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Bordeaux 2017: Pomerol

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

I missed out tasting many of the big guns in Pomerol in 2017. The sixteen that I did taste at the Grand Cercle and elsewhere felt fresh, elegant and mid-weight. Overall they were not as plump and enticing as the wines produced in the excellent 2015 and 2016 vintages in Pomerol. They were evidently handled well in the cellar nevertheless. Generally the wines seemed unforced and balanced. My picks? Château Beauregard, Château Feytit-Clinet, Château La Clémence, Château Mazeyres, Château Maillet, Château Le Moulin, Château Nénin, Château Vray Croix de Gay and Le Clos du Beau-Père particularly impressed among the relatively limited number I tasted. Evidently Merlot suffered from the frost in particular in Pomerol. The Cabernet Franc appears to have come to the rescue, resulting in the finesse and elegance found in many of the samples. I hope to taste more Pomerols on forthcoming trips to the region.

The following wines were tasted at the Grand Cercle event at Château de la Dauphine in Fronsac as well as at Jean-Luc Thunevin, Hubert de Boüard Consulting, Château Léoville-Las-Cases and Château Smith Haut-Lafitte.

Château Beauregard, Pomerol, 2017

Attractive; earthy purple at edge; lovely creamy Cabernet Franc; lifted; perfumed; quite fine; nice entry; fine with the Cabernet Franc really singing nicely; less width than here than usual; elegance; lacks the dimensions but has finesse. Will doubtless fill out. Beauregard winemaking has been managed by Smith Haut Lafitte for the last few years. [60% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc]. Tasted Smith Haut-Lafitte April 2018. Drink 2022-2028. 89-91+

Château Bourgneuf, Pomerol, 2017

Mid depth; deepish core; attractive perfume and violet notes on the nose; some stalky plum fruit too; briary, fresh fruit; some cherry and plum; quite vivid; more fruit driven; no blockbuster but works; soft elegant finish. Tasted Grand Cercle April 2018. Drink 2022-2027. 87-89

Château Feytit-Clinet, Pomerol, 2017

Opaque at core; tight to edge; earthy looking; appetising Bordeaux notes; ripe plums and some satin notes; leafy edge but v Bordeaux; like this; some perfume too; little earthy note later; nice entry; layered; cool and nicely done; again this has balance; some texture but a certain modestly but also complete; works well. Has more flesh than above; good length. Tasted Grand Cercle April 2018. Drink 2022-2028. 90-91+

Château La Clémence, Pomerol, 2017

Dark; tight to rim; lush and intense; dark cherry and ripe plum notes; sweet but also a savoury edge; has texture on the palate; nice fruit and well integrated oak; again quite modest but it works. Has more depth than the last and better length. Tasted Grand Cercle April 2018. Drink 2022-2028. 88-90

Château La Commanderie, Pomerol, 2017

Healthy looking; some menthol; spices and jam notes; quite vivid and lifted; Cabernet Franc influence here; fresh entry; lacks middle; little austere; more patchy in Pomerol than Fronsac evidently…this lacks middle and feels fairly light overall. Might fill out. Not amongst the best here. Tasted Grand Cercle April 2018. Drink 2022-2026. 84-86?

Château La Croix Couilfant, Pomerol, 2017

Mid depth; less concentrated than many; very Bordeaux; not forced; some spices; violet perfume; red strawberry fruits emerge; sweet entry on the palate; full and lush but not over saturated; easy and soft style of Pomerol. Has reasonable length. Tasted de Boüard Consulting April 2018. Drink 2022-2027. 88-89

Château Lécuyer, Pomerol, 2017

Mid depth; some toasty oak; some red fruits; quite soft and open on the palate; no great depth; easy; red fruits; little spice; lacks middle; soft. Tasted Grand Cercle April 2018. Drink 2022-2027. 87-88.

Château Le Moulin, Pomerol, 2017

Mid depth; darker core; open and attractive; nice satin notes; red fruits; attractive; some unctuosity; full and sweet; attractive and quite sexy with some spicy notes from the oak; nice round mouthful; not especially deep but easy; this will be medium bodied and enjoyable Pomerol. Tasted Grand Cercle April 2018. 87-89+ [Later note] Mid depth; earthy purple; dark at core; very red fruit; strawberry jam; attractive and seductive; nicely lifted; unctuous; good texture; lacks a bit of middle; some undergrowth; goodish effort. Some oak to meld. Tasted at Jean-Luc Thunevin April 2018. Drink 2022-2030. 89-91

Château Maillet, Pomerol, 2017

Deeper looking; opaque at centre; full; dark plum and black cherry with some nice pain grillé notes; works; plenty of ‘jolie’ fruit; some schisty notes [might be the oak]; full entry; quite ripe and round; soft and easy; nice chew at the back; soft bit with life and freshness. Quite energetic. Tasted de Boüard Consulting April 2018. Drink 2022-2028. 88-90+

Château Mazeyres, Pomerol, 2017

Mid depth; purple edge; similar; with red fruit; some savoury notes too; little spice and herbal notes; quite pure; nice clarity on the palate; pure; Cabernet Franc influence; some cherry too; very smooth; not weighty; quite modest but well judged; has nice finish which is enjoyable. Works. Easy. Drinkable. Tasted Grand Cercle April 2018. Drink between 2022-2028. 88-90

Château Nénin, Pomerol, 2017

Deep dark colour; nice vibrancy; deep core; deep to edge; impressive; lots of fruit; very expressive; jam backed; plums, spices; black fruits but has vitality; nice entry; more measured entry to the palate; some spices and plums; little more modest on the palate than nose suggests; round and supple however; some spicy notes on the finish. [58% Merlot, 42% Cabernet Franc]. Tasted at Léoville-Las-Cases April 2018. Drink 2023-2030. 90-92

Château Taillefer, Pomerol, 2017

Deep in colour; vibrant at edge; chalk and mineral notes; sturdy; dark cherry and plum; some plain chocolate; nice entry; quite pure; feels quite Cabernet Franc influenced; polished; has harmony; nicely done; elegant and compact but good. Tasted Grand Cercle April 2018. Drink 2023-2028. 88-90

Château Vieux Maillet, Pomerol, 2017

Vibrant edge deep at centre; little more solid; resin; inky note; melange a bit; fruit a little subdued; lacks clarity; little empty on the middle; not so good….lacks flavour really.. Tasted Grand Cercle April 2018. Drink 2022-2025. 84-86

Château Vray Croix de Gay, Pomerol, 2017

Deep and glossy looking; vibrant edge; very attractive black cherry and plum aromatics [like this]; nice entry; good texture; like the freshness; balanced and good; vivid flavours. Works for me. Lovely Pomerol. Tasted at Jean-Luc Thunevin April 2018. Drink 2022-2030. 91-93+

Clos de la Vieille Eglise, Pomerol, 2017

Mid depth; perfumed; cherry notes; certain sweetness; sweet entry; quite light and delicate; has oak influence but soft; perhaps lacks a bit in the middle but has nice harmony, easy finish. Works again. Some length. Tasted Grand Cercle April 2018. Drink 2023-2028. 87-89.

Le Clos du Beau-Père, Pomerol, 2017

Very deep and inky looking; ripe and packed with fruit; real core of concentrated fruit; nicely integrated oak; will be big; violet lift; some liquorice notes; oak a little dominant on the palate but will come good; has plenty of matter and extract; lots of chew but also some freshness too which gives tension. Oaky finish. Tasted at Jean-Luc Thunevin April 2018. Drink 2022-2030. 90-92+

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