The estate of Clos L’Eglise in Pomerol is run by Hélène Garcin Lévêque, and her family have been the custodians of this estate since they acquired it in 1997, writes John Willis. The property, which dates back to the 18th Century, used to be 14 hectares, double the size it is today. The missing half went to form part of Château L’Eglise Clinet in 1954. The size of Clos L’Eglise is small (even by Pomerol standards) with only 5.9 ha under vine at present. Tasting the vintages from 1997-2016 was a fantastic insight into the overall philosophy of this estate and shows the general improvement of the wines across the period. A genuine sense of place, of terroir, comes across in the wines of this ambitious Pomerol, something to which many properties aspire but sometimes fail to achieve.
Posts Tagged ‘Clos l’Eglise’
Whilst the incredible Indian summer undoubtedly turned around the fortunes of the 2014 vintage, the growing season in Pomerol was not without its challenges. Stormy showers punctuated much of June, July and August and, in terms of overall rainfall throughout the year, it was one of the wettest since in a decade. Despite the rain, the sunny and generally dry conditions that characterised September and October, were sufficient to successfully ripen the Merlot and were particularly beneficial to Cabernet Franc, which looks to have succeeded very well 2014. As always success depended on terroir and diligence. There is great vibrancy in the best wines, which show genuine style and verve, but in a few cases there also appears some dilution.
Pomerol has made a really serious fist of 2012. There is plenty of creamy, fat Merlot on offer and with diligent vineyard work and a steady nerve it was possible to harvest ripe and flavoursome Cabernet Franc. There is wonderful freshness and vibrancy to the best wines, and generally much more flesh on offer than in 2011. There is also impressive structure too. Some estates are comparing the vintage with 2001 in terms of balance. At Vieux Chateau Certan they talked about 1985 while Christian Moueix has even been comparing it with 1971. What’s in the glass is delicious in my opinion and there is considerable depth on offer too.
Overall Pomerol has produced some very vibrant wines in 2011 despite a tricky growing season. Maybe the clay soils that the region is famous for helped guard against the early drought and heat spikes. September rain too undoubtedly affected some and rot would have been a concern. There is variability here, however, particularly among the less well known estates. Some display under ripe characters, others have over extracted, some, it seems, are green and extracted. It’s the usual 2011 story then, here ,as elsewhere. Making the best wines needed laborious work in the vineyard, the grapes required strict selection at harvest and the resultant wines suited a gentle hand in the cellar.