Described by the great Bordeaux buffs of the past as 'quintessential claret', Saint-Julien manages to live up to its reputation in vintage after vintage. In 2009 the extra concentration from low-yielding ripe Cabernet Sauvignon has added richness and depth for long ageing, while fragrance, harmony and balance remain the hallmarks. Thanks to the perfect conditions at vintage time, picking dates were consistent throughout the appellation, taking place between 22nd September and 8th October. The châteaux are very true to their soil and style, with a vigour and energy not found in lesser vintages. The best will improve over three decades, perhaps more. Steven Spurrier

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Written by Decanter