It’s not quite Pomerol, but it’ll be great with spring lamb.

by Charles Lea

Few areas of Bordeaux arouse such interest and demand as Pomerol.

Pomerol Sign

Next door is a slightly less well favoured terroir which nevertheless produces wines from Merlot, or Merlot and Cabernet Franc, like Pomerol, and on clay soils, like Pomerol:-

Roadsign-lalande-de-pomerol

We first encountered Vieux Château Gachet when we took the lush and voluptuous 2009 vintage (you may be lucky enough to find the odd bottle or two still kicking around in one of our shops).  The 2010 which turned out to be yet another top-notch Bordeaux vintage albeit with a little more classic balance.

2010-VIEUX-CHATEAU-GACHET-Lalande-de-Pomerol-Lea-Sandeman

70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, harvested by hand, and aged in oak for 12 months (20% new).  The Vieux Château Gachet 2010 is a deep dark colour, still velvet purple at the edges; the nose is rich with cherry aromas and the soft sweetness of oak; the palate is plump and filling, dark fruits and cherry, hints of sweet spice, there are still some plump tannins but these are balanced beautifully by the fruit.  Drinking well now, it will age interestingly for another 5+ years.

All this Right Bank wonderfulness is yours for just £18.95 a bottle (£16.95 by the dozen – as always, this is also the price per bottle if included in a mixed dozen of your choosing.)

We also have the rather more solidly structured 2009 CHÂTEAU PERRON Lalande de Pomerol which we have followed for a dozen vintages and which is a long-term favourite – this is £17.95 per single bottle, £15.95 at the ‘case’ price.

Pomerol is very small and so with high demand, the prices are also high (think, Pétrus, le Pin, VCC etc.). It really is a sleepy backwater, tucked in next to the much larger Saint Emilion. It would take about twenty minutes to walk from one side to the other – so, whilst saturated with vineyard, Pomerol’s output is very small.

Bordeaux-Lalande-de-Pomerol-Hachette

(Courtesy of Guide Hachette)

Lalande-de-Pomerol – is a slightly larger vineyard area to the north of Pomerol itself and is an obvious place to look for Pomerol alternatives.  The wines follow a similar formula to Pomerol proper with reliance on Merlot for immediate plump plummy fruit.  Tread with care, however, with the magic word Pomerol on the label, wines can be a little more expensive than they ought, with quality that doesn’t always match the price ticket.  Fortunately you have LEA & SANDEMAN to tread carefully on your behalf and find wines that tick all the Pomerol-esque boxes and from some of these you’ll still get change from a £20 note.

Of course, when talking claret, we should add that the excellent LEA & SANDEMAN Bordeaux 2009 and it’s seductive premium version LEA & SANDEMAN Bordeaux 2009 ‘The Director’s Cut’, both come from a vineyard in the ‘palus‘, on the banks of the Dordogne composed of clays washed downriver from Pomerol, over a calcareous bedrock which forms the main soil of Fronsac.

If it really must be Pomerol, try Château Toulifaut 2009 Pomerol (£23.95) Château l’Enclos 2008 Pomerol (£29.95), and, throwing all caution to the winds, Vieux Château Certan 2007 Pomerol (£92.95)

All these wines are available at your local LEA & SANDEMAN or for delivery to London postcodes in time for the weekend place your order on-line up until Midnight tonight.

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