior to it being bottled.
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  1. Chateau Gloria 2018 (Ex Chateau arrival time 4 months)
    Readers looking for an estate on the uptick need to check out the 2018 Château Gloria, which is up with the finest vintages I’ve tasted from this Saint-Julien estate. Deeply colored with terrific cassis and blackberry fruits as well ... Learn More
    pts
    Jeb Dunnuck
    pts
    Robert Parker
    pts
    Vinous
  2. Chateau Croix Ducru Beaucaillou 2018 (Ex Chateau arrival time 4 months)
    The 2018 La Croix de Beaucaillou is a blend of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot, to be aged 12 months in 60% new barriques. It has a pH of 3.75, 15% alcohol and an IPT (total polyphenol index) of 96. Deep garnet-purple colored, it is ... Learn More
    pts
    Robert Parker
    pts
    Decanter
    pts
    Jeb Dunnuck
  3. Chateau Lagrange 2018 (Ex Chateau arrival time 4 months)
    This rivals the 2016 for sure. It's closed in and tight on the nose with slightly reductive notes, but it opens up after a few minutes to reveal another good quality St-Julien. A serious wine, it has well structured walls and ... Learn More
    pts
    Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW
    pts
    Antonio Galloni
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    Decanter
  4. Chateau Clos du Marquis 2020 (En Primeur - Delivery 2023)
    A blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc, the 2018 Clos Du Marquis offers a brilliant nose of ripe black cherries, smoked tobacco, cedar pencil, and violet-laced aromas. These carry to a full-bodied, rich, concentrated 2018 with plenty of ... Learn More
    pts
    Jeb Dunnuck
    pts
    Neal Martin
    pts
    Antonio Galloni
    Out of stock
  5. Chateau Amiral de Beychevelle 2018 (Ex Chateau arrival time 4 months)
    A prestigious wine, "Cru Classé" with the soul forged by three centuries of history. A juicy red with dark-berry, chocolate and spice character. Just a hint of walnuts. Medium body, round yet firm tannins and a pretty finish. Second wine ... Learn More
    pts
    The Wine Cellar Insider
    pts
    James Suckling
    pts
    Wine Spectator
  6. Chateau Branaire Ducru 2018 (Ex Chateau arrival time 4 months)
    A beautiful Saint-Julien, the 2018 Château Branaire-Ducru reveals a deep purple color as well as ample, earthy cassis and blackberry fruits intermixed with sous bois, earth, lead pencil, and cedar. With that classic Saint-Julien pure fruit, sumptuous aromas and flavors, ... Learn More
    pts
    James Suckling
    pts
    Robert Parker
    pts
    Jeb Dunnuck
  7. Chateau Petit Lion 2018 (Ex Chateau arrival time 4 months)
    Cassis, jammy blackberries, graphite, tobacco leaf, and earth characteristics all emerge from the 2018 Léoville Las Cases Le Petit Lion, and it has a terrific sense of elegance and purity, while still showing ample density and length. With building tannins, ... Learn More
    pts
    Jeb Dunnuck
    pts
    James Suckling
    pts
    Robert Parker
  8. Chateau Clos du Marquis 2018(Ex Chateau arrival time 4 months)
    A blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc, the 2018 Clos Du Marquis offers a brilliant nose of ripe black cherries, smoked tobacco, cedar pencil, and violet-laced aromas. These carry to a full-bodied, rich, concentrated 2018 with plenty of ... Learn More
    pts
    James Suckling
    pts
    Jeb Dunnuck
    pts
    Robert Parker
  9. Chateau Saint-Pierre 2018 (Ex Chateau arrival time 4 months)
    Checking in as a blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon and 23% Merlot from very old vines and still aging in 50% new French oak, the 2018 Château Saint-Pierre reveals a saturated purple color to go with rich, full-bodied aromas and flavors of crè ... Learn More
    pts
    Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW
    pts
    Matthew Jukes
    pts
    Jeb Dunnuck
  10. Chateau Talbot 2018 (Ex Chateau arrival time 4 months)
    A great St-Julien that reflects the estate more than the vintage - a definite compliment to the winemaking team as well as those 50-year-old (on average) vines that are less swayed by climatic changes. This is full of blackberry and ... Learn More
    pts
    Decanter
    pts
    Robert Parker
    pts
    Neal Martin
  11. Chateau Beychevelle 2020 (En Primeur - Delivery 2023)
    Château Beychevelle is a large and striking property set in its own beautiful park that dominates the view as one drives north to Saint-Julien on the Route des Châteaux. A juicy red with dark-berry, chocolate and spice character. ... Learn More
