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Bordeaux 2016: Pomerol

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux


2016 completes an exciting trilogy of vintages here in Pomerol. It is the quality of the Cabernet Franc that shines through in many of the wines, though excellent conditions during the flowering period also benefitted the predominant Merlot, insuring good fruit set and homogeneity. Clay soils also afforded protection against the summer drought. Overall Pomerol 2016s display wonderful fruit tones with succulent tannins and goodish acidity. A truncated trip here meant I had no chance to review the wines of JP Moueix or look at the UGCB wines in detail. The following notes on eighteen wines cover the line up shown principally at the Grand Cercle as well as Pomerols made by Jean-Luc Thunevin and those amongst the consultancy wines of Hubert de Boüard de Laforest.

Amongst those I tasted I was particularly impressed with the wines at Château BeauregardChâteau Feytit-Clinet, Château La Commanderie [really good here]; Château La Pointe [knockout, pictured above], Château Taillefer, Château Vieux Maillet, Clos du Clocher, Clos Vieux Taillefer and Le Clos du Beau-Père [excellent]. Good value should be found at Château Bourgneuf, Château La Clémence and Château Mazeyres. Château Maillet needs to integrate further but has plenty of extract and depth of fruit to soak it up. The popular Château Vray Croix de Gay has plenty of bouncy fruit and is appealing.

Here are the notes usual words more important than the numbers…

Château Beau Soleil, Pomerol, 2016

Mid depth; red purple; earthy black cherry and dark chocolate notes; saline touch; earthy and inky; lacks some of the vibrancy of the best; but has texture and depth; has sinew, flesh and chew. [4ha, 95% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc]. Drink 2021-2028. 88-90+

Château Beauregard, Pomerol, 2016

Deep colour; earthy purple at edge; attractive fruit; plums; undergrowth; chocolate; similar flavours on the palate; full of fruit; ample body. Ripe and round Pomerol. [Organic production 75% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc]. Tasted 4/4/17 at Smith Haut Lafitte. Drink 2022-2030. 91-93

Château Bellegrave, Pomerol, 2016

Mid depth; healthy looking; black cherry and plum tones; nice; little simple sour cherry on the palate; easy; soft; has some acidity though. Simple stuff if nice juice. Main gain weight during elévage. [8.5ha, 75% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc]. Drink 2019-2028. 87-89

Château Bonalgue, Pomerol, 2016

Deeper; more opaque; colour tighter to the rim; nice depth; vibrant cherry and plum fruit; some summer compote notes; little ‘hard’ note; quite concentrated and chewy on the palate; extracted style; extracted and rather furry tannins; fruit returns on the finish so will come back together – just a bit disjointed now. Some oak on the finish to integrate but has the fruit. [9.5ha, 95% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc]. Drink 2021-2028. 88-90

Château Bourgneuf, Pomerol, 2016

Mid depth; bubblegum and black cherry; some spicy plum notes; sweeter; has depth and attraction; like a serious cru Morgon; nice sweet ripe fruit; attractive; has violet lift and bright cherry/plum fruit. Good stuff. Nicely handled in the cellar. Should be excellent. [9ha, 90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc]. Drink 2021-2030. 91-93+

Château Feytit-Clinet, Pomerol, 2016

Mid depth; deep at core; attractive primary plum fruits with violet lift; emphasis on the fruit; good; some earth and Cab Franc influence; attractive; good stuff; good palate; fine and pure; violet fruits with some Cab influence. Works well. Like this. Has nice texture and length. [6ha, 90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc]. Drink 2021-2030. 92-94+

Château La Clémence, Pomerol, 2016

Mid depth; earthy red at edge; fresh; some violet and bubblegum; cherry too; black fruits; quite nice entry on the palate; polished and quite ‘formal’ – mannered and elegant. Well balanced. Pretty good effort. [3ha, 85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc]. Drink 2021-2030. 90-91+

Château La Commanderie, Pomerol, 2016

Deep and arterial looking; black at centre; deep and attractive; full; nicely composed on the nose; layers of fruit; clearly oak influenced; worked; nice entry; composed; well done; like this; worked but still have the pure plum notes [with violet highlights]; nice depth and good palate; one of the best Pomerols at the Grand Cercle event; very attractive. Good stuff! Depth and some stuffing. [5ha, 83% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Franc]. Drink 2021-2030. 92-94

Château La Pointe, Pomerol 2016

Mid depth; earthy edge; certain elegance; some Cabernet Franc influence; layered on the nose; has some style; attractive purity too; pure palate; like this a lot; pure Merlot and lovely Cab Franc here; lends sophistication and polish to the Merlot; nice texture and elegance but also layers; I like this style very much. Great balanced too. Freshness. Very nicely done. Some mocha on the finish. Length. Best La Pointe of recent years? Drink 2020-2030. 93-95. 

