If you’ve ever perused the Bordeaux section of your local wine retailer, you may have noticed a few Bordeaux selections from Saint-Julien. The name listed below the vintage year indicates the wine’s appellation or AOC. The AOC (appellation d’origine contrôlée) certification dates back to the early 1400′s and is granted to geographical regions that adhere to standards and quality for goods such as wine and cheese. Saint-Julien is one of over 63 appellations in the Bordeaux wine region and a sub-region of Médoc. AOC Saint-Julien indicates wines that are exclusively grown and produced in this sub-region.
Read on for 7 facts on Saint-Julien and why the region produces such powerful reds:
1. Saint-Julien is located on the left bank and is one of six communal appellations of Médoc. It takes its name from the commune, Saint-Julien-Beychevelle.
2. On the surface, the terroir is mostly gravel and pebbles but below is a much more complex bed of sedimentary rock. The appellation’s micro-climate and soil presents the perfect conditions for Cabernet Sauvignon.
3, The grape varietals found in Saint-Julien are similar to that of Médoc, predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot with traces of Malbec and Petit Verdot.
4. Saint-Julien wines are said to be similar in taste, character and body to the wines of Pauillac, its northern neighbor. Here, strong and balanced reds are king.
4. While Saint-Julien is the smallest of the Médoc appellations, only 919 hectares under vine, it boasts the highest ratio (80%) of classified growths of any Bordeaux region as well as 6 Cru Borgeois chateaux.
6. According to a 1936 Decree, the wines of Saint-Julien AOC must come from areas defined by the decree and satisfy precise production conditions such as minimum sugar levels and limited yield.
7. Saint-Julien first grew to prominence in the 17th century as wealthy aristocrats raced to erect show stopping chateaux throughout the region. Many of these original estates are still standing today.
Need any more convincing? Drop by your local wine retailer and ask for a Saint-Julien red wine or search the internet for more options.