Saint-Pierre is a name that up until recently was not particularly widely recognisable, its wines remaining underestimated despite their high quality and the valuable pedigree bestowed on the estate under the ownership of domaines Henri Martin. It is perhaps easy to overlook the château- at less than 17 acres it claims to be the smallest estate in Saint-Julien. But in recent years or so, the wine has come to command a broader spectrum of attention. With low production levels making this wine particularly favourable for price appreciation, particularly in mammoth vintages like the 2009, 2010 and 2016. Saint-Pierre is more tempting a prospect than ever before.
Fuller bodied than many of its Saint-Julien neighbours, Chateau Saint-Pierre is a fruity wine with smoky notes of toast and burned toffee. The wine has always been among one of the lesser known estates in its appellation but things are changing thanks to some brilliant recent vintages- with perhaps 2009 the best of the bunch. This was of course a vintage which many critics agree favoured the Saint-Julien and Pauillac appellations, and the Saint-Pierre was highlighted as one of the most memorable of the lot. American critic Robert Parker Jr. named it “the all-time greatest wine I have tasted from this estate”, and conferring a fantastic score of 98-points - highlighting a wine in the realms of the extraordinary.
Château Saint-Pierre dates back to the 17th century, when it was owned by the De Cheverry family and went under the name of Serançan. It was given its current name by Baron Saint-Pierre in the 18th century although it was to be split numerous times in the following years with different parcels given different names. Although the estate was considered a single entity at the time of the 1855 classification, it wasn’t until 1923 that the parcels were formally reunited by the Dutch Van den Bussche company.
In 1982 they sold Saint-Pierre to the lengendary Henri Martin, previously appointed manager at Château Latour and mayor of Saint-Julien, whose dream it had always been to own a classified estate. Martin was 78 years old by the time his dream was realised. He sold off a few modest plots to Jean-Eugene Borie, in what was to become the germ of Lalande-Borie, but retained the majority, to which he made great improvements. Eventually he ceded control of the estate to his daughter Françoise and her husband Jean-Louis Triaud who today continue to manage Saint-Pierre, alongside Château Gloria. Ownership today falls under The Van den Bussche Company.
Chateau Saint-Pierre Price Analysis
Chateau Saint-Pierre Pricing
Highest rated vintages for Chateau Saint-Pierre
The all-time greatest wine I have ever tasted from Saint-Pierre, this estate, the smallest of the grand cru classes of St.-Julien, has an opaque purple color and a spectacular nose of subtle charcoal, creme de cassis, blackberry, and incense. Full-bodied, with striking intensity and flamboyantly rich, exuberant flavors bursting with extract, the St. Pierre has no hard edges, but rather massive, incredibly well-endowed blockbuster style, which should prove to be monumental. Give it 6-8 years to take on more definition and calm down, but this is a 30- to 40-year wine. Bravo!
The final blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon and 22% Merlot has resulted in a wine of great power, stature, gravitas and density. The wine has a black purple color and a brilliant nose of scorched earth, creme de cassis, espresso roast, blackberries, truffles and licorice. Full-bodied, extremely powerful, yet with abundant sweet tannin, this stunning effort should prove sensational if given 7-10 years of cellaring. It should also last for 30-40 years. This is another brilliant wine from Jean-Louis Triaud, who is also responsible for the brilliant resurrection of the cru bourgeois, Gloria. This is one of the smallest estates in St.-Julien, with only about 6,000 cases produced, and even less were produced in 2010 than in 2009.
As I predicted from barrel, this stunning effort is a wine to buy by the case. Its opaque ruby/purple color is followed by aromas of graphite, barbecue smoke, blackberries and black currants. The full-bodied, textured 2008 Saint-Pierre reveals a skyscraper-like mouthfeel along with tremendous viscosity and unctuosity. One of the richest and potentially longest-lived 2008s, it is a fabulous sleeper of the vintage. Drink it over the next 20+ years.
A candidate for one of the finest St.-Juliens of the vintage, St.-Pierre's 2006 is one of the smaller productions in this consistent appellation, making it difficult to find in the marketplace. Its deep opaque purple color is accompanied by notes of roasted herbs, charcoal, graphite, and extravagant creme de cassis and licorice. Full-bodied, powerful, deep, and rich with outstanding balance, purity, texture, and length, this stunning 2006 will be very long-lived. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2030.
Smart consumers should be checking out this estate whose wines have been superb over recent vintages. Under the same ownership as Gloria, it is a classic St.-Julien with sensational concentration and intensity, but more powerful, thick, and muscular than wines such as Ducru Beaucaillou or Beychevelle. The 2005 possesses the vintage's structured, tannic mouthfeel as well as enormous concentration and massive extract. It exhibits plenty of earthy creme de cassis intermixed with notes of forest floor, licorice, and roasted meats. Backward with huge tannin, full body, and the potential for 3-4 decades of aging, this superb St.-Julien will get even better over the next 10-15 years. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2040.
A powerhouse effort from this small classified growth St.-Julien estate, the 2003's thick, unctuous-looking purple color is accompanied by an explosive perfume of cigar tobacco, melted licorice, incense, creme de cassis, and spice box. Opulent, full-bodied, and rich with firm tannin and higher glycerin and alcohol than usual, it should be cellared for 4-5 years and enjoyed over the following two decades.
This somewhat under-the-radar classified growth has produced a dense ruby/purple-colored 2004 with superb density of black currant and cherry fruit intermixed with subtle herbs, licorice, and forest floor characteristics. Medium to full-bodied, rich, and muscular, it is an atypically powerful 2004 that should be at its finest between 2012-2025. It is a sleeper of the vintage.
A blockbuster effort for the vintage, the 2012 Saint-Pierre exhibits a dense purple color along with a big, sweet nose of blackberries, coffee, forest floor and camphor. This is a seriously endowed, surprisingly full-bodied effort that is atypically rich and textured for the vintage. Kudos to Saint-Pierre, one of the smallest but finest and most consistent of the St.-Julien chateaux. Give it 3-4 years of cellaring and drink it over the following 15+ years.
This 2011 boasts a dense ruby/purple color as well as copious notes of creme de cassis, incense, lead pencil shavings and perhaps a hint of truffles. Medium to full-bodied with surprising density, impressive purity, decent acidity and serious length, this St.-Julien should easily last for two decades or more. While the 2011 Saint-Pierre will not make anyone forget the 2009 or 2010, it is an outstanding effort. Yields were somewhat higher than at other estates (42 hectoliters per hectare), and the final blend includes a whopping 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc that came in at 13% natural alcohol. Proprietor Jean-Louis Triaud has been on a qualitative tear with this estate as well as with his much larger property, Gloria.
A fabulous wine for the vintage, this well-endowed St.-Julien exhibits a dense purple color in addition to a sweet bouquet of charcoal, burning embers, blackberries, cassis, and a hint of graphite. Dense, full-bodied, and surprisingly concentrated with more body, texture, and length than most 2007s, the wine possesses a suppleness, velvety tannins, and low acidity. Drink it over the next 10-15 years.