    pts
    Robert Parker
    pts
    James Suckling
    Out of stock
  12. Chateau Gruaud Larose 2018 (Ex Chateau arrival time 4 months)
    Based on 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc, the 2018 Château Gruaud Larose sports a dense purple hue as well as a stunning nose of pure crème de cassis, cedar pencil shavings, blackcurrants, smoked tobacco, and a ... Learn More
    pts
    Jeb Dunnuck
    pts
    James Suckling
    pts
    Robert Parker
  13. Chateau Troplong Mondot 2020 (En Primeur - Delivery 2023)
    A prestigious wine, "Cru Classé" with the soul forged by three centuries of history. A juicy red with dark-berry, chocolate and spice character. Just a hint of walnuts. Medium body, round yet firm tannins and a pretty finish. Second wine ... Learn More
  14. Chateau Léoville Barton 2018 (Ex Chateau arrival time 4 months)
    Anthony Barton's second growth is always a top quality Bordeaux of classic proportions. Structured, Cabernet Sauvignon dominated wines are produced here that are serious, controlled and pure. I loved the 2018 Léoville-Barton. It’s a classic, structured. Incredibly age-worthy wine, ... Learn More
    pts
    Jeb Dunnuck
    pts
    James Suckling
    pts
    Robert Parker
    pts
    Stephen Tanzer
  15. Chateau Leoville Poyferre 2014
    The 2014 Léoville Poyferré is gorgeous. Dark, sumptuous and ample on the palate, it possesses remarkable depth. Dark cherry, plum, smoke, scorched earth, licorice and menthol all flesh out as this radiant, deeply expressive wine shows off its considerable pedigree. ... Learn More
    pts
    Vinous
    pts
    James Suckling
    pts
    Jeb Dunnuck
    Out of stock
  16. Chateau Branaire Ducru 2018 (1.5L) (Ex Chateau arrival time 4 months)
    A beautiful Saint-Julien, the 2018 Château Branaire-Ducru reveals a deep purple color as well as ample, earthy cassis and blackberry fruits intermixed with sous bois, earth, lead pencil, and cedar. With that classic Saint-Julien pure fruit, sumptuous aromas and flavors, ... Learn More
    pts
    James Suckling
    pts
    Robert Parker
    pts
    Jeb Dunnuck
  17. Chateau Talbot 2018 (1.5L) (Ex Chateau arrival time 4 months)
    A great St-Julien that reflects the estate more than the vintage - a definite compliment to the winemaking team as well as those 50-year-old (on average) vines that are less swayed by climatic changes. This is full of blackberry and ... Learn More
    pts
    Decanter
    pts
    Robert Parker
    pts
    Neal Martin
  18. Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou	2003
    Medium to deep garnet in color with a touch of brick, the 2003 Ducru-Beaucaillou reveals opulent notes of Indian spices, cigar box, sandalwood and licorice with a crème de cassis and plum preserves core plus a hint of rose oil. ... Learn More
    pts
    Decanter
    pts
    Robert Parker
    pts
    Wine Spectator
  19. Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou 2020 (En Primeur - Delivery 2023)
    Cabernet Sauvignon 81%, Merlot 19% This is a wonderful wine to mark Ducru-Beaucaillou’s 300th vintage. The hedonism of 2018 and the aromatic intensity of ’19 are present here, but with greater definition and toned musculature. Bruno Borie calls it “more athletic than sexy”. ... Learn More
    pts
    James Suckling
    pts
    Jeb Dunnuck
    pts
    Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW
    pts
    Jane Anson
    Out of stock
  20. Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou 2018 (Ex Chateau arrival time 4 months)
    This wine is all of these things and more. It is nothing short of a masterpiece in my opinion. Of course Ducru is often a flamboyant wine and in this vintage, with its extraordinary growing season, those Châteaux that ... Learn More
    pts
    Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW
    pts
    James Suckling
    pts
    Matthew Jukes
  21. Chateau Léoville Las Cases 2018 (Ex Chateau arrival time 4 months)
    Very deep purple-black in color, it is a little closed to begin, slowly emerging from the glass to reveal subtle woodsmoke, violets, tilled soil and underbrush scents over a core of warm cassis, wild blueberries and redcurrant jelly plus hints ... Learn More
    pts
    Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW
    pts
    James Suckling
    pts
    Jeb Dunnuck
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