Wine Words & Video Tape

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Bordeaux 2011 In Bottle: Pomerol

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

IMG_4413In the last five years I can’t remember this appellation disappointing. Pomerol in the right bank is what St Julien is to the left bank. Year in, year out, it is reliable and homogeneous, a barometer for what can be achieved in every vintage. I happen to think that 2012 vintage is better in Pomerol than 2011, though time will only really tell. Clearly 2011 isn’t in the same order as 2009 and 2010, but there is good fruit and density in the best allied to greater freshness and acidity than in these previous vintages. I reckon 2012 has more body, fruit and richness than 2011, but these two vintages will provide a fascinating comparison down the line. Both have the relative advantage of being cheaper, to a degree, than the fashionable years of 2005, 2009 and 2010, so they are worth considering for those who enjoy the freshness and enjoyment of this appellation.

Clearly the wines that were shown at the UGCB tasting in October in London’s Covent Garden were only a modest snapshot of the wines of Pomerol in 2011 but surely they are representative. Château La Conseillante and Château Clinet are wonderful. They are more restrained than the previous vintages but there is something wonderfully fresh and vibrant about the wines that still makes them attractive.

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There is more structure and grip on Château Gazin and Château Petit-Village than in recent vintages. There is no doubt that Gazin has the slight edge.  I was also very enthusiastic about Château La Pointe during the 2011 primeurs and I’m just as positive about the wine now that it is in bottle. This property producers excellent Pomerol at a fair price.

The following wines were tasted at the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux on October 23. Like I always say the notes are more important than the numbers.

Château Beauregard

Mid depth; creamy blackcurrant tones; fresh stalky blackcurrants; needs more flesh on the palate but they have handled the fruit well – elegant with perfume. Drink 2014-2021. 87

Château Le Bon Pasteur

Mid depth; inky and sublimated nose; resin, spice and intensity; chewy palate with spicy fruit; depth and structure. Very worked style but the fruit is there and there is not the excessively dry unfinished quality found in some of those that have well and truly over-extracted. I’d expect this to come good. Drink 2015-2026. 88+

Château La Cabanne

Deepish; spice and inky intensity; chewy palate with blackcurrant fruit; sap and acid evident. OK if unexciting. Drink 2015-2021 86

Château Clinet

Deep and saturated look; intense, ripe blackcurrant tones, ‘cool’ fruit tones; ripe palate; rich with some succulence; a very good effort in the circumstances. Chew on the finish. Very good. Drink 2014-2026. 92+

Château La Conseillante

Deep and saturated look; ripe and full; seductive nose; plummy and full; ripe and full on the palate – this is the pick of the Pomerol’s on display; sap and life lifts the end of the palate. Nicely done. One of the red wines of the tasting. Drink 2014-2026. 93+

Château La Croix de Gay

Deep looking; ripe red fruits and strawberry tones; spicy and attractive nose with lift and life; ripe red fruits on the palate with some spice; some grip and chew on the finish. Maybe fruit slightly stretched but should fill out. Drink 2014-2023. 88+

Château Gazin

Deep looking; some resin, plums, spices and depth; palate structured and deep; pretty extracted and chewy. Chewy finish. Pretty structured and serious. Drink 2016-2026. 89+

Château Petit-Village

Deep-ish; sweet and ripe aromas; spicy plums; spicy and ripe palate; structured but with good length. Good effort. Drink 2016-2026. 88+

Château La Pointe

Deep looking; full nose – spice plum tones and good depth; soft and caressing on the palate with clearly plenty of oomph; creamy blackcurrant and plummy fruit; nice and full. Great effort from this estate. Drink now – 2026. 89+

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