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2015 Pomerol Château Beauregard

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

First tasting: very supple on the palate, a smoky personality to the ripe black fruit, a slightly savoury middle, texture thickening towards the finish. This seems to have a bit more body than it usually does, but the elegance is retained. One to look at closely if the price is right. At the UGC Pomerol tasting this got the remark 'Hooray, it's wine' in my notes, after a series of things more like paint. Sophisticated and real, spiced fruit nose, a gentle richness, and more weight than usual for Beauregard. Lot's of things paying off at once here - this estate has always been well-run by the charming Vincent Priou, and the vineyard has been extensively restructured, including increasing the planting density from six to nine thousand vines per hectare. More recently, the bank that owned it has sold to a consortium - mostly the owner of Galeries Lafayette but also including the Cathiards of Smith Haut Lafitte. This has resulted in more new investment including a magnificent new cuverie with almost egg-shaped concrete vats. Recommended. Rating: 92-93 L&S (Apr 2016)

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Impressive and deep-set plums, cherries and violets, not to mention licorice and lightly spicy oak-derived accents, meet with mocha on the nose. The palate has a really impressive core of fleshy, bright red-plum and blueberry flavors all wrapped in supple tannins that have freshness and effortless depth. Drinking range: 2022 - Rating: 95 James Suckling, 2018)

The change of ownership in 2015 - enter Florence and Daniel Cathiard - has given this property a shot in the arm. It’s a grassy, leafy, Cabernet Franc-influenced Pomerol with scented oak, bright acidity and a voluptuous mid palate. Drinking range: 2020 - 2028 Rating: 93 Tim Atkin MW, 2016)

Dark lustrous crimson. Bought by Smith Haut Lafitte and Galeries Lafayette family. Debut vintage. Floral nose. Polished. Dry finish but lots of attention clearly went into this wine! There's an Edinburg rock quality. Drinking range: 2023 - 2033 Rating: 16.5+ Jancis Robinson MW OBE - 2016)

The estate has moved up a gear with this vintage and with new ownership. Bright fruit with lift and fragrance. Purity and precision on the palate; opulence as well. Refined tannins. Drinking range: 2021 - 2032 Rating: 91 James Lawther MW, 2016)

This domaine changed hands recently, in July 2014, having been acquired by the Moulin-Houzé and the Cathiard families. The management of the domaine remains entrusted to Vincent Priou, but no doubt there will be a new imperative to improve things here. The organically-managed vineyard is planted to 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc, and the harvest took place between September 17th and October 2nd. The assemblage for 2015 was 75% oft he first variety, 25% of the latter, the sorting of which included optical technology. The yield was 31 hl/ha. The fruit on the nose here is dark, spicy, peppery, with notes of liquorice and grilled almonds. It feels rather relaxed on the palate, open, with some spicy fruit, more grilled almond and lightly roasted fruit. It has a light-to-medium body and a textured, soft, chalky tannin backbone. Overall, this is a soft, spicy-peppery wine, polished, gentle and relaxed. It has a little freshness on its side, a fact reflected by the alcohol which is just 13.8%. Rating: 15.5-16.5/20 Chris Kissack, 2016)

The 2015 Beauregard has undergone a complete overhaul since its purchase by the Moulin family of Gallarie Lafayette, of which the Cathiards at Smith Haut Lafitte are shareholders. Chancing upon Daniel Cathiard at the UGC tasting held in Beauregard's new vat-room, he told me how stressful it was, seeing the Italian-made, concrete vats being lowered by crane just a few days before the harvest. Their shape, not unlike an English cooling tower, is certainly an arresting sight. But Daniel's high blood pressure was not in vain, since this wine has one of the best bouquets that I have encountered from this Pomerol estate. The 30% Cabernet Franc imparts wild heather and fennel aromas intermixed with the pure black fruit that are entrancing. The palate is medium-bodied with a sweet opening, very smooth and sensual for Beauregard, perhaps needing a little more tension and backbone on the finish. There is satisfying body and depth, though I think the investment will really pay off in a future vintage rather than 2015. Drinking range: 2019 - 2035 Rating: 90-92 Neal Martin, 2016)

The 2015 Beauregard shows a more intensely earthy, savory side of Pomerol. Hints of iron, smoke, tobacco and leather are nicely delineated in the glass. Pliant and succulent, the 2015 shows plenty of raciness, while the significant presence of Cabernet Franc (25%) in the blend comes through in the wine's floral, savory aromatic finish. Beauregard is not a huge wine, but it does appear to have considerable latent potential. Needless to say, it will be interesting to see what Daniel and Florence Cathiard, along with the technical team led by Fabien Teitgen, do here over the coming years. Rating: 88-91 Antonio Galloni, 2016)

Engaging, with a juicy core of plum and anise, backed by a bolt of fruitcake. Shows good energy overall. Should be a crowd-pleaser. Rating: 88—91 James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator(Apr 2016)

This is really exotic with bright blackberry, blueberry and chocolate aromas and flavors. Lots of walnuts. Full body, extra soft and silky tannins. Best I have tasted from here. 90% merlot and 10% cabernet franc. Rating: 94-95 James Suckling, 2016)

Château Beauregard

Unusually for Pomerol, Château Beauregard has a rather fine château built in 1795 that they proudly display on the label. Rather than having a fine view – or beau regard – the estate is named after the Beauregard family who owned it in the 17th Century. Since acquisition by Vignobles-Foncier in 1991 the whole estate has been renovated, and all the Cabernet Sauvignon replaced with more suitable Merlot, and Beauregard has been set on an upward trajectory. The recent (2014) sale of the estate to the Moulin-Houzé family offers optimism for further improvement, not least because at the same time a minority share was taken by the Caithard family whose stewardship Château Smith Haut Lafitte has yielded great results. Sitting just east of the village of Catusseau, Beauregard is practically on the border with Saint Emilion and can boast Cheval Blanc as a near neighbour. The 17.5ha of vineyard are planted with 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc with the best vines being nearer the château on the Pomerol plateau and its more typical clay soil. The average age of the vines is around 35 years.

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