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Bordeaux 2015: Pomerol

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

IMG_0983Pomerol has produced some delicious wines in 2015. Alongside St Emilion, the various Côtes de Bordeaux, Pessac-Léognan and Margaux, Pomerol has succeeded wonderfully in this vintage. At the Union des Grand Crus tastings held by Château Beauregard many impressed, especially, Château La Bon Pasteur, Château La Cabanne, Château Clinet [very seductive], Château Gazin, Château Petit-Village, Château La Pointe and Château Beauregard itself. At the Pomerol Seduction tasting at Clos du Clocher, Château La Conseillante looked a beauty, while Château Rouget and Clos du Clocher looked pretty good. At the Grand Cercle tasting Château Feytit-Clinet was delicious and Château La Commanderie and Château Vieux Maillet impressed. Tasted separately Le Clos de Beau Père is also impressive. 

In the preceding post I’ve already reported on Pomerols’ from the JP Moueix stable, including an enjoyable Lafleur-Gazin and a typically impressive Château Bourgneuf, all the way up to a brooding Château Trotanoy and vibrant, vivacious Château La Fleur-Pétrus. There are some big omissions here in the notes below including Pétrus, Lafleur, Nénin and Vieux Château Certan, all of which I will correct in upcoming tastings in the summer.

It’s fun but difficult to compare vintages. The 2015 growing season was fairly unique. Perfect flowering was followed by heat and drought until late July when cooler and wetter conditions arrived. September was cool but largely dry. I found the wines generally to have balance and harmony here in Pomerol. There was freshness too, more marked in some than others. Overall I don’t think 2015 trumps 2009 and 2010 in Pomerol, but that’s not to say it is necessarily inferior. As in St Emilion, there is more freshness than 2009, and slightly less concentration than in 2010, but the wines have more beauty and balance perhaps than either of those two vintage at the same stage. Given production here is tiny, prices will not be cheap for these 2015s [particularly so given some critics scores].

The following 34 wines were tasted on Sunday 3rd April, 2016 and on Wednesday 6th April, 2016.

Château Bellegrave, Pomerol

Mid depth; stalky; fresh some spices; little reductive; cool; lacks definition; some spices; little old fashioned; some fresh fruit here and spices but feels a little clipped overall. [75% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc, 8.5ha planted]. Tasted blind Grand Cercle 3/4/16. Drink 2019-2025. 84-86

Château Beauregard, Pomerol

Mid depth, ripe looking; perfumed and attractive Pomerol; lovely spice from the Cabernet Franc; Cab Franc currently dominates the palate; elegance and freshness but also texture. I like the wine. Funky and fresh. Great new cellar at Beauregard which is now also under new ownership. Hope the price doesn’t creep up, as this has traditionally been one of Pomerol’s good buys in the past. [75% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc, 13.8% alc]. Tasted UGCB 6/4/16. Drink 2020-2030. 91-93+

Château Beau Soleil, Pomerol

Mid depth; vibrant purple meniscus; attractive sour cherry and plum tones; freshness with some summer fruit pudding tones; lovely aromatics; coffee notes; some vibrancy; cherry and plum fruits; moreish; very good effort. [95% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 4ha]. Tasted blind Grand Cercle 3/4/16. Drink 2019-2028. 87-89+

Château Le Bon Pasteur, Pomerol

Deep and saturated look; opaque at core; some smoke, charcoal and black fruits; little savoury, meaty note; attractive black cherry sweetness; cool entry on the palate; black cherry, blackcurrant and dark chocolate. Lots of fruit here along with the oak. Actually not over-done and nicely handled palate. [80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 14.5%]. Tasted UGCB 6/4/16. Drink 2020-2030+ 92-94+

Château Bonalgue, Pomerol

Deepish looking; quite worked; sturdy Pomerol; solid palate; sturdy if bit foursquare; lacks interest now; some nice fruit here but bit subdued. Will settle. When the fruit comes through, which it should, this will be good Pomerol. [95% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 9.5ha]. Tasted blind Grand Cercle 3/4/16. 86-88+

Château Bourgneuf, Pomerol

Mid depth; nicely deep and flattering nose [better than Grand Cercle tasting]; lovely perfume and seductive oak; ripe plummy notes but not overripe; very flattering on the nose; palate sweet and ripe; plenty of fruit; oak well integrated; nice spicy edge added by the Cab Franc; very good effort as usual. This has plenty of fruit and is nicely textured on the mid palate. Nice chew and sap here. [90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 9ha]. 90-92+ [Earlier note] Mid depth; fresh and ripe; plums, cherries and blackcurrant notes; easy and pure; nice fruit; attractive on the palate; cherry and plum tones; little simple at this stage but should fill out. [90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 9ha]. Tasted Blind Grand Cercle 3/4/16. Drink 2019-2025. 87-89+

