Chateau Gloria 2001, St Julien

Every true wine connoisseur is attracted to Chateau Gloria for that little 'unclassified' and 'mysterious' temperament. And Chateau Gloria's excellent quality, which may have exceeded the more prestigious classed growths in St. Julien, attracted some even more learned. Then, of course, this 2001 age-worthy claret shows rare elegance from Gloria- a new rendition whose classy cassis notes and a secondary bouquet of pencil shavings, herbs and cigar box on the nose, hinting also fine, tertiary tones of barnyard, liquorice, rancio, tobacco. Loaded with Asian spices and black pepper that gained consistent support despite age, the palate parallels the nose and has significantly rounded off its tannins, tasting soft and well-balanced,

Owner Henri Martin, a cooper by upbringing, took over the property in 1942 and began purchasing plots of vineyards from classed growth properties such as Gruaud-Larose, Talbot, Lagrange and Léoville-Barton. By the mid-1960s, he had 50 hectares spread across the appellation. In 1982 he purchased Château St-Pierre and thus realized his lifetime ambition of owning a Grand Cru Classé property. Henri Martin died in 1991, and Gloria is now run by his son-in-law Jean-Louis Triaud. The wine is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25%Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. It aged in a combination of large oak foudres and small oak barrels (50% new). The vines are ancient.