Unclassed Bordeaux Offering Solid Value in the 2014 Vintage

Today’s Story: Château Gloria

Château Gloria is a “relatively” young Bordeaux wine estate, established piecemeal during the mid-1900s by Bordeaux native Henri Martin. Situated in the Left Bank appellation of Saint-Julien, Château Gloria today consists of 50 hectares (124 acres) and is planted to roughly 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Petit Verdot. Henri purchased his first six hectares (15 acres) in 1942, and expanded the estate over time by purchasing holdings from the likes of Beychevelle, Léoville-Poyferré, Gruaud-Larose, Léoville-Barton, and Ducru-Beaucaillou amongst others. Though Château Gloria is an unclassed estate thanks to its founding roughly a century after the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855, it is widely considered to be on par with classed growths today thanks to its quality and representation of the Saint-Julien appellation.

From a winemaking perspective, all fruit at Château Gloria is harvested by hand. Vinification occurs in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks, which range in size from 50hl to 178hl. Once primary fermentation is complete, the wines are barreled down into French oak barrels of which 40% are new and malolactic fermentation occurs in barrel. After 14 months of aging, the wines are bottled and production of the Grand Vin is typically around 20,000 cases per vintage. Château Gloria also produces a second wine named Esprit de Gloria, which was previously known as Peymartin.

Today’s Wine: 2014 Château Gloria

Cabernet Sauvignon dominant Bordeaux blend; 13.5% ABV

The 2014 Château Gloria is deep garnet in color, almost deep ruby. I decanted this for about three hours though sampled it along the way. The aromas are of medium (+) intensity, with the nose showcasing notes of redcurrant, muddled strawberry, black cherry, blackcurrant, anise, rose, cigar box, forest floor, truffle, graphite, gravel, cedar spill, and vanilla. Meanwhile the flavors are also of medium (+) intensity, with a palate of blackberry, plum, blackcurrant, black cherry, licorice, tobacco, violet, charred green herbs, chocolate, vanilla, and baking spice. This dry red blend is medium- to full-bodied with medium (+) acidity, medium (+) tannins, medium alcohol, and a medium (+) length finish. Pretty good quality and a solid wine for the 2014 Bordeaux vintage.

Price: $50. This is a pretty fair price-point and offers decent value for dipping one’s toes into Bordeaux. I’ve been a huge fan of the 2014 Bordeaux vintage lately and this is no different, offering great balance and solid complexity after a bit of a decant. Should age nicely as well for at least another 5-7 years.

If this wine seems like something you might enjoy, you may find this link helpful in locating it.