The 107 hectares of the Château Talbot vineyard surround the estate house and stretch north, all the way to the border with the Pauillac appellation. Planted on a terroir of fine Günzian gravel on a core of fossil-rich limestone, which form draining hilltops, one encounters a large majority of red vines (102 hectares) and a small acreage of whites (5 hectares).
Impeccable, the vineyard’s management is one of the Médoc‘s best. The wines, followed up by Nancy Bignon-Cordier, with the valuable advice of enologist Jacques Boissenot and consultant Stéphane Derenoncourt, are consistently rich while remaining extremely elegant. Their open character and well-rounded tannins make it possible to drink them young as well as after prolonged aging. With time they develop a delicate, complex aromatic bouquet with tones of cedar and Havana.
The reds are dominated by the Cabernet Sauvignon variety (66% of the cultivated surface), the variety of choice in the Médoc, particularly in Saint Julien. This variety provides tannic structure and power. With 26% Merlot, the wines become rounder and more suave. Receptive to maturity, this variety brings more mellowness to the blending.
To improve this alchemy of varieties and terroirs, the Petit Verdot provides a delicate touch, like spices in fine cuisine. A difficult variety to tame, it can prove an asset in outstanding vintage years. It is particularly pampered at Talbot, as Nancy Bignon-Cordier has a weakness for this enfant terrible.
There are always men and women behind a great wine. Château Talbot’s team works passionately to obtain the best results in its varying operations: harvest, general management of vineyard, vathouse work, vinification and maturation; bottling, presentation and storage are also steps that require special know-how.
All these skills are centered on Jean-Pierre Marty who assists Nancy Bignon-Cordier in the estate’s general management tasks. The vineyard is the province of Christian Hostein, a vineyard manager with character who knows and loves every plant on the estate with which he has closely interacted for the last thirty years. Jean-Max Drouilhet joined the team in 2007 as cellar master.
Harvesting is performed by hand, with no fewer than 180 cutters. This step, crucial in the making of a great wine, is subject to numerous selective sortings. Initial grape selection is performed on the plant, the second when the grapes arrive at the vat house; eight to ten persons on either side of a seven-meter sorting table eliminate grapes not meeting optimal maturity standards. This precision work conserves the grapes’ and the terroir’s most intense expression.
Last harvests periods
Vintage 2012 : September 27th to October 17th
Vintage 2011 : September 7th to September 28th
Vintage 2010 : September 14th to October 7th
Vintage 2009 : September 24th to October 13rd
Vintage 2008 : September 24th to October 15th
Vintage 2007 : September 21st to October 5th
Vintage 2006 : September 21st to October 4th
Vintage 2005 : September 15th to October 9th
Vintage 2004 : September 30th to October 19th
Vintage 2003 : September 11th to September 26th