Château La Cabanne, Pomerol

Mid depth; attractive fruit; clean; nice ripeness and good fruit qualities; easy and full on the palate with sweetness; not overworked in style and retains a sense of purity. Delicious. Best La Cabanne for years. [95% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 14.8%]. Tasted UGCB 6/4/16. Drink 2022-2028. 90-92+

Château Certan de May, Pomerol

Mid depth; earthy red at edge; ripe fruit; satin quality to the nose; sweetness; sweet strawberry notes; kirsch; nice pretty fruit with perfume; oak nicely integrating; attractive and moreish; nicely vibrant; nice sap and life here; zip and zing on the finish. Plenty of depth too. [80% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Franc, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5.5ha]. Tasted JP Moueix 6/4/16. Drink 2020-2030. 90-92+

Château La Clémence, Pomerol

Earthy purple edge; sweeter; more ripe plums; spices; some depth and freshness; acidity quite marked; sappy; some chew and sap; feels fresh and has elegance. [[85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, 3ha]. Tasted blind Grand Cercle 3/4/16. Drink 2019-2025. 85-87

Château Clinet, Pomerol

Ripe and saturated look; lovely pure, plummy fruit; pure and precise; creamy; ripe and full on the palate this wine has plenty of fruit and extract and is very concentrated; plenty of matter and gravity here; depth and chew on the finish. Excellent length and grip. Tightly coiled on the palate. Tremendous Clinet. [90% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Cabernet Franc, 14.3% alc]. Tasted UGCB 6/4/16. Drink 2023-2035. 95-97+

Château La Commanderie, Pomerol

Deeper and colour tight to rim; bolder; purple edge; richer; has density and minerality; attractive; attracted layered nose; some worked notes and a little lift; I like this; good palate; composed; good fruit and oak reasonably well integrated. Sturdy and complete Pomerol. 83% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Franc, 6ha planted]. Tasted blind Grand Cercle 3/4/16. Drink 2020-2028. 88-90+

Château La Conseillante, Pomerol

Mid depth; not as dark as some; lovely aromatics – spices, black cherry and sweet plum tones; very attractive; silky palate; freshness too alongside the black fruit and red fruit tones; lovely and attractive Pomerol. Burgundian style. Good density and length but remains nicely appetising. [81% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Franc]. Tasted Pomerol Seduction 6/4/16. Drink 2020-2035. 94-95+

Château La Croix de Gay, Pomerol

Deep and saturated look; deepish; red fruits and boiled sweet notes; jammy tones but quite attractive; sweet palate – long and caressing and quite silky; nice texture. [97% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 14.5%]. Tasted blind Grand Cercle 3/4/16. Drink 2020-2030. 90-92+

Château Feytit-Clinet, Pomerol

Bold and deep; colour tight to rim; earthy, Cabernet Franc note; some perfume and oak influence; intense with layers; clean and clear; like this; clean and has finesse; nice tension on the palate; moreish and good balance. Nice length. Class. [90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 6.3ha]. Tasted blind Grand Cercle 3/4/16. Drink 2020-2028. 91-93+

Château Gazin, Pomerol

Attractive vibrant colour; pure black cherry aromatics with some briary tones; great purity; lots of extract and texture on the palate; lots of matter; needs to settle a bit but has great potential. Spices on the finish. Excellent length and structure. [95% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc]. Tasted UGCB 6/4/16. Drink 2022-2035. 93-95

Château La Grave, Pomerol

Mid depth; deep at centre; purple at edge; little more reticent; some bubblegum; little freshness; saline and mineral note; little subdued; wood is present on the palate; little dryness here; needs to settle and meld a little; has bright fruit. Sap too. Has some length and definition. Fresh finish. [91% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc, 9ha]. Tasted JP Moueix 6/4/16. 89-91

Château Lafleur-Gazin, Pomerol

Mid depth; red at edge; lovely seductive red; nice lift; sweet plums; ripe; nice entry; harmonious; some stalky notes; real satin quality to the fruit – delicacy. This has some genuine sophistication and style. Has length on the back. Little dryness which will fill in. [98% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 8.75ha]. 90-92+

