Petrus – Le Pin – Conseillante – Lafleur

Graham Tucker | September 10, 2020

The Commune of Pomerol

In some ways, Pomerol is not the prototypical commune – stately, hierarchical Chateaux are non-existent; instead, you’ll find unassuming homes, modest villas and a commonwealth with an unwavering and unwritten commitment to producing the greatest Merlot-based wines in the world - no classification system needed.

Stretching at just under two-and-a-half square miles, hectares under the vine are at a premium. Merlot is the star varietal here – and it has found its exemplary home. Located across the Gironde, the moderating influence from the Atlantic is less pronounced. Summers are hotter and dryer and the clay-heavy soils result in wines with an other-worldly depth, concentration and potency.

At the top, there is no wine that embodies the hedonistic, exotic and lush potential of Merlot more than Chateau Petrus and Le Pin – iconic and highly sought after, they’re distinguished by deep, intense flavors of ripe dark fruit, truffle, herbs, smoke and exotic spices. Their quality is undeniable and deserving of the premium prices.

What I appreciate most, however, is the underlying charm found in a lot of Pomerol’s best wines. Behind the power, you’ll often notice a palpable creamy and velvety texture that make some of the wines approachable and friendly in their youth.

Personal favorites are:

Chateau Conseillante: Some of the best Merlot-dominated wines I have ever tasted. Sensorial and aromatic, the wines are consistently supple, nuanced and refined. And their second wine, the Duo de Conseillante, is among the Right Bank’s best values.

Chateau Lafleur: Among the longest-lived wines in Pomerol. While you wait for the Grand Vin to age another 10+ years, stock up on a couple cases of their second wine, Les Pensees – delicious, gratifyingly elegant and very favorably priced (taste blind against the Grand Vin and see if you can pick the difference!).

Chateau L’Eglise Clinet – an estate with an unmatched pedigree dating back to the 1800s. True to form, the wines are rich, layered and demand time in the bottle. This is an excellent chateau to start with if newer to Pomerol – in the best vintages they can match the intrinsic complexity of Pomerol’s priciest wines.