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2012 Pomerol

Colour Red
Origin France, Bordeaux
Sub-district Pomerol & Lalande de Pomerol
Village Pomerol
ABV 13%

I tasted two samples of Petit Village just over a week apart. The first had a relatively light, earthy bouquet that needed to show a little more expression and exuberance, whilst the second addressed that problem and put it right. The palate is medium-bodied with clean, fresh red fruit with touches of cedar and undergrowth. It develops an introspective, conservative finish that needs to show more...excitement. One hopes that is exhibits more panache after bottling. Rating: 88-90 Neal Martin, (May 2013)

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Following a strong 2010, the 2012 Petit Village is impressive. Pure, ripe tapenade-tinged black currant and black cherry fruit aromas intermixed with hints of licorice and incense jump from the glass of this medium-bodied, velvety-textured, fleshy, succulent Pomerol. A note of spicy oak is well-integrated. Drink this 2012 over the next 12-15 years. 2013 - 2028 Rating: 90-92 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, (Apr 2013)

Is this the best modern vintage of Petit Village? It’s certainly a step up from 2011. Winemaker Jean-René Matignon says the quality of the Merlot was exceptional this year and it shows in the wine: sweet, sumptuous and ripe with hints of coffee and spice and a backbone of acidity and freshness from the Cabernet. Drink: 2020-35 Rating: 94 Tim Atkin MW, (Apr 2013)

Replanted rootstocks and vines half the vineyard. 100% Merlot from Petit Village planted 2004/5. Glowing with health. Very sweet start and lots of glossy, spicy fruit. Very vibrant. 2018 - 2028. Rating: 16.5 Jancis Robinson OBE MW - (Apr 2013)

Château Petit Village

Up on the Pomerol plateau, just east of Catusseau, on ideal gravel and clay soil is Château Petit Village. A habitually complicated but unremarkable history comes to life with its purchase, in 1919 by the Ginestet family. This brought Petit Village into common ownership with Château Cos’d’Estournel and, later, Château Margaux. Despite its illustrious stable-mates, the Ginestet family’s tenure coincided with difficult times for Bordeaux estates, culminating in the disastrous frost of 1956 which wiped out vineyards across the region. In a move that seems bizarre in hindsight, much of Petit Village was replanted with Cabernet Sauvignon which made up an untypical greater portion of the vineyards until the 1970’s. Bruno Prats took control in 1971, having married into the family, and immediately set about replacing most of the Cabernet Sauvignon with Merlot and modernising the winery, but sold Petit Village in 1989 in order to concentrate his efforts on Cos d’Estournel. The new owners of Château Petit Village were AXA Millésimes, who own it to this day, along with Château Pichon Longueville Baron in Pauillac and Château Suduiraut in Sauternes as well as operations in Hungary and Portugal. AXA’s stewardship has seen Jean Michel Cazes (of Lynch Bages fame) and latterly Christian Seely overseeing considerable improvements at Petit Village. One of the more noticeable improvements has been the building of a starkly modern extension to the winery. The 10.5ha of vineyards sit in a single triangular block wedged between Conseillante, Vieux Château Certan, Certan de May and Beauregard. Le Pin sits near enough to be counted as a neighbour. There are 75% Merlot and 18% Cabernet Franc, with the residual 7% Cabernet Sauvignon being among the highest proportions in Pomerol. The average age of the vines in 35 years old, although one plot of Merlot remains that was planted 1947.

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