It has been a remarkable year at VCC: Aléxandre Thienpont lost 80% of his yield from the weather and his own subsequent declassification, so he will only be producing 800 cases of Grand Vin instead of the usual 4,000. What there is, though, will be sublime. We tasted separate barrels, one of Merlot (planted in 1932) that had a gorgeous clarity of sweet fruit and a stunning, silky texture with fine tannins, and one of Cabernet Franc (planted in 1948), which offered pure blackcurrant on the nose, and was restrained and classic on the palate. No Cabernet Sauvignon at all will be used in the final blend, which will favour Cabernet Franc in an 80/20 ratio. This will be an exquisite treat for those lucky enough to get a case.
Alexandre Thienpont’s magnificent Pomerol estate is capable of producing exquisite wines; and they regularly do. The elegant structure of the Chateau, covered in ancient wisteria is a fitting building for such an estate. It is understated, but beautiful, just like the wine. The 35 hectares under vine are planted with 65% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Franc. The parcels of old vine Cabernet Franc add complexity and structure to the velvety textured Merlots and helps this chateau to excel in challenging vintages.
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