“Talbot and England’s right” | 1982 Château Talbot

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In Shakespeare’s Henry VI Part 1, John Talbot, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury, says:

Go to the gates of Bordeaux, trumpeter:

Summon their general unto the wall… 

God and Saint George, Talbot and England’s right. 

Château Talbot in Saint-Julien was named after (the real) John Talbot, who apparently lived there in 1452-53 when he was “Connétable Talbot”, governor of the old province of Guyenne, which corresponded roughly to the Roman province of Aquitania Secunda (Aquitaine) and the archdiocese of Bordeaux.

Talbot was defeated at the Battle of Castillon in 1453, which led to the English loss – after three centuries – of Aquitaine 😢.

(Never mind Brexit – even the French know that Aquitaine really belongs to England 💪 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿)

Historically, Talbot usually made something good in the better Bordeaux vintages (or at least those well-regarded by American critics): 1929, 1934, 1945, 1953, 1959, 1966…

It underdelivered in 1961, for some reason. (Stick to Château Palmer ’61, is my advice.)

But Talbot produced high-quality wine in supposedly lesser years, too: 1962, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1976, 1979, 1980…

Which brings us to the great 1982 Talbot (only three bottles left), the once imperious tannins of which have “melted into a shade”.

I paraphrase Keats’ “Lamia”, which has been on my mind with all that recent cycling in Hampstead, where Keats lived.

Despite repeated doses of Château Talbot and other beverages, I have not yet been able to cycle uninterrupted up Frognal from Finchley Road to Jack Straw’s Castle… It’s too steep 😮‍💨

To your health.

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