In a nutshell: A full and rich left-bank Bordeaux from one of the finest estates in the appellation of Saint Julien.
The lowdown: The estate sits in the heart of the appellation and stretches north to the border with Pauillac, sitting on a bed of free draining gravels, the perfect terroir for Cabernet Sauvignon. 2015 was a fantastic year and wines from this vintage are among the best of the century so far, with Talbot, again, making one of the best of the vintage in St Julien. Full-bodied, firm, with plenty of ripe tannins providing great structure. Lots of dark cherry and cassis fruit flavours with cedar and spicy oak notes on the palate. Opulent, full and long with some savoury notes on the finish.
When to drink: An excellent left-bank Bordeaux that will age through to 2030 and beyond. Decant for at least an hour and serve with weighty, rich dishes, particularly suited to something like Cassoulet or medium-rare red meat.
Situated in the Saint-Julien appellation Château Talbot is one of the ten Quatrièmes Crus Classés of the 1855 Bordeaux classification and with its more than 100 hectares of vines is one of the largest in the Médoc. About two thirds of the plantings are Cabernet Sauvignon with most of the rest being Merlot. In addition to their Grand Vin they also produce a second wine, Connétable Talbot, and a small amount of white which has the name Caillou Blanc.
The estate's name is derived from John Talbot, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury, a renowned military commander during the final period of the Hundred Year's War and who lost his life at the Battle of Castillon in 1453 after which time the English finally lost control of Aquitaine. Since the early 20th century the estate has been in the ownership of the Cordier family, one of Bordeaux wine trade's most well known dynasties. Currently it's under the stewardship of the 4th generation in the shape of Nancy Bignon-Cordier and her husband Jean-Paul Bignon.
With a name that easily trips of an English speaker's tongue Talbot has always been a popular claret this side of the Channel and it's fair to say it's always been a reliable performer. In the last few years the family has invested quite heavily in further improvements across both the vineyards and wine making facilities and this should see them retain their position among the upper echelons of Médoc wines.