Art in Bordeaux, so are the wines of Saint-Julien: interesting and different, unique pieces which show while getting uncorked that there is no part of their elaboration process that has been taken lightly. Everything has a meaning and, like art, it is not always fully understood, in fact it is sometimes misunderstood, but some others it can make crazy to whoever taste it for the first time.
But let's leave the abstract side of Saint Julien for a while to focus on more practical and worldlier data. This region is located in the heart of the Medoc region, comprising 900 hectares which are distributed in twenty-six vineyards. Those vines produce more than six million bottles a year. That is something.
Being situated between Margaux and Pauillac, the comparisons with wines from these two terroirs are inevitable, but Saint-Julien always succeeds ... the very large number of Grand Crus per square kilometer in this area is not a coincidence.
We discover where in France it comes from upon the first notes of its fragrance arrival. It is a Bordeaux. It shows its gradual elegance while its warmth overwhelms us. However, it is not a very smooth wine, it has character and that is the reason why it is perfect with strong dishes like stewed or roasted meat, game and Spanish food specialties, like most of their tapas.
I have not ever tasted it with fish yet, although I have planned to investigate how good could it combine with cod and halibut. Above all, it makes my mouth water to think how perfect will be a glass of Saint Julien to accompany a plate of cod Rioja style (peppers, garlic, onions, tomatoes, a pinch of spicy and, of course, generous olive oil). You have to take great pleasure in pairing.
The most common grape varieties in Saint Julien French region are Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Although it is the latter the one that gives these wines that quality of its superb aging. That’s another reason to invest in at least one bottle for our own private cellar. Hell yeah!
We can also find Saint Julien wine made from Malbec and Petit Verdot grapes. It would not be our choice if we are looking for a classic, but nevertheless it is a good option which proves that French wine is not as rigid as it looks like sometimes.
I recommend Chateau Lagrange 2005 or Chateau Saint Pierre 2000, which are also two of the best vintages of the region. A bit cheaper, but also delicious, we find Connétable de Talbot 2006 or Les Fiefs of Lagrange 2008.
Any other? Of course, you can have whatever you want in Pauillac:
A classic cellar with modern wines
Château Lalande-Borie, another of the "musts" from Pauillac