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CHÂTEAU PETIT VILLAGE

2015 Pomerol

Colour Red
Origin France, Bordeaux
Sub-district Pomerol & Lalande de Pomerol
Village 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 MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com(Apr 2016)

A new winemaker and added refinement this year. Fragrant and floral with rounded tannins enrobed by ripe, zesty fruit. Has length and harmony; very complete. Drinking range: 2023 - 2037 Rating: 92 James Lawther MW, decanter.com(Apr 2016)

This is 71% Merlot, freshened up with 20% Cabernet Franc and 9% Cabernet Sauvignon. The Merlot was picked on four days scattered between September 18th and the 25th, Cabernet Franc on October 1st, Cabernet Sauvignon on October 7th. Christian Seely was glad for the 29% Cabernet in this vintage, and is currently directing the planting of a further 1.4 hectares. The alcohol is 14.7%. The élevage will be in 60% new oak, 40% one-year old oak. I get roasted black plum and black cherry on the nose here, intertwined vanilla and black fruits. A pretty, fresh, rather voluptuous palate, filled with creamed black plum, polished and rich. Ripe tannins, firm and ripe and direct, good freshness here, with some violet lift and purity. There is some real ripe tannic grip at the end. An impressive wine, culminating in a long, perfumed grip. Rating: 17-18/20 Chris Kissack, www.thewinedoctor.com(Apr 2016)

The 2015 Petit Village is a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, the first wine to be made by Diana Garcia-Berrouet (the daughter-in-law of Jean-Claude for those that recognize the appended name). It has a straightforward black cherry and iodine-scented bouquet that needs to muster a little more complexity given the terroir. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, perhaps more filigree than previous vintages. Given the precocity on the Right Bank, I would have liked more depth on the finish, though it is well balanced with ample freshness on the finish. It is a Pomerol estate that just needs to find its "groove." Drinking range: 2020 - 2035 Rating: 90-92 Neal Martin, www.robertparker.com(Apr 2016)

The 2015 Petit-Village is the first vintage made under the stewardship of new technical director Diana Berrouet-Garcia. An explosive Pomerol, the 2015 possesses remarkable intensity, texture and overall depth. Dark cherry jam, smoke, licorice, crushed rocks and espresso are some of the many notes that grace this exceptional Pomerol. I can't remember tasting a Petit-Village this good. The interplay of Merlot fruit and more aromatic, savory Cabernet Franc/Sauvignon-inflected notes is simply compelling. The blend is 71% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 9% Cabernet Sauvignon. Rating: 93-96 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com(Apr 2016)

Offers a juicy feel, with lots of singed anise and fruitcake notes out in front of the dark plum and blackberry fruit. Delivers ample spice through the finish. Flirts with the exotic side, but there’s focus and cut here. Rating: 91—94 James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator(Apr 2016)

Shows wonderful balance and finesse with salt, mineral and dark fruit. Hints of walnut too. Full body, ultra-fine tannins and a bright finish. Wow. Best ever. Rating: 95-96 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com(Mar 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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