As we started our tasting at Evangile, our Chairman broke the news of Margaret Thatcher's death. As such it will probably always be remembered as the wine we were drinking when the Iron Lady died, although she may well have passed away while we were enjoying lunch with Pierre Lurton at Cheval Blanc, we will just never know. The news came as quite a shock to us all so apologies to Evangile if we didn't give the 2012 our full undivided attention. This estate has been on top form in recent years. Domaines Barons de Rothschild's investment and savoir faire has produced some spectacular wines. Fragrant, pretty, floral bouquet, good mulberry fruit and raspberry liqueur fruit on the palate, svelte, fresh, vibrant, with some pencil shaving notes on the finish. It's all very harmonious with perfect pitch and balance. Our second team (tasting on the w/c the 15th of April) rated this as one of the top performing wines from the illustrious Pomerol plateau. Produced from 93% Merlot and 7% Cabernet Franc harvested between the 20th of September and the 9th of October.
Evangile’s origins can be traced back to the 18th century when the estate was known as Fazilleau. It wasn’t until the turn of the 19th century that Monsieur Isambert purchased the domaine and renamed it Evangile. In 1862, Paul Caperon took ownership of the estate and it remained in his family until 1990 when Domaine Baron Rothschild bought a sizable stake. However, Simon Ducasse, the last of Paul Caperon’s descendants to manage Evangile, retained some shares and continued at the helm until 1999. Now the estate is under Domaine Baron Rothschild control and the current manager Mon. Jean Pascal Vazart has been responsible for some major renovations and improvements in wine making.
Evangile’s 14.8 hectares posses an exceptional terroir. Lying between Cheval Blanc and Petrus on an iron rich subsoil called cap de fer, the vineyards are planted with 78% Merlot and 22% Cabernet Franc. The average age of vines is approximately 30 years. Much of the vineyard was replanted by Simone’s father Louis after the devastating spring frosts of 1956.
The innovations and capital investment in the past decade has elevated Evangile to its rightful position as one of the superstars of the Pomerol commune and an estate to keep a close eye on in the future.
Fermentation takes place in concrete tanks with liberal pumping-over. The Grand Vin will spend 18 months in Barriques (70% new). The second label, Blason de l`Evangile is a similar blend, 80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc (although the 2008 was 100% Merlot!), but ages in 2 year old barriques for 15 months.
Pomerol’s Merlot-dominated wines at their best are rich, seductive and silky. For hundreds of years Pomerol was considered as nothing but a satellite district of neighbouring St-Émilion to the east, and it was not really until not until the 1950s that Pomerol started its meteoric rise led by Château Petrus. By far the most dominant merchants in the region are Jean-Pierre Moueix who own or distribute the majority of the finest properties in Pomerol, the most renowned being Petrus.
Pomerol's finest wines originate from the highest parts of the plateau, which is predominantly gravel and clay, with an iron rich subsoil called crasse de fer.
Apparently as important in fashioning wines that are plump, voluptuous, and richly Merlot dominates plantings dramatically, though the notable exception is Vieux Château Certan, nearly half of their estate is devoted Cabernet Franc. Pomerol has no no official classification, but its small scale wines fetch some of the greatest prices for wine in the world. The regions greatest names are Pétrus, Lafleur, Certan de May, Hosanna, La Fleur de Gay, L'Église-Clinet, Le Pin, La Conseillante, Trotanoy, , L'Évangile, Latour-à-Pomerol, and Vieux-Ch-Certan