Farr Vintners customers will know that we are great fans of the 2019 Bordeaux vintage. The more we taste these wines, the more we like them and the more we believe that 2019 is a truly special year. There are brilliant wines to be found at every level.
One of the vintage’s bargains is the outstanding 94 point Château Gloria, which comes in at £300 per dozen. Long, fine, plush and spicy, it is a wine that is already seductive, though it will really hit its stride in 5 – 10 years, and keep for another 20. For Neal Martin it “personifies classic Saint-Julien” and, with 94 points, it outscores neighbouring Gruaud Larose (£700 per dozen) and is level with Beychevelle (£1,000 per dozen), Branaire (£450 per dozen) and Talbot (£540 per dozen).
A relatively young estate, the history of Gloria started in 1942, when Henri Martin purchased 6 hectares of vines located in the Left Bank in the St Julien appellation. The vines were previously the property of Château Beychevelle.
A consistent St Julien out-performer at the Southwold and 10 Year On tastings, it invariably holds its own against the big names. At £300 per dozen this is offered at its original release price (and comes in at less than the 2018, 2020 & 2021 vintages). All in all an excellent buy.
The 2019 Gloria personifies classic Saint-Julien, offering blackberry, wild hedgerow, cedar and tobacco scents, maybe a little conservative in style, but unashamed about that. The palate is medium-bodied with fine, quite firm tannins. Fresh and saline, this gets the saliva going with a precise, persistent finish and leaves hints of graphite on the aftertaste. Excellent. Drink 2025-2050.
The 2019 Gloria continues a strong run of form - those rustic Glorias of the 1970s and 1980s are a distant memory. This has a precise and detailed bouquet that offers blackberry, briary, cedar and light tobacco aromas that gently unfurl in the glass. The palate is very well structured with a lovely citric undercurrent lending freshness and sharpness. This is a nimble Saint-Julien, athletic in build with a sapid finish that urges you back for another sip. Excellent.
2025 - 2050
Deep purple-black colored, the 2019 Gloria comes bounding out of the glass with all the energy of a new puppy, featuring notes of baked plums, black cherry preserves and warm cassis plus hints of spice box, pencil lead, woodsmoke and dried mint. Medium to full-bodied (the alcohol states 14.2%), the palate is packed with juicy black fruit flavors, framed by approachable, ripe, grainy tannins and just enough freshness, finishing pleasantly earthy.
Sweet berry and cherry aromas with violets, following through to a medium to full body with creamy, linear tannins and a long, flavorful finish. Tight and curated, in a structured way. Try after 2027.
A firm, chewy red with blackberries, earth and hints of chocolate. It’s full-bodied and very structured. Better than the 2018.
The 2019 Gloria is fabulous. A wine of pure and total seduction, Gloria is so wonderfully inviting. A rush of floral, spice and earthy aromatics make a strong first impression. Pliant and racy on the palate, with striking red berry character, Gloria is incredibly alluring. A healthy dollop (34%) of Merlot gives Gloria its soft contours and open-knit personality, especially compared to its sibling, Saint-Pierre, which is much more Cabernet Sauvignon focused. I won't be surprised if Gloria turns out even better than this note suggests. It is one of the best values in Bordeaux.
55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot.
Sweet ink on the nose. A bit pinched overall. Very drying finish. 14%
Drink 2026 – 2040
The 2019 is a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Melot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot, with a healthy yield of 40hl/ha, aged in 45% new French oak. Deep ruby colour with soft, plump black fruit and a touch of red cherry on the nose. The palate follows with spicy black fruit and more cherry, bringing a rounded quality despite the bit of tannins at such a young stage. Layered with cedar and pepper, the finish is long and fine.
The 2019 is a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Melot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot, with a healthy yield of 40hl/ha, and will be aged in 45% new French oak. Vibrant ruby in colour with a plummy, juicy nose of red fruits accented by a hint of sweet spice. The palate is forward and soft, with juicy hedgerow fruits and a streak of toasty oak. The tannins are fine and soft, already well integrated into the wine and there is a lick of zesty acidity to add lift and freshness. Silky, smooth and vibrant to the finish.
Another winning velvety texture out of St Julien. You can trace the warmth and generosity of the vintage in the concentration and the ripeness of these blackberry and raspberry fruits but it is so seductive and carefully balanced with a core of freshness and a ton of crushed stone, black chocolate and baked earth adding layers and interest. This should be good value and is a definite buy. So much character and personality, right up there with the best vintages of this property. 40% new oak, 5% Petit Verdot completes the blend. Drinking Window 2026 - 2042