Château Peymartin 2014 - Saint Julien
Produced by Château Gloria, the wine's blend is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot, the ratio may vary depending on the vintage. The yield averages 45 hl/ha. The grapes are hand-picked, destemmed and the fermentations in stainless steel vats will last 2-3 weeks at 28°C. The wine is aged in french oak barrels for 12 months with 1/3 of new oak each year.
PVins notes: Dark ruby in color, attractive black fruits mix, hints of earthiness with well integrated oak, medium-bodied, firm but elegant tannins, fleshy mouthfeel and well structured with a long finish. It has the potential to be cellared up to a decade.
Château Peymartin is the second label of the well-known Château Gloria, a very reputable Cru Bourgeois located in the heart of Saint Julien. Its owner Jean-Louis Triaud of Domaine Henri Martin also owns Château Saint Pierre a 4th Grand Cru Classé of Saint Julien which was purchased by Henri Martin in 1982. The estate is surrounded by numerous 1855 Grand Cru Classé and it is estimated by many to be on a par with some classified growths of the Médoc subregion. Château Gloria was founded and assembled by Henri Martin who at one stage was the manager of Château Latour in Pauillac. The Martins have been based in Saint-Julien for more than 3 centuries and have engaged in various different professions all with links to viticulture. Henri established the reputation of Château Gloria within the space of a generation. It started with the first acquisitions of 6 ha of vines in 1942 and increasing the size of the estate by purchasing parcels from surrounding Classified Châteaux. Mr Martin passed away in 1991 and it is his son-in-law Jean-Louis Triaud that managers the Châteaux of Domaine Henri Martin. A new cellar became operational in May 2015 for the winemaking and ageing process for the wines of Château Gloria.
The château's vineyard created in 1942 represents a total of 50 ha made up of 5 parcels. A couple of parcels are located to the south near the village of Beychevelle, two are located to the north of the appellation bordering Pauillac and one is local in the centre of Saint Julien.Henri Martin added plots to the estate over the years that he bought from the surrounding classified estates such us Châteaux Saint-Pierre, Beychevelle, Léoville-Poyferré, Gruaud-Larose, Léoville-Barton, Ducru-Beaucaillou, Lagrange and a parcel from Duhart-Milon in Pauillac that was located in Saint Julien.
Château Gloria's vines have an average age of 40 years old while Château Peymartin is produced from the younger vines. The grape varieties planted are 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 5% cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. The planting density is high with 10,000 vines per hectare. The vineyard's topography varies from from 16 to 24 metres in altitude. The soil structure is composed of gunzian gravel of 1 to 3 metres in depth based on a clayey-sandy subsoil.
The harvest is hand-picked, canopy management is practiced as well as green harvesting when necessary.
Firstly the grapes are hand-picked at full maturity producing an average yield of 45 hl/ha. A first sorting is done in the vineyard and a further sorting is done on arrival at the cellar, then the grapes are destemmed. The wine's blend is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 5% cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. The fermentations are carried out in stainless steel vats for 2-3 weeks at 28°C to 29°C. The ageing process in french oak barrels will last 12 months with 1/3 of new oak each year.
As a second label of Château Gloria, Château Peymartin is produced from the younger vines and also from what will not be kept for the final blend of the "Grand Vin". Never the less, the work and care in the vineyard and winemaking process is identical to Château Gloria.
The appellation Saint Julien was created in 1936, it covers 920 hectares located to the northwest of Bordeaux on the left bank of the Gironde estuary. It is one of the 6 communal appellations of the Haut Médoc sub-region, situated between Pauillac to its north and Margaux to its south. It takes its name from the commune of Saint-Julien-Beychevelle. Saint Julien stretches for 3.5 kilometres along the Gironde with a width of 4 kilometres. The appellation has 11 Grand Cru Classé (Growth wines) following the 1855 classification, they account for about 80% of the wines produced in the appellation. There are no 1st Growth châteaux here but the appellation includes 5 classified châteaux as 2nd Growth, representing 1/3 of the 2nd Growth wines of 1855.
