Chateau Saint Pierre   Saint Pierre

1997 Saint-Pierre

By Chateau Saint-Pierre

1997 Saint-Pierre from Chateau Saint-Pierre, St-Julien, Bordeaux

The 1997 vintage from the traditionally under-the-radar Chateau Saint-Pierre carries with it a certain enchantment that solely appears in the claret realm during particular years. The mercurial growing season of 1997 was one that posed challenges which, in turn, fostered a tenacity in both vignerons and vines alike across Bordeaux.


A Vintage of Resilience and Grace

Unlike its preceding and succeeding years, the 1997 harvest was a test of skill and precision. In Saint-Julien we saw rain patternsplay havoc with meticulous vintage strategies. However, carefully managed vineyards like those of Chateau Saint-Pierre carved out something singular—a charming balance between maturity and acidity achieved through astute vineyard practices and selective harvesting.


The 1997 Saint-Pierre: A Study in Elegance

The 1997 Saint-Pierre from Chateau Saint-Pierre gracefully circumvents any presumption that this vintage lacks longevity. The bouquet unfurls layers of autumnal leaves and smoked cedar wood—interlaced with brambly fruit suggesting hints of blackcurrant and ripe plum. What is remarkably impressive about this vinous offering is how the tertiary notes have evolved with such composure, marrying well with subdued tannins to create an almost sumptuous texture.

In the palate, one finds an unexpected vivacity for the vintage, where mature flavours dance amongst a tapestry woven with subtlety: tobacco leaf, dark chocolate and a whisper of sage. This culmination of complexities consolidates Chateau Saint-Pierre's mastery over their craft, particularly in years that demand nothing short of vinicultural acumen.

For the savvy wine investor, the 1997 Saint-Pierre from Chateau Saint-Pierre presents an indulgent opportunity—a sleeper vintage poised with potential for both gratification and growth. Its current state offers an immediate window into a mature Bordeaux without forgoing the pleasure of further evolution in bottle.

To discover the most ethereal expressions of terroir in times less than ideal reveals true artisanal prowess; and herein lies the essence of this unsung hero from St-Julien. Connoisseurs can revel in its present mellow complexity or cellar with confidence knowing that time will only augment its dignified trajectory.

In conclusion, my recommendation is clear: this particular libation stands as a testament to the capabilities of Chateau Saint-Pierre, crafting not merely consumable but investable wine even from a year as challenging as 1997—it's an eloquent reminder of why we cherish Bordeaux's left bank so dearly.

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Scores and tasting notes


The underrated estate of St.-Pierre deserves more attention. While the wines do not quite hit the heights of Leoville-Las-Cases, Leoville-Barton, or Leoville-Poyferre, they are remarkably consistent, chunky, husky Bordeaux with considerable character. The 1997 reveals a nicely saturated ruby/purple color, and an earthy, spicy, fruit-driven bouquet (primarily jammy black currants) with subtle new oak in the background. Dense on the palate, and slightly backward, this fleshy, expansive but moderately tannic wine will be one of the few 1997s that will not be ready to drink upon release. However, it is approachable. Anticipated maturity: 2002-2013.

Robert Parker Jr - Wine Advocate #116


Tasted again in Bordeaux in July 2004. Black fruits, charred wood on the nose that lacks intensity. On the palate it is balanced, cedary and fresh, though lacking structure and complexity. Wild berries. A touch of white pepper adding some lift on the finish. I prefer Chateau Gloria but this is satisfactory for the vintage.

Neal Martin - Wine Advocate - Wine Journal

Vintage performance