This Chateau has really become one of the best value's in all of Bordeaux and one that's really come on fire quite recently. It's obviously been a Chateau of great esteem that produces quality wine, hence the 2nd growth classification it received in 1855, but I would say that since the 2000 vintage this estate has really started to turn heads. I believe part of the reason is that they offer their wine at a fraction of the price that other estates do within the same classification. I also think they have started to use more modern techniques that help their wines appear more lush and approachable during their youth. These reasons coupled with the fact that their soil and vineyard site is world class, makes this a really extraordinary bottle of wine.
The vineyard in St. Julien is planted to 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, and 8% Cabernet Franc. The wine typically goes through 20 months in French oak barrels (50% new) and is fined and filtered prior to bottling.
First thing to notice when pouring this wine (other than the freakin' bad ass aromas filling the room!) is the extremely dark color. The wine is almost completely opaque, except for the edges which are a really dark ruby red. The core on a 2oz pour is completely black!
On the nose I get truly scintillating aromas of crushed blackberry, black currant, black plum, and nuances of dark, unsweetened cocoa. There is secondary layers of spicy scorched earth, pencil shavings or graphite, leather, black cherry, and cedar box. The bouquet is also divinely blessed with what I like to refer to as an "elegant terroir" or an earthiness and minerality that most high caliber Chateaux revel in.
On the palate I get very delineated blackberry flavors. This blackberry that I'm referring to is not the candied kind, but more like filling my mouth with real, fresh blackberries out of the carton or directly off the plant. It's a more gritty, earthy, and phenolic experience. I also get secondary flavors of spicy black currant, crushed stone, and extra dark 80% cocoa chocolate. Give this wine and hour in the decanter and you'll begin to get some very nice black cherries on the finish too!
Texture-wise this wine is very sleek and classic of quality Bordeaux in a semi-cool vintage. It's alcohol is completely in check, which I adore and believe lends itself to balanced aging in the long-term. Firm tannins are definitely wrapped around this wine tightly, but they are silky smooth and very ripe. To be honest there's not a thing to criticize about this wine. I suppose it could have a bit more weight in terms of texture, but it's and absolute masterpiece for the 2006 vintage. In layman's terms - It's really awesome shit! 94+ points