The wines from the Jean-Pierre Moueix stable are invigorating. There’s a zap and bounce to the Pomerols here that is refreshing and my feeling is that they have done extremely well with their 2014s. There is plenty of pretty, vibrant fruit and sappy vigour on offer, wines with a juicy texture and ripe, soft tannins. It makes these wines irresistible to me. Amongst the more affordable Pomerols, Château Lafleur-Gazin is delicious, Château Bourgneuf has depth and texture and Château Plince has attractive delicacy. Further up Château Latour à Pomerol is layered and vital while Château Hosanna is a voluptuous beauty and virtually steals the show. Château La Fleur-Pétrus is silky and delicate and Château Trotanoy substantial.
These fascinating 2014s owe their character to the remarkable growing season. The freshness and vibrancy comes from the cool growing season, the juicy ripeness and round tannin profile from the beautiful Indian summer. Still, there is much in the traditional Moueix approach here that emphasizes purity of fruit over oak, life and freshness over alcohol, drinkability and digestibility over point scoring. And this is a vintage that plays to those strengths. For me, Moueix has produced [in many cases co-produced] a set of extremely vivacious and vibrant wines in 2014. While the peaks here are not up with 2009 or 2010, there is something delicious about 2014 that trumps the exciting wines made here in 2012.
‘Ripeness is all’, begins the Moueix technical sheets, an eminently suitable quote from Shakespeare’s King Lear. They report a mild, wet and windy winter of 2013-2014, followed by a mild and dry spring which allowed for ‘excellent’ flowering. Violent thunderstorms marked the summer [Pomerol had 10% less rain than St Emilion] but, as elsewhere, from the 25th August onwards, the weather was hot and dry [with a few exceptions] until the end of October.
For me the wine of the tasting was Château Hosanna – it was an absolute beauty on the day – equalled by a delicious and silky Château La Fleur-Pétrus. Château Trotanoy was a little closed and seemingly more muscular than these, but this is all fractional stuff really. It was the consistency of the wines across the range that was stunning, so there is something to suit every pocket. I’ve reported in my post on St Emilion on the Moueix wines there – Château Puy Blanquet looks good value, Château La Serre is impressive and Château Belair-Monange has great purity. I was also impressed by the Lalande de Pomerol Château Les Vieux Ormes, notes on which can be found here.
The following wines were tasted on Wednesday, 1st April, 2015 at the offices of JP Moueix in LIbourne.
Château Plince, Pomerol
Mid red; deepish at centre; little loser at the edge; little more oak influenced and tempered; little lift from the wood but attractive fruit; some delicacy; quite nicely integrated; sexy almost; palate little subdued; not quite so vibrant; but there is texture and polish; more measure and oak influenced; the fruit will re-emerge. Nice sap and acidity at the end; plenty of juicy fruit underneath things [and it’s not that submerged]; nice finish; some chew and sap. Some length here. Drink 2020-2028. 87-89+
Château Lafleur-Gazin, Pomerol
Deep and attractive; dark at centre; fresh sappy and vibrant fruit; full; ripe cherry; plummy freshness; brighter fruit; bit of black pepper spice at the edge; full and lively on the nose; sweet ripe; vibrant juicy entry; so pretty and more-ish; delicious now almost; such lightness of touch; vibrant and fresh but with plenty of sweet fruit. This is a beautiful vintage with the balance between the juicy fruit and the freshness; but also the bounce here. Lively zap on the finish. Great stuff. 2020-2030. 90-92+
Château Bourgneuf, Pomerol
Deepish; dark core; little lighter red/purple at edge; perfumed and scented from the oak; but juicy fruit beneath; very pretty at this stage; black cherry; plum tones plus spices; palate has depth and structure from the oak and the extract but plenty of lively fruit; textured palate with pretty fruit and perfume; plum; ripe cherry and spices; vigour and some extract plus zap; bit of chew to resolve on the finish. Drink 2020-2030. 90-92+
Château La Grave, Pomerol
Vibrant and deep looking in the glass; earthy red purple at edge; lovely fresh plum and spice tones; some ripe Morello cherry too; real zap and life; purity here in the wines; little spice too; juicy and salivating attack; such freshness and juice here; really attractive and bouncy but with greater weight and ripeness than 2012 even; zip and lightness; fresh style but with plenty of body. Zap and refreshment on the end. Drink 2019-2028. 90-92
Château Latour à Pomerol, Pomerol
Deep and saturated look; quite tight to the rim; opaque at centre; creamy; perfumed and more layered; clearly a serious effort but the fruit has such joy; perfumed lift; plummy fresh fruit and summer compote beneath; delicious and nicely integrated [fraction better than Bourgneuf]; caressing fruit on the entry; so much juice and joy here; lovely vintage for these wines seemingly; layers of plummy fruit and some spciey overlay; structured but the fruit is the thing. Zappy on the end. Vibrant and fresh. Exciting and vital wine. Drink 2020-2030. 91-93+
Château Certan de May, Pomerol
Deeply coloured; opaque core; earthy purple at edge; perfume and violet fruit; vibrant and scented; ripe plums and blueberries; spices; nice delicacy; more oaked feel; more noticeable oak; but nice plummy scented fruit beneath; savoury edge; pretty fruit; black cherry and plum; deep; little spice; full and fruity; more oak influenced palate; little taughter and the fruit has absorbed more oak [or it doesn’t quite have the silkiness of Hosanna]; gutsy style; but lots of caressing fruit having said that; sappy finish with extract and matter and a little oak that needs to settle. Drink 2020-2030. 91-93+
Château Hosanna, Pomerol
Deep and dark yet fresh looking at the same time; slightly tighter to rim than Certan de May; more purple too; spices; little tighter and more pent up than de May; opens up to reveal perfumed; scented plums and morello cherry; layers and depth here; impressive freshness and purity at the same time; great attack; silky and caressing yet also concentrated; lovely voluptuous palate; very harmonious across the mouth; great concentration but not in the slightest bit heavy; great stuff; such lovely freshness and zappy acid too! Very good length. Excellent. Drink 2020-2033. 94-96+
Château La Fleur-Pétrus
Mid depth; dark at centre; tight to edge; earthy red/purple; ripe seductive aromatics; beautiful and delicate; lovely stone fruit; fresh plums and spices; violet scents too; very caressing attack; supple and harmonious; wonderful balance; sap and vibrancy on the finish but plenty in here; 10/10 on the digestibility index. Nice length. Fresh and vibrant finish with considerable length and zap. Drink 2020-2033. 94-96
Château Trotanoy, Pomerol
Fresh at edge; purple and fresh looking; deep core; plummy; spices; some red fruits and satin; chalky and substantial; lots of minerality and sap; more wet rock elements than La Fleur-Pétrus; substantial; very moreish in terms of juicy fruit and acid impression; definitely bigger and more chew on the finish. Substantial and bold. Will doubtless reveal more down the track. Drink 2022-2035. 93-95+
Tags: Bordeaux, Bordeaux 2014, Chateau Bourgneuf, Chateau Certan de May, Chateau Hosanna, Chateau La Fleur Petrus, Chateau La Grave, Chateau Lafleur-Gazin, Chateau Latour à Pomerol, Chateau Plince, Chateau Trotanoy, Jean-Pierre Moueix, Moueix, Pomerol, St Emilion