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Saint-Julien is a wine appellation located on the left bank of the Bordeaux region, in the Médoc sub-region. This appellation is distinguished by two labels: the French AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) and the European PDO (Appellation d’Origine Protégée).

It’s a vineyard of international renown, producing top-quality wines that stand out for their power and tenderness.

Eleven Saint-Julien châteaux were awarded the title of Grands Crus Classé in 1855.

The history of Saint-Julien wines is closely linked to that of Bordeaux and Médoc wines, dating back to Greek and Roman times. However, Saint-Julien wines were first recognized in the 1855 classification, carried out at the request of Napoleon III ahead of the Paris Universal Exhibition. Nevertheless, it was in 1936 that the first decree announced the existence of the Saint-Julien appellation. Since then, producers have had to comply with a precise charter in order to add this appellation to their label (planting density between 6,500 and 10,000 vines/ha, alcohol content of at least 10.5%, no more than 45,000 hectolitres of wine produced per hectare).


Saint-Julien Protected Designation of Origin has 24 properties, 11 of which were awarded the title of “Grands Crus Classés” in 1855: 5 “Second Grands Crus”, including Château Ducru-Beaucaillou, Château Gruaud Larose, Château Léoville Barton, Château Léoville Las Cases and Château Léoville Poyferré, and 2 “Third Grands Crus”, namely Châteaux Lagrange and Langoa Barton. And last but not least, 4 “quatrième Grands Crus”, with Châteaux Beychevelle, Talbot, Branaire-Ducru, and Saint-Pierre. These 11 Châteaux alone account for 80% of the appellation’s production.

Gravelly soils in the Saint-Julien appellation

The Saint-Julien vineyard is located on the left bank of Bordeaux, near the entrance to the Gironde estuary. It lies to the south of the Pauillac appellation and to the north of the Margaux appellation. This vineyard covers an area of 910 hectares of vines (6% of the Médoc vineyard) located between 10 and 30 meters above sea level. 80% of the appellation’s production is Grands Crus Classés.

Throughout the appellation, and in the Médoc in general, soils are gravelly, meaning they are scattered with gravel and pebbles of varying sizes, as well as sand and clay. This type of soil is largely permeable, allowing vines to root deeply (up to 5 meters). In this way, the vine can feed on the minerals found deep down, and also find water resources during drier periods. In addition, water erosion has resulted in the formation of well-drained hills in this geographical area. Thanks to the slopes, the water flows into the streams before ending up in the Gironde. The crus classés are located to the east and south-east of the AOC, on the slopes overlooking the Gironde.

The surface rock is therefore relatively homogeneous throughout the appellation, but the subsoils are complex and different, which is what gives Saint-Julien appellation wines their diversity. This geographical area enjoys a temperate oceanic climate, with average temperatures of 13°C year-round.


Wines from the north have similarities with Pauillac and those from the south with Margaux.

The Saint-Julien vineyards produce exclusively red wines. All our wines are blends. They are mainly made with Cabernet Sauvignon, the quintessential Bordeaux grape variety. Nicknamed “the king of grape varieties”, it gives wines their color and tannin, as well as their ageing potential (10 to 30 years for Saint-Julien). This grape variety is often blended with Merlot, which gives the wine greater roundness and notes of red fruit. The Saint-Julien appellation charter also recognizes wines blended with grape varieties such as Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Carménère and Malbec.

Most Saint-Julien wines have a deep, dark ruby color. Their first nose is rather delicate, a sign of quality, with aromas of red and black fruits. Then, as the wine opens, it reveals aromas of prunes (in warm years), coffee and vanilla, reflecting the oak ageing process. These aromas, generally perceived in the wine’s youth, give way to truly complex bouquets over time. As for the palate, it offers both elegance and deep tannins. It generally concludes with a very interesting spicy, fruity finish.

However, the appellation varies according to the estate and the area in which it is produced. Wines from the north tend to be more powerful and full-bodied, with similarities to Pauillac, while those from the south are more supple and feminine, like Margaux.

The combination of powerful, smooth notes has made Saint-Julien one of the world’s most sought-after wines. They are also a great accompaniment to terrines as an aperitif. They also go perfectly with noble starters that feature mushrooms, for example. They can also be used on a number of red and white meats, or even poultry. Pair with lamb, veal or duck. Last but not least, Saint-Julien is particularly well-suited to soft cow’s milk cheeses.

Wines from this appellation generally go well with noble, well-crafted dishes, and with tender but powerful meats.

2016, 2009, 2005 and 2000: interesting years for Saint-Julien

Annual climatic conditions define the exceptionality or otherwise of vintages produced within a geographical area. For the Saint-Julien appellation, the vintages of the century and millennium were 1929, 1945, 1961, 1982, 1990 and 2000. And, in the 2000s, i.e. in the more recent past, the appellation stood out with its exceptional vintages in 2000, 2005, 2009 and 2016.


Many great estates in the Saint-Julien appellation

Château Léoville Poyferré

The estate dates back to 1638, when it was the largest in the Médoc. At the time, it included the Châteaux de Léoville Las Cases, Léoville Barton and Léoville Poyferré, and stretched between Château Beychevelle, also in Saint-Julien, and Château Latour de Pauillac. It was not until 1840 that the estate became what it is today, following the marriage of Baron Poyferré de Cère to the daughter of the Marquis de Las Cases. The prestigious wines produced by this Château are aged for an average of 20 months in new oak barrels.

Château Talbot

Château Talbot is a Saint Julien wine estate of impressive size, with 100 hectares under cultivation. It has belonged to the Cordier family since 1917, and is now owned by Mr and Mrs Bignon. Its name honors Le Connétable Tablot, who fought at the Battle of Castillon.

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