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Château Talbot 

33250 Saint-Julien Beychevelle, France

One of my favourite Bordeaux Château, fourth growth Talbot seems to be back on top form, making good wines just about every vintage. The second wine, Connétable, is no slouch, either. Although it's usually the reds that get all the attention, I was bowled over by the appealing white Caillou. 

Château Talbot 1998
A deep red/purple colour, this is a concentrated wine with a sensational nose of spice, tar and smoky fruit. Chunky and firm on the palate, with rich fruit and firm tannins. This is a complex, tasty claret that needs some time in bottle to reach its peak. Very good/excellent (Berry Bros & Rudd have this for £26.50; the 1997 is £23.50 and the stunning 1996 is £31)

Connétable Talbot 1997
You wouldn’t expect too much from a second wine in a dodgy vintage, but this is quite pleasant stuff. The open, attractive leafy/herby nose has a gravelly/mineral streak. On the palate there is leafy blackcurrant fruit and a bit of tannin. Very attractive, open wine that is drinking well now. Very good+ (would be good value at around £10)

Château Talbot Caillou Blanc 1999
Top Bordeaux whites such as this are often underrated. Lovely bright nose of peach and grapefruit. Rich, full, fruity palate with some oak. Lovely stuff. Very good/excellent

(Tasted November 2000)

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