2014 Château Gloria (Saint Julien)
by JJ Buckley Fine Wines
JJB $31.94 (Online Avg. $41)
Savvy Bordeaux buyers have long looked to one Saint Julien property guaranteed to give classified growth quality at a value price. We’re talking about Château Gloria, an estate that didn’t make the cut in 1855 for one very understandable reason: It didn’t exist.
Robert Parker says that “year in and year out, there is rarely a better wine for the money”, and today we've got the 2014 Gloria at a seriously nice price.
Gloria is frequently mistaken for a classified growth, and it’s easy to see why. The property was founded in 1942, when founder Henri Martin began to piece together his property by purchasing vines from throughout the appellation. He had just one major criterion when selecting vines: They must come from classified growth estates. What we know as Gloria consists of plots that were once part of Léoville Barton, Léoville Poyferré, Ducru-Beaucaillou, Gruaud-Larose and even Pauillac’s Duhart Milon. There’s no doubting the property’s pedigree, and Parker says that Gloria “would probably be classified if the 1855 hierarchy of the wines of the Medoc were ever done again."
Despite occupying some terrific terroir in Saint Julien, and being "on a major qualitative roll for decades" (RP), Gloria’s pricing remains decidedly modest. For a Cabernet-dominant blend, this will give many classified growths a run for their money and even pricier blends from Napa.
Three years on from the vintage date, this is still a young wine, but it's poised to deliver a sublime drinking experience for another 10-20 years. Forego the three-figure Grand Crus and lay a couple of cases of this down instead - you’ll thank yourself! Cheers!