Lalande de Pomerol is usually a source of good wine. The appellation produces complex and nicely structured reds, if less fleshy than neighbour Pomerol. The wines showed promise here in 2012 but things are much more disjointed and difficult to judge in 2013. Overall they were a pretty closed and generally hard bunch when tasted blind at the Cercle Rive Droite. Others tasted separately showed better later in the week of tastings. The picks for me are Domaine des Sabines, La Fleur de Boüard, Château Tournefeuille and Château Les Vieux Ormes. Le Plus de La Fleur de Boüard, made from a small old vine plot, is very impressive indeed for the vintage, though it is made in tiny quantities.
The following wines have been listed in qualitative order. Owing to the very high acids and relatively lean fruit profiles it may be that I’ve been a bit strict on the scores, particularly on those tasted at the Cercle event. Still other districts at the same tasting performed much better in identical conditions. Generally the quality progressed with the better terroirs. Those with earlier ripening and well-drained sites would have stood a better chance in the conditions.
Once it was apparent that a late vintage was on the cards [evident in the troubled and prolonged flowering period and late growing season] crop thinning was essential to ensure that what fruit remained stood a reasonable chance of reaching maturity. So this meant reducing an already reduced crop, such were the hard choices 2013 required.
It follows from this that technical skill and financial wherewithal were vital in this year. It’s probably no coincidence that La Fleur de Boüard is amongst the more impressive wines in Lalande de Pomerol given the knowledge and cash at the disposal of the owners of Château Angélus. In the others that impressed you can also spot the hand of JP Moueix and Jean-Luc Thunevin.
Le Plus de La Fleur de Boüard, Lalande de Pomerol
Deep and saturated – very intense looking; very lifted, whole berry and some jam and oak; quite integrated; palate creamy with depth and chew; has plenty of extract and creamy freshness. A gentler experience than the colour and fruit laden aromatics suggest. Made from 70-85 year old vines. [100% Merlot]. Drink 2018-2030. Tasted Ch Angélus April 2, 2014. 87-89+
Domaine des Sabines, Lalande de Pomerol
Deep and saturated looking; really deep core; ripe and thick; legs; spices and surprisingly ripe characters; full with oak influence but good balance of material; needs to meld a little. Structured and chewy on the finish but has sap. Drink 2018-2025. Tasted Jean-Luc Thunevin April 2, 2014. 86-88
La Fleur de Boüard, Lalande de Pomerol
Deep and saturated look; vibrant purple at edge; fresh, neutral aromatics, some spice, little plum; some fruitcake too; nice palate, sweet entry with extract but nicely balanced and seemingly not forced; attractive wine with some flesh but elegance too. Good. [85% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon]. Drink 2018-2025. Tasted Ch Angélus April 2, 2014. 85-87
Château Tournefeuille, Lalande de Pomerol
Mid depth, dark core; some spice; wood influence but some extract beneath; spices; palate not too pushed and some joy here; acid and some grip; actually not that bad overall; some vibrancy and freshness. Little short on the finish but should fill out given the presence of the fruit here. Tasted Cercle Rive Droite 30th March. 85-87
Château Les Vieux Ormes, Lalande de Pomerol
Mid depth; earthy purple at edge; fresh aromatics, some spice, little plum and cherry; cool entry with cherry and plum fruit tones; sweet/sour cherry; spicy; nicely balanced. Elegant and not over-stretched. Quite refreshing. Drink 2018-2024. Tasted JP Moueix April 2, 2014. 85-87
Château Siaurac, Lalande de Pomerol
Darker; deeper at core; sturdier; deeper; some dust; has some weight but not very expressive; has sturdy and faintly smoky/peaty characters but finishes a little short. Should fill out. Tasted Cercle Rive Droite 30th March. 83-85
Château Perron La Fleur, Lalande de Pomerol
Earthy red at edge; mid depth; smoky and earthy; not unattractive; some boiled sweet notes and medicinal/herbal tones; earthy notes with some red fruits; soft with some light spices highlights. Still feels a bit hollow in the middle even if [at least] it’s not dry and puckering. May fill out. Tasted Cercle Rive Droite 30th March. 81-83.
Château de Viaud, Lalande de Pomerol
Mid depth; earthy purple red at edge; some wood and fruit beneath; flavour here but a bit attenuated and pinched on the finish. May settle. Tasted Cercle Rive Droite 30th March. 80-82.
Château Grand Ormeau, Lalande de Pomerol
Deeper and sat look with bright purple meniscus; some lapsang notes; oak disjointed currently; raw with high acid and tannin; there is fruit here but overall feeling is pinched and a bit mean. Dry and puckering on the end. Chewy and obviously some substance here but materials pretty narrow. May fill out a bit. Tasted Cercle Rive Droite 30th March. 80-82
Château Saint-Jean de Lavaud, Lalande de Pomerol
Mid depth; red purple at edge; slightly fuller more sturdy nose; some smoke and chocolate; little sour cherry; little vegetative element; some smoke; palate a little hard; may settle but there is a slightly green note here – so will always have earthy quality and lean style. Chewy on the end. Tasted Cercle Rive Droite 30th March. 80-82
Château de Chambrun, Lalande de Pomerol
Mid depth; looser at red/purple at rim; some violet lift [wood?]; medicinal and spicy herbal tones; firm palate; not that much joy here; dry on the finish. Tasted Cercle Rive Droite 30th March. 79-81 [Later note] Deep-ish and purple at edge; some substance on the nose; deep with reasonable concentration; oak needs to integrate. Soft finish. Drink 2018-2025. Tasted Canon-La-Gaffeliere. April 2, 2014. 83-85
La Sergue, Lalande de Pomerol
Mid depth; red at edge; some honey; red fruits bit of satin; light; light entry; lean. Not puckering but bit thin. Tasted Cercle Rive Droite 30th March. 79-81
Château La Gravière, Lalande de Pomerol
Dark and deep at core; tighter to the rim; thicker; some smoke and lapsang tea and red fruit hints [about it on the fruit]; wood on the palate; pretty lean; streak of green too. Tasted Cercle Rive Droite 30th March. 78-80
L’Ambroisie du Château La Croix des Moines, Lalande de Pomerol
Mid depth; vibrant purple at edge; light aromatics; mean palate; lacks fruit and feels pinched [with some wood poking out]. Tasted Cercle Rive Droite 30th March. 76-78
Château Jean de Gué, Lalande de Pomerol
Mid depth; some density; earthy purple; hint of the vegetal; feels pretty thin and insubstantial. Tasted Cercle Rive Droite 30th March. 76-78
Tags: Bordeaux, Bordeaux 2013, Chateau de Chambrun, Chateau de Viaud, Chateau Grand Ormeau, Chateau Jean de Gué, Château La Gravière, Château Les Vieux Ormes, Chateau Perron La Fleur, Chateau Saint-Jean de Lavaud, Chateau Siaurac, Chateau Tournefeuille, Domaine des Sabines, en primeur, L’Ambroisie du Château La Croix des Moines, La Fleur de Boüard, La Sergue, Lalande de Pomerol, Le Plus de La Fleur de Boüard, primeurs