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2016 Pomerol

Grapes Merlot
Colour Red
Origin France, Bordeaux
Sub-district Pomerol & Lalande de Pomerol
Village Pomerol
ABV 13.5%

100% Merlot. Fine delicately floral fruit, then the palate is round and warm and Merlot, not quite the juice and precision of the finest, but it's definitely got something. Not that dark and deep in colour, compared to the VCC tasted just before, but supple, fat, easy. Drinking range: 2028 - 2038 Rating: 92-93 L&S (Apr 2017)

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This tiny production cuvée comes the team at La Gay. The 2016 Château La Violette is all Merlot raised in new oak. It’s more reserved and elegant compared to the sexier 2015 and has medium to full-bodied notes of blackberries, violets, smoked earth, and incense. Seamless, nicely concentrated, with good acidity and fine tannins, give bottles 4-5 years in the cellar and it should keep for two decades. As with the Le Gay in 2016, this cuvée leans heavily toward the fresher, more elegant end of the spectrum at the expense of opulence. Nevertheless, it’s a beautiful wine. Drinking range: 2023 - 2043 Rating: 94+ Jeb Dunnuck, 2019)

The 2016 La Violette is pure Merlot picked from 4 to 7 October at just 29 hectoliters per hectare, de-stemmed by hand and matured in 100% new oak. It has a lower alcohol level than Le Gay at 13.5%, because the terroir is cooler. The bouquet is very opulent and showy, plush red cherries intermingling with crème de cassis and blueberry jam, missing the delineation of some of its peers. This is strange because with that lower alcohol level, I was expecting something more terroir-driven. The palate is full-bodied, although certainly not as glossy or as flamboyant as older vintages of La Violette. It is well balanced, overtly modern in style and very polished as always. However, it is missing that complexity and engaging personality that other Pomerols possess on the finish. I probably have a preference for the 2015 La Violette, even though this is a very attractive, if slightly predictable wine. Drinking range: 2022 - 2040 Rating: 91-93 Neal Martin, 2017)

Warm and inviting, delivering plum and blackberry compote notes infused with anise and backed by a smoldering alder hint. Suave, exotic juice. Rating: 93-96 James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator(Apr 2017)

Juicy and fruity red with round tannins and a delicious finish. It’s tight and reserved yet offers so much on the center palate. Gorgeous. Rating: 96-97 James Suckling, 2017)

The attack is big, becoming extremely juicy through the palate. You get the floral side that you hope for with the name, along with black cherry and tight slate. Good persistency, and a great wine. Drinking range: 2027 - 2050 Rating: 94 Jane Anson, Decanter(Apr 2017)

The 2016 La Violette is dense, powerful and authoritative in its expression of the vintage. Chocolate, black fruit, smoke, leather and grilled herbs, along with big tannins, give the wine its decidedly brooding, virile personality. Hints of tobacco, licorice and cedar add aromatic nuance. Rating: 92-95 Antonio Galloni, 2017)

La Violette can be a bit of a blockbuster wine in some vintages, but that’s not the case here. Rich and dense, it most certainly is, with tannins that haven’t quite integrated yet, but this is a smoky, brambly, fleshy Pomerol with considerable potential. Drinking range: 2025 - 2032 Rating: 94 Tim Atkin MW, 2017)

Château La Violette

The wines of Château la Violette should be good but, in truth, have only achieved their potential since the vineyard was bought by Catherine Pere-Verge in 2006. The 1.6 ha vineyard sits atop the Pomerol plateau, next to Château Trotanoy and very near Le Pin. Another plot of vines near to Feytit Clinet that came with the purchase is now used for Château Montveil in order to preserve the absolute quality of Château la Violette. With no chai at la Violette, the wines are made at Château le Gay. It is a tiny vineyard – 1.8ha – and the yields are very small. The vines, many of which are over 60 years old, are 100% Merlot and are planted on clay and gravel soil.

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