Château La Conseillante winemaker, Marielle Cazaux, with Michel Thibault.
Château L’ÉvangileChâteau La Conseillante
Down the street from Le Pin, and closer to the Saint-Émilion appellation is the wonderful La Conseillante (See my interview with winemaker Marielle Cazaux). The bottle’s purple capsule was chosen to remind us of the color of the wine and of its violet aromas. The winery is one of the oldest in Pomerol, prized for its balanced and harmonious style.
Owned by the Lafite Rothschild group, L’Évangile’s neighbors are Pétrus and Cheval Blanc. They all share the gravelly soil that makes the properties on the southeastern side of the plateau so very special. Since and including 2005, L’Évangile has experienced a string of high quality vintages, highlighted by the 100-pt vintage of 2009.
Owned by the Moueix family, of Pétrus fame, Trotanoy is said to be produced in the same style as Pétrus. Its previous name, “Trop Ennuie” denoted that it was very difficult to cultivate the land on that spot!
Château Latour à Pomerol
Another of the original Pomerols of early fame. The winery used to belong to the same owner as Pétrus and is now owned by a charitable organization and run by the Moueix of Pétrus. The vineyards are located throughout the appellation but some of their best are postioned next to the church. Interestingly, Latour à Pomerol made some of the most beautiful wines of the past century (1947, 1959 and the prized 1961 vintage, often thought of as one of the top-ten best wines ever made) but quality seemed to be lacking in recent years until a comeback with the 2009 vintage (90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc).
Châteaux Le Gay & La Violette
The Péré-Vergé Family purchased Le Gay along with the incredibly tiny Château la Violette (4 acres located in Catusseau, and whose management has been assisted by Michel Rolland.) The aim at both properties is to produce a slow, soft extraction to bring out all the quality elements of the wine. La Violette was purchased in 2006 and its ratings are now through the roof.
Across the street from Le Gay is one of the most stellar properties in all of Bordeaux, Château Lafleur. Once part of the same estate as Le Gay, it is now completely in the hands of the Guinaudeau Family who work their jewel in the ways a Burgundy producer is thought of doing. There is very little wine made there (It is said that only 8 barrels were produced in 1991!) and out of that, there is a second wine made (Les Pensées de Lafleur) and even bulk wine is sold off as the owners only want top quality. Quality is there, the wine often costs more than $1,000 per bottle. But all the critics, Parker included, think of it as one of the world’s finest.
Château La Fleur-Pétrus
In the same neighborhood as Lafleur and Pétrus stands Château La Fleur-Pétrus, one of the properties purchased by Moueix in 1953, to which some of the Le Gay plots were added and which was all replanted after the 1956 frost. La Fleur-Pétrus soil is of gravel over clay, producing wines of legendary finesse. The 2009 La Fleur-Pétrus is considered “a tour de force” – truly an amazing Pomerol.
Château Croix de Gay
Owned by the family of Dr. Alain Raynaud, the famous oenologist and consultant to many producers both in Bordeaux and in the USA, including Colgin Cellars. Dr. Raynaud also owns a Château in Saint-Émilion, Château du Parc, where he produces a riper, more tannic style of wine that will remind you of a great US Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend.