1996 St. Pierre, St-Julien

SKU #1054458

90 points Wine Spectator: "Burly, traditional claret. Great dark color and intense aromas of black cherry and berry with hints of mineral and spice. Full-bodied, with full tannins and a sweet berry aftertaste. Very chewy. Best after 2002." (01/99) An incredible value in aged Bordeaux.

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Price: $39.99
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Staff Image By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/27/2010 | Send Email
These are good times for the claret lover. Cinnamon and I enjoyed this wine last night with giant rib eye steak, peas, frites and homemade mayonnaise. This Saint Julien was the perfect partner, and turned our Friday night "claret night" into a special occasion. The St. Pierre does a trick that only Bordeaux can; it delivered a lot of concentrated black fruit without a trace of fat or residual sugar. On the nose it had plenty of earth and a touch of toast to frame the Cabernet cassis, and the finish went on and on. It was "a small bottle"- our highest compliment at home. It seemed like it was finished before it should have been! Being able to drink wine like this is a luxury that will not last. Even in this economy, it is underpriced. St. Pierre produces about 5000 cases and is owned by the same folks who own the more well known Chateau Gloria. The vineyard is planted to 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petite Verdot.
Drink from 2010 to 2016

Staff Image By: Jeff Garneau | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/21/2010 | Send Email
From 4th growth Chateau St. Pierre in the magnificent vintage of 1996 comes this mature Bordeaux red showing all of the elegance and refinement that a little bottle age can bring. On the nose, dried cherries, truffles, and cured meat notes. On the palate, red currants, tangy and sweet. Truffles, earth and spice grace the finish. Still a bit firm, even a bit short at first, but the wine opens up beautifully with time, showing quite a bit more length by the time the last glass is poured. In sum, an elegant St. Julien, still quite youthful but just entering a very comfortable middle age that could easily last for the next 10 years or more. A superb value for those who enjoy a well-aged claret with their beef.

Additional Information:


Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the M├ędoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.


- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.


- View our bestselling Bordeaux.
Specific Appellation:

Saint Julien

- St. Julien, the smallest of the four famous appellations of the Haut Medoc, is known for highly extracted, finely structured, Cabernet-based reds. It is nestled between Pauillac to the north and Margaux to the south. Like St. Estephe, there are no first growths in this area. Leoville-las-Cases, Leoville Poyferre, Leoville Barton, Ducru Beaucaillou, and Gruard Larose are the second-growths of St. Julien followed by Lagrange which is the only third-growth. Beychevelle, Branaire Ducru, St. Pierre, and Talbot, which are all fourth-growth wines, round out the grand cru classe chateaux. In the last several vintages, wineries from this appellation have been out-performing their traditional rankings making many of the wines from this region some of the best values in red wine today.