|Sub-district||Pomerol & Lalande de Pomerol|
The deep ruby/plum/purple-tinged 2011 exhibits sandy, loamy soil, ripe cassis and kirsch scents. Surprisingly flamboyant and opulent for the vintage with good acidity, ripe tannins and a long, layered style, it should drink well for 15+ years. Older readers, who may remember the light, fruity, but pleasant and charming wines Rouget produced 25-30 years ago, will be shocked at how rich, full-throttle and intense current releases have become. Rating: 91-93 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, www.RobertParker.com (May 2012)
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The Rouget 2011 has a ripe mulberry and wild strawberry scented bouquet with fine delineation, with attractive mineral aromas showing through with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with a crisp entry although there is a lot of oak to be subsumed. There is fine fruit intensity here, although there is a touch of dryness on the finish that I hope will disappear by the time of bottling. Rating: 88-90 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (Apr 2012)
Fairly lush and ripe on the nose and palate. Chocolatey oak is apparent and it has a lightly drying finish. Drink 2016-2025. Rating: 15.5 www.decanter.com (Apr 2012)
I like the quality of the tannins here, which are ripe but not overdone. Full and round with chocolate and berry character. Balanced. Rating: 90-91 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com (Apr 2012)
Perhaps a relatively new name in the upper echelons of the Pomerol world, Château Rouget lays claim to origins in the last years of the Roman Empire, it was certainly known for its vineyard as far back as 1700 making it one of the oldest wine estates in Pomerol. Rouget had some fame for its wines in the 19th Century, but when Jean-Pierre Labruyère bought Rouget in 1992 most of the production was being sold off in bulk, and it is the Labruyères who have put Château Rouget on the map. The family are originally Beaujolais producers from Moulin-a-Vent, and now also own Domaine Jacques Prieur in Burgundy. Since 1992, the vineyards have been renovated and replanted as necessary, with all of the Cabernet Sauvignon being taken out. They have purchased new vineyards, taking the size up to 18ha, one of the largest in Pomerol. The winery has been completely renewed. Rouget sits in the north of the Pomerol appellation, just north of the various Eglise châteaux, overlooking the Barbonne stream that separates Pomerol from Néac. The vineyards are planted with 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, with an average age of 28 years. Once a little off the radar, the focus of the Labruyère family on making Château Rouget one of the better wines of Pomerol is paying dividends and the wines are certainly worth seeking out and still remain relatively good value.
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