Château Lécuyer, Pomerol, 2016

Deep and arterial; opaque at centre; ripe and glossy; lacks a little life perhaps; some fig; bit late picked; strawberry and raisin notes; jam too; easy; forward; nice now; low acid and late picked style; how will this develop in barrel? So nice to drink now! Attractive – in that unctuous way with some oak. [3.4ha, 90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc]. Drink 2019-2028. 89-91+

Château Maillet, Pomerol, 2016

Deeper and more concentrated looking; pain grillé notes and spicy plum; very enticing; little liquorice; lovely layers; pretty deep; full; sexy and plump Pomerol; perhaps a little forced in the mid palate; not a consistent narrative; rather dry and over extracted finish. Lots of fruit and wood tannin. Needs to settle but clearly plenty of matter and oomph. [1.5 ha, 95% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc]. Drink 2022-2032. 91-93+

Château Mazeyres, Pomerol, 2016

Mid depth; little loose at the rim; again bubblegum fruit; bright cherry; some spice; little reductive note; has depth; later in the glass fresh and bright; lighter tones; emphasis on the bouncy fruit; quite sweet and sappy; lacks a bit of depth but gluggable Pomerol. [25ha, 73% Merlot, 24% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot]. Drink 2020-2028. 88-90

Château Taillefer, Pomerol, 2016  

Mid depth; not so tight to the core; bright; fresh; black cherry; summer fruit compote; attractive; emphasis on the fruit; salty note; some mineral; attractive entry; violets; plums and salty notes; nicely attractive and moreish. Nice texture. Well done. Balanced. [12ha, 85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc]. Drink 2021-2030. 91-93+

Château Vieux Maillet, Pomerol, 2016

Mid depth; come intensity; black cherry and some mocha notes; vinous; bright entry; nice cherry; has depth and volume; goodish; works well; emphasis on the fruit; has a lot of extract and matter; but nicely done. [8ha, 73% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Franc, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon]. 2021-2030. 91-93+

Château Vray Croix de Gay, Pomerol, 2016

Mid depth; dark at centre; tight to edge; bubble gum and forward; bouncy cherry notes; sweet and sour; quite jam packed with fruit; fresh palate; nice style; grippy on the finish. Definitely had life and bounce. [3.7ha, 80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc]. Drink 2021-2028. 90-91

Clos de la Vielle Eglise, Pomerol, 2016

Mid depth; fruity; bubblegum and bright cherry fruit; really strong cherry definition; good entry; lots of fruit; while extracted; the level of extract rises in the mouth but dips sufficiently for it not too feel too overdone…works well. [1.5ha, 70% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc]. Drink 2021-2028. 89-91+

Clos du Clocher, Pomerol, 2016

Deepish; attractive violets and black cherry aromas; nice freshness and life; attractive and deep; nice entry; serious; depth; quite layered; has a certain tightness; will work well; nice coffee elements on the finish. Quite complete. Good narrative in the wine. [6ha, 70% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc]. Drink 2021-2030. 91-93+

Clos Vieux Taillefer, Pomerol, 2016

Deep; dark at core; has depth; violets and ripe merlot tones on the nose; some spices and violets; little woody/nutty note; goodish depth and density; quite nicely done; extract; nice fruit on the palate; this could be very good; bit of a sleeper. [3.8ha, 100% Merlot]. Drink 2021-2028. 90-92+

Le Clos du Beau-Père, Pomerol, 2016

Very deep and concentrated; pours like treacle; beautiful purity; lovely plummy Pomerol; vivid; nice depth; solidity to the wine; sweet and ripe; plenty of matter; freshness too; nicely done extraction; density here and with extract; quite big. Drink 2022-2030. 92-94

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