Classification: Fourth Growth (4ème Cru Classé)
Château Talbot is one of the oldest of the classified growths in Médoc and its 260 acre vineyard sits in a large agricultural park, inland from the River Gironde and west of the hamlet of Saint Julien Beychevelle. All the other châteaux, from the great second growths down to the cru bourgeois properties, dance around the periphery of the Talbot estate, which stretches over a huge swathe of the commune. The Château takes its name from John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, who was sent by King Henry VI to quell the rebellious French in 1453. The elderly Talbot went to battle at Castillon unarmed, having sworn never to bear arms against the French as they had released him from captivity once before and met his end in the final defeat at the fortress where Château d'Issan stands today. Château Talbot was bought in 1918 by Georges Cordier and is now the home of the Cordier family. Many people who appreciate the wines think that the Château should be upgraded to a Third Growth (3ème Cru Classé).
Château Talbot's vineyards extend out over the famous hilltops of old Garonne gravel overlooking the Estuary. There is a subsoil of iron-pan which gives the wine personality. About 12 acres are planted with white grapes and the remainder are 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc. Archives of the ancient vineyard management have been kept and are still followed today.
Château Talbot has a reputation for consistency and is a charming wine which is silky, fruity and elegant. Talbot embodies all the complexity of its terroir. Its firm, well rounded tannins offer a smoothness still present after years of ageing. The wine is richly aromatic with a bouquet of cedar wood and vanilla scented cassis fruits. Being highly concentrated, it ages very well indeed although it is approachable when young due to its fruit and smooth finish.
Owner: Lorraine Rustmann and Nancy Bignon-Cordier
Château Website: www.chateau-talbot.com
Oenologist: Jacques Boissenot /Pascal Ribereau Gayon