Wine Words & Video Tape

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Château Nénin


Château Nénin has been part of the Domaines Delon group [that also runs Château Léoville-Las-Cases] since 1997. This is a comparatively large Pomerol estate that has benefitted considerably from their expertise, investment and management. 32 hectares are planted on diverse range of soils. Formerly the wines were solid, if unexciting, but recent vintages of Château Nénin have been very impressive. I reckon their 2012 is one of the best yet from this property. Fugue de Nénin is the second wine here.

Vineyards: 32 hectares planted with 78% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Franc and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon on Oligocene deposits covered by Dordogne alluvial gravel formations.

Winemaking: 100% manual harvest followed by maturation in 15-18 months French oak, around a quarter to a third new oak, depending on the vintage.

  • 2014 Deeper and darker at the core; nice blackcurrant; pretty Cabernet Franc on the nose; creamy notes; oak on the palate dominates a bit; texture is good; lacks a bit of mid palate richness; should blend in. Nice finish. Needs to fill out. [68% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Franc, 41hl/ha, 30% new oak, 13.8% alc, 3.70TA, 3,53pH, IPT 69]. Drink 2020-2026. Tasted Léoville-Las-Cases 30 March, 2015. 89-91+
  • 2013 Deep at centre; vibrant edge; attractive and positive aromatics; some spice; cherry and plum tones; sappy and fruit driven; good fruit, some flesh in the middle. Sap and grip on the finish. Good effort for the vintage. May fill out further. [67% Merlot, 33% Cabernet Franc, 13.3% alc, TA 3.65, pH 3.65, 25% new oak, 10% press wine, 30hl/ha]. Drink 2018-2028. Tasted Chateau Leoville Las Cases, March 31, 2014. 87-89+
  • 2012 Deep and saturated; vibrant colour; cream, plums and real depth; very full and promising; some Cabernet Franc tones; classy palate, creamy fruit entry with lots of material and ripe tannins; lots here. Very good wine, pure and fresh. Very good indeed. 92-94+ Tasted Friday 12th April 2013 at Chateau Léoville-Las-Cases
  • 2011 Deep, purple at edge; layers, ripeness and cassis, wet stones; little dusty note to nose; bitter cherry notes on palate’ bite and chew; plus some oak and wood tannin. Chewy finish. Dense and not the most graceful Pomerol in 2011. 87-89+
  • 2010 Deep and saturated look; vibrant plum and menthol notes; some jam; opens up further with aeration; wonderfully spicy plum tones and considerable concentration; plush palate; very complete; nicely ripe and some structure too but this is excellent Nénin. Great effort from the Delon team. Drink 2015-2030. 94+ MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated; up to edge; ripe and rich; lots of fruit and density. Less flamboyant than the other Pomerols, feels serious and dense. Lacks a bit of vigour and joie de vivre? 88-90/100 [82% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc, 13.9 alc and IPT 80] Tasted 7 April 2011 at Chateau Leoville Las Cases.
  • 2009 Deep and saturated; ripe and silky open nose; quite unctuous and creamy; nicely lifted; more muscular on the palate than the nose suggests; quite thick and tannic on the end. Needs five years I reckon. Sturdy Pomerol rather than beautiful. Drink 2017-2030. 91+ MW Institute Nov ’13
  • 2008 Deep looking; firmer nose; less showy and exotic [something of a relief]; more purity of fruit [the Delon guys]; firm palate, grippy with chew and extract. 89+ MW Institute Nov 2012.
  • 2007 Deep and dense, tight to the edge; deep and plummy, earthy with tar and tobacco; attractive soft and easy palate; almost sweet entry; dense and a bit chunky but nicely done. 89+/100 MW Institute Nov ’11.

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