Of the four famous communes that make up the haut-Médoc region of Bordeaux, Saint-Julien may be the smallest, but what this appellation lacks in size it makes up for in the high concentrations of great wines produced in such a small region. Saint-Julien is located downstream of the Gironde from the Médoc, just on the other side of the Juillac stream from Pauillac. While Saint-Julien does not lay claim to any of the first growths according to the 1855 Classification of Bordeaux wines, it does have eleven classified growths, including five 2nd growths, some of which are producing wines every bit as good as their neighbors to the north.
The heavy gravel soil type is similar to Pauillac, as are the high percentages of Cabernet Sauvignon in the final blends, though heading further inland away from the Gironde there is more clay and sand. The wines themselves are for the most part bigger than those of Margaux, more finessed than those of Saint-Estéphe and more subtle than those of Pauillac. The exceptions to this are those estates that hover close to the border between Pauillac and Saint-Julien. So close are these in fact, that sometimes the only thing that separates the wines of Leoville-Las Cases on one side of the Juillac and Château Latour on the other is the stream itself. Were the classification of 1855 to be redone, surely some would no longer still be called "super seconds."
Along with the classified growths, Saint-Julien has a number of fine cru bourgeois producers that are dedicated to producing fine wines at slightly lower prices. The overall level of quality for this commune is very high, and many of Châteaus here are improving upon their already storied successes. The wines of Saint-Julien can be enjoyed in their youth, but like the other great wines of the haut-Médoc they will reward patience with longevity that can last for decades.
White wines from the region, though rare, are sold as either AC Bordeaux or Bordeaux Supérieur.
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