|Sub-district||Pomerol & Lalande de Pomerol|
Ripe with a warmth of ripe fruit and velvet dry feel. Not quite the freshness of its neighbour Beauregard, although this may be because this is quite an oaky sample. tasted again at Pichon Baron, it again showed well. There's quite a lot of Cabernet here and that shows through in the brightness. Rating: 91-92 L&S (Apr 2016)
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Cedary oak adds spices to pristine plums and dark berries. Terrific clarity and allure. The palate delivers a seamless and fluid build of smooth tannins, carrying bright cherries, plums and dark chocolate through to a deeply classy finish. Superb. Drinking range: 2020 - Rating: 96 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com (Feb 2018)
I tasted this twice to make sure I wasn’t underscoring it, given the high praise that some critics were lavishing upon it in en primeur week. It’s a serious, concentrated wine all right, with plush Merlot fruit supported by Cabernet Franc acidity, but the finish is a little extracted. Needs a polish during its elevage. Drinking range: 2022 - 2030 Rating: 91 Tim Atkin MW, www.timatkin.com (May 2016)
A Stéphane Derenoncourt wine. Mainly 55-year-old vines plus a block planted in 2004. First vintage of new winemaker. Sweet fruit-cake nose after dark crimson. Lively with sinews. But not that much charm. Quite dry. But much richer and more complete than previous vintages. Drinking range: 2024 - 2038 Rating: 17 Jancis Robinson OBE MW - www.JancisRobinson.com (Apr 2016)
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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