Château La Fleur-Pétrus, Pomerol

Mid red; good depth; fresh; plum and cherries on the aromatics; sweet and deliciously ripe; freshness; creamy palate; nice and attractive texture; good body and nice balance; very moreish; not supercharged but digestible. Chocolate and mocha notes on the finish but also quite a bit of zip at the end. Fresh and nimble Le Fleur-Pétrus with terrific balance. [92% Merlot, 7.5% Cabernet Franc, 0.5% Petit Verdot, 18.7ha]. Drink 2020-2040. 95-97+

Château Hosanna, Pomerol

Mid depth; slightly more focused in the glass; little unyielding at first; layers here; obvious depth but a bit closed on the day; ripe cherry; little savoury/spicy note on the palate; plums and cherries; quite a lot of vigour and freshness to this; zappy wine which has vitality; nice appetizing extract and zing on the finish. Bit reticent showing overall. [82% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc, 4ha]. Drink 2020-2035. 93-95+

Château Lagrange, Pomerol

Mid depth; little tighter to the rim; saline and minerals; like the fruit; Bordeaux; ripe plum; really cool; sweet entry; plummy and sweet; nice and ripe; good texture; lots of mid palate richness; this is moreish with good acidity. Like this vivacious side. Ripe and long. This could work well following elévage and settling. [96% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 9ha]. Drink 2019-2026. 88-90+

Château Latour à Pomerol, Pomerol

Nicely vibrant edge; legs; nice depth; little reticent at first; some oak here that’s subdued the aromatics currently I reckon; bright cherry fruit emerges eventually; fresh; purity beneath; fresh; bright acidity with nice fruit tones; lovely red fruit notes too. Depth and extract on the finish but fruit balances nicely. [96% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 8ha]. 91-93+

Château Lécuyer, Pomerol

Mid depth; healthy colour; sweet; ripe; spices; little cashmere; elegant palate; spices; some texture and inky notes; little chew on the finish. Little compact but goodish. [90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 3.4ha planted]. Tasted blind Grand Cercle 3/4/16. Drink 2019-2025. 85-87+

Château Mazeyres, Pomerol

Deepish; less concentrated in colour than some; satin and red fruits on the nose; little oaky on the palate; less depth here than the best Pomerols; wood on the finish. Lacks middle and dry on the finish. Will fill out but not amongst my top choices in 2015 in this appellation. [75% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot]. Tasted 6/4/16 Pomerol Seduction. Drink 2020-2028. 86-88 [Earlier note] Mid depth; red/purple at edge; full and sturdy Pomerol; some plum and cherry; perhaps a little straightforward; clean and easy; light Pomerol; not that much character. Simple. [73% Merlot, 24.4% Cabernet Franc, 2.6% Petit Verdot, 26ha]. Tasted blind Grand Cercle 3/4/16. Drink 2019-2025. 85-87.

Château Le Moulin, Pomerol

Deep and opaque; vibrant looking edge; earthy; spices; earth; wood on the palate; rather drying; needs to soak up the fruit; unbalanced and disjointed at present; sour cherry fruits beneath. Not at all good showing. Feels lean and over oaked. Needs to settle. [80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 2.4ha]. Tasted blind Grand Cercle 3/4/16. Drink 2019-2025. 84-86

Château Montviel, Pomerol

Mid depth; sweet and ripe fruit; little simple; soft and easy; supple and easy drinking Pomerol; forward; soft; some dryness on the finish but will work out OK. [80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 10ha]. Tasted blind Grand Cercle 3/4/16. Drink 2019-2025. 85-87

Château Petit-Village, Pomerol

Glossy colour; purple entry at edge; little reticent at first; opens up; sweet black cherry; some Cab freshness; nice and moreish; attractive; nice palate; opens up and some real beauty here; nice sap at end; lacks a bit of acidity but works with very good length. Excellent Petit-Village. [70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.7% alc]. Tasted UGCB 6/4/16. Drink 2020-2030. 91-93+

Château Plince, Pomerol

Mid depth; tight to rim; little wood; some tightness; some red fruits; satin notes; wood on the palate currently; little disjointed; should settle; spices from the Cab Franc; should be good when comes out the other side; some chew at the back; if this settles has the extract to be excellent. [74% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Franc, 8.5ha]. 89-91

Château La Pointe, Pomerol

Deep looking; jam and strawberry lift; round and sexy; clean palate and fresh tones on the palate; texture and fruit on the palate; grip on the finish. Good effort from La Pointe. [84% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Franc, 14.2% alc]. Tasted UGCB 6/4/16. Drink 2020-2030. 90-92

