Bordeaux / St-Julien

Though lacking a First-Growth estate, Saint-Julien has a loyal following among investors and enthusiasts, with some of the most exciting producers on the Left Bank to be found here.

Benefiting from the same make-up of gravel ridges as do Margaux and Pauillac, producers in Saint-Julien are able to tease out a great array of styles from a single grape; Cabernet Sauvignon, dominant here, its power tempered by Merlot and Cabernet Franc. As with most blends that have this wonderfully robust variety in prime position, the well-balanced wines benefit greatly from ageing. The particular hallmark of the best Saint-Julien wines is cedar aromatics, which are the reward promised to patient enthusiasts.

All three Leoville estates – Las-Cases, Poyferré and Barton – once part of the same property, occupy some of the best terroir, and are known to have First Growth aspirations. In the southeastern corner, chateaux Beychevelle and Ducru-Beaucaillou also wow with classical, pure Bordeaux wines that, like many here, marry the elegance and finesse of Margaux, with the power and intensity of Pauillac.

The fierce competition between producers here, in the absence of a Premier Cru, pushes quality and standards ever higher for Saint-Julien wines. This, and their capacity for ageing, means no one with an interest in investing in wine should risk overlooking this charming appellation.