Wine of the Week - Chateau Saint-Pierre 2011

Text: Ivy Tsang


Not everyone spends a lot on wine. On occasions, people tend to open a bottle or two to boost the atmosphere. It does not have to be an expensive bottle, but a decent one. Chateau Saint-Pierre is definitely one of the choices of occasions.

Located at St, Julien, like many of the wineries, it has quite a long history. According to some historical documents, it was first planted with vines in 1693, under the name of Serançon. In 1767, Baron de Saint Pierre bought the estate and Chateau Saint Pierre was officially born. After his death in 1832, the winery was broken up as the inheritance between his two daughters. Though the winery was split, and the daughters were not good at managing the winery, Saint-Pierre was classified as 4th growth in the 1855 classification.

There were ups and downs, split and reunited. Finally, Alfred Martin, father of Henri Martin, bought some lands and the cellars of Saint-Pierre for the new barrels he made. In 1982, Henri Martin, who was also the owner of Chateau Gloria, bought the house and the remaining lands. Saint-Pierre finally got into one piece again.

Although it is the smallest classified estate in the appellation, only 17 hectares, its technology stays top-notch. It was one of the first estates in the Medoc to use satellite imagery in order to identify the ready-to-harvest vineyard parcels. Another interesting thing is that the grapes, after harvest, are not made at Saint-Pierre, but Chateau Gloria due to the long history of arrangement.

Honestly, 2011 is not the best vintage of Bordeaux. However, commented by Robert Parker, it was a more masculine one in this vintage, revealing “serious structure, tannin and meat” (RP, 2014). As time passes, it shows more quality tertiary aromas and flavours like hay, toast and mushroom. People tend to be attracted by its classic label as well. Not expensive, it would be a great bottle to share with friends at occasions!