Château Rouget, Pomerol

Mid depth; ripe and jammy aromatics; lifted style; unctuous; creamy palate, red fruits, ripe and plum tones; some chew at the back; attractive and sexy Pomerol. [85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, 17ha]. 89-91+ [Earlier note] Mid depth; ripe strawberry notes; satiny fruit; works; spices and ripeness; caressing quality. Will be early drinking. Chew on the finish. Nice, forward Pomerol. [85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, 17ha]. Tasted blind Grand Cercle 3/4/16. Drink 2019-2026. 88-90+

Château Taillefer, Pomerol

Deep-ish; pretty and some floral perfume; quite enticing; ripe and full; attractive fruit and emphasis on this; quite spicy; needs to fill out a little during elévage but has nice finesse. [85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, 12ha]. Tasted blind Grand Cercle 3/4/16. Drink 2019-2028. 86-88+

Château Trotanoy, Pomerol

Brighter at the edge; tight to rim; little reticent at first; apparent deep; violets, black cherry and ripe plum notes start to emerge; freshness; opens up gradually; powerful palate; sappy fruit; like the plums and the cherry notes; refreshing acids. Length on the back. Lovely balance and vitality. [93% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 7.2ha]. Drink 2020-2040. 95-97+

Château Vieux Maillet, Pomerol

Deep and saturated colour; earth red at edge; fruit cake spice and plum; some liquorice and black chocolate characters; ripe and full; lots of oak on the palate which needs to settle but there is lots of sweet fruit to balance. Should work out well – more middle than say Mayzeres shows at the moment. Drink 2020-2028. 89-91+ [Earlier note]. Mid depth; attractive aromatics; ripe; soft and easy fruit; little chocolate and coffee at the back; fruit comes out later; nice cherry and plum tones; clean; nice palate; perfumed fruit; clean and fresh with nice cherry and plum tones. Good stuff. Nice length. Chew ion the finish. [73% Merlot, 19.5% Cabernet Franc, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8ha]. Tasted blind Grand Cercle 3/4/16. Drink 2020-2028. 90-92+

Château Vray Croix de Gay, Pomerol

Mid depth; earthy purple at edge; sturdy and slightly stalky but some plummy tones here; fractionally reductive; some stalks; some fresh summer fruit compote note with a fresh saline quality. Freshness and grip; lacks bit of generosity at present. 80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 3.7ha]. Tasted blind Grand Cercle 3/4/16. Drink 2019-2025. 85-87

Le Clos de Beau Père, Pomerol

Deep and saturated colour; creamy ripe black fruits; ripe plums; very unctuous on the nose; very attractive but also deep and layered and lush; impressive; oak on the palate but nicely integrated; plenty of lush fruit and well expressed; lots of flesh here; nice mouthful; nice chew and extract; has chocolate and mocha notes on the finish. Plenty of flesh and extract here. Drink 2020-2030. 91-93+

Clos du Clocher, Pomerol

Good depth; purple at edge; deep central colour; inky aromatics with a saline quality; black cherry quality; supple and attractive palate; easy and soft; nicely done. Beautiful fruit. Some mocha and coffee notes at the end. Little chew on the finish. Best Clos du Clocher I’ve had and better than Grand Cercle sample. [81% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Franc]. 89-91+ [Earlier note] Quite bold looking; sturdy; minerality; ripe and quite rich potentially; fine aromatics; quite silky and seductive; sturdy palate; little dry and chewy; feels a little over-extracted in the cellar. Needs to settle but elements there in spades. [70% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc, 6ha]. Tasted blind Grand Cercle 3/4/16. 86-88+

Clos de la Vieille Eglise, Pomerol

Mid depth; purple at edge; some ripe cherry, plum and liquorice notes; lifted and worked but modern; good depth; polished; full palate; some tension here; good depth and texture; one of the best so far; some chew; nicely textured wine. This is good and could be excellent. Nice length too. [70% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc, 1.5ha]. Tasted blind Grand Cercle 3/4/16. Drink 2019-2027. 89-91+

Clos Vieux Taillefer, Pomerol

Deepish; ripe and fat; not that complex but full on the aromatics; little wood/lapsang note; clean with good fruit; some coffee elements; lively palate; easy Pomerol. [100% Merlot, 3.8ha planted]. Tasted blind Grand Cercle 3/4/16. Drink 2019-2025. 87-88+



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