Saint Julien - 1855 Grand Cru Classé classification:
2nd Growth: Château Ducru-Beaucaillou, Château Gruaud Larose, Château Léoville Poyferré, Château Léoville Barton, Château Léoville Las Casse.
3rd Growth: Château Lagrange, Château Langoa-Barton.
4th Growth: Château Saint Pierre, Château Talbot, Château Branaire-Ducru, Château Beychevelle.
Before the Middle Ages, it cannot really be said that there was any vine-growing in the Médoc region. During the early Middle Ages, religious communities and feudal lords started planting vines around the priories (Macau, Cantenac, Vertheuil, the Abbaye de l’Isle) and manor houses (Castelnau, Lesparre, Latour and Blanquefort). These modest micro-vineyards produced new wines called 'Clarets' that were much appreciated by the English. Despite these few vineyards scattered throughout the Médoc, the main vine growing activity was centered in and limited to the southern Médoc, mainly in marshy soils but also in gravel. In the 17th century, Dutch merchants began an ambitious drainage project to convert the marshland into a usable vineyard area. Using technology that was advanced for that time, the Dutch were able to convert enough marshland to allow large estates to form all along the Gironde. Soon the Bordeaux wine regions of Margaux, Saint-Julien, Pauillac and Saint-Estèphe took shape. Many Barons, Viscounts, Marques and Dukes serving the French crown before the Révolution and later elected as representative of the Bordeaux Parliament after the Révolution were owners of estates. The region has numerous châteaux with different styles of architecture as the nobles tried to outdo each other, as well as showing off their wealth and success. Before then the estates would usually be named after the area in which they were located. The notion of "château" is recent in Bordeaux, only a hand-full of estate were called “château” in the past, it mainly came in use after the 1855 classification.
The vineyards lie on a bed of sedimentary gunzian gravel similar to Pauillac and Saint Estéphe, which plays a vital role in the grape’s development. The gravel was deposited over millions of years by the Gironde estuary as a result of the erosion of the Pyrenees and the Massif Central mountains during the Quaternary period. The gravel soil encourages the roots to grow deep into the soils seeking nourishment and they also provide an excellent natural drainage, all this is paramount to the vines and grapes development. Gravel soils also help the development of the vines by reflecting sunshine to the leaves and berries and it is also perfect for retaining and radiating heat which helps in the ripening process. Another positive feature of the soil structure is the clayey-sandy subsoil on which the gravel beds rests on, it assists in the retention of water during dry periods. Saint Julien’s topography varies from 10 to 21 metres in altitude, the northern limit of the appellation is separated from Pauillac by the Juillac creek and the southern end of the appellation is separated from the Haut Médoc by the Jalle du Nord creek, both creeks play their part in the drainage system.
Only red wines are produced under the appellation Saint Julien. The predominant red grape variety planted is Cabernet Sauvignon followed by Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, some Malbec and very little Caménère. The wines from the southern part are smoother, more feminine and closely related to the Margaux wines, while the northern wines are more robust and powerful and have more in common with the wines of Pauillac.
Some classified châteaux such as Talbot and Lagrange produce a confidential amount of dry white wines from Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc under the appellation Bordeaux.
The Médoc peninsula is situated between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gironde estuary on the 45th parallel, which partly explains its temperate climate. Relatively warm and humid, with regular sunshine, the Médoc benefits above all from gentle, soft breezes. The relatively strong winds blowing in from the Atlantic are slowed down by a pine forest. The Atlantic winds mingled with those from the estuary creating an excellent circulation of air which protects the vineyards from late spring frosts and diseases. Both the Atlantic Ocean and estuary play an important part in regulating the temperature of the peninsula creating a range of climatic variations and different micro-climates. Generally speaking, the rain comes between autumn and spring and statistically, it can be said that summers in the Médoc are relatively warm to hot and dry especially when exceptional vintages are produced.