Visit at Chateau St-Pierre and Gloria in Saint Julien
My first visit for FRI, June 24th, was for 10:00 at Chateau Saint Pierre and Chateau Gloria in Saint Julien. Both properties have the same ownership. They are just across the street from each other, sharing the same winery.
Chateau St-Pierre dates back to the last seventeenth century. In 1767 the Baron de St-Pierre became the owner and the property known after his name. After his death in 1832, the property was divided between his two daughters. In 1920, a negociant reunited the properties, though the cellars were the property of a cooper called Alfred Martin. In 1981 his son Henri Martin bought the spacious chateau and its park, and then the following year succeeded in buying some of the vineyards and reconstituting the property by making exchanges with neighboring estates. So the vineyards of the actual St-Pierre are quite scattered. Despite Mr Martin’s patient reconstruction, the total size of the vineyards is only half what it was in 1855.
The wine making is the same as for Gloria. The vineyards are old, as the latest plantings were over 30 years ago. The harvest is manual, with sorting in the vineyard and again at the winery, and selected yeasts are used. Investments were made over the last two years and new stainless steel vats replaced the old equipment.
The wine is aged for about 12-14 months in 50% new French oak. Production is limited, and there is no second wine.
There has been a serious step up in quality lately, clearly seen with the 2009 and 2010 vintage. The property has 17 ha and grows 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc.
Chateau Gloria was created from scratch from 1939 onwards. Henri Martin succeeded in buying parcels from many other properties and ended up with a dispersed estate, but one with exceptional soils. The age of the vines ranges from 30 to 80 years, with an average of around 45 years. The wine is aged for 12 months in up to 40% new oak. The property has about 44 ha and the grapes grown are 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. There is a second wine made too: Chateau Peymartin.
In the upstairs main hall, where most festivities take place, there is a glassed floor with a nice view of the one cellar with barrels just underneath it.
I tasted the 2010 vintage for both properties and, when compared, Gloria comes as an elegant wine, while St-Pierre as a more concentrated and powerful wine.
Chateau Gloria 2010 has a red ruby color, with aromas of fresh red fruits and spices, medium bodied, fragrant, with good acidity and a pleasant mouth-feel. A classy wine. (88-90/100)
Chateau St-Pierre 2010 has a dark red-purple color. It has more intense and complex aromas on the nose, powerful and more concentrated on the palate, a firm tannins backbone and a long finish. Very nice aromas and flavors of fresh red and dark fruits, spices, with a long finish. (90-92/100)
It might be that 2010 produced some of the best wines ever for both properties. Usually good prices also, and very reliable lately. Two properties to follow.