2017 Pomerol


85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc. 70% new oak. Frost claimed two hectares from a total of 12. A very precise and promising wine. High pitched plummy nose. The Cabernet Franc is distinguishable on the palate and adds a lovely green bell pepper streak through the core of the wine. The oak adds some weight but the wine is not fat or round, more fresh and structured. A real pleasure to taste. Rating: 94 L&S (Apr 2018)

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The 2017 La Conseillante is a regal wine. Lithe and statuesque in the glass, La Conseillante soars with real vertical intensity. Sweet floral aromatics and silky tannins give the 2017 much of its understated, classy personality. Inky dark blue/purplish fruit, spice, licorice and lavender develop with a bit of time, but it is the wine's balance and extreme sense of harmony that stand out most. Technical Director Marielle Cazaux gave the fruit about 2 days on the skins, with no SO2 at crush. Cazaux added that the malos were quite fast. The blend is 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc. Frost reduced production by around 15%, while drought further reduced yields in the Franc by a further 10%. This is a fabulous showing. Drinking range: 2025 - 2042 Rating: 96 Antonio Galloni, (Mar 2020)

The 2017 La Conseillante contains a little less Cabernet Franc than usual because four or five rows were damaged by frost. It has a classic Pomerol bouquet with touches of truffle and incense infusing the broody black fruit that take a few minutes to unwind in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, well balanced with a subtle sprinkling of white pepper and fennel. The Cabernet Franc, despite its diminished contribution, is quite expressive towards the balsamic-tinged finish that shows plenty of energy and decent persistence. It is less powerful than the 2016 at this stage but it is clearly a very well crafted, almost sensual Pomerol by winemaker Marielle Cazaux. Tasted twice with consistent notes, this may well settle at the top of my banded score once in bottle. Drinking range: 2022 - 2045 Rating: 93-95 Neal Martin, (May 2018)

Harvest began with the Merlots on gravel at La Conseillante, on 5 September. The temperature dropped, and they had 30mm of rain on the 9th, so they stopped and restarted in mid-September, not picking the Cabernet Franc until 29 September. With 15% lost to frost (just 1.5ha entirely lost), the final yield was 34hl/ha, with no second generation fruit in the wine. I had the chance to taste through the individual components of this wine as well as the blend, and then retasted it the following week. It's an excellent take on the vintage, the austerity coming through on the attack before it opens to a wonderfully smoky mid-palate with loganberry and blackberry fruit, showing real fullness and volume. This has texture, structure and good aromatics, with a great sense of energy and persistency. The plot affected by the frost was a Duo parcel, so they will make a small amount of second wine but not as much as usual, and the overall production will be 85% grand vin. In organic conversion. 70% new oak. 3.6pH. Drinking range: 2025 - 2040 Rating: 94 Jane Anson, Decanter (Apr 2018)

One of the sure bets in the vintage is the 2017 La Conseillante, which sports a vibrant ruby color and a deep, concentrated, beautifully layered personality. Black cherries, currants, violets, Asian spice, and truffle all flow to a full-bodied 2017 that has terrific depth of fruit, ripe, sweet tannin, and a great finish. It's an undeniable success in the vintage, if not the wine of the vintage in Pomerol. The blend in 2017 is 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, from tiny yields of 34 hectoliters per hectare, aged in 70% new oak. Tasted twice. Rating: 94-96 Jeb Dunnuck, (Apr 2018)

Tight and precise with focused tannins and a lovely texture to this young wine. Medium to full body. Compressed and serious. Some salty and dark fruit at the end. Rating: 94-95 James Suckling, (Apr 2018)

The harvest here ran from September 8th until the 22nd for the Merlot, while the Cabernet Franc was picked on one day, September 29th. A little second-generation fruit was also picked at this stage, although none of this has gone into the grand vin (at the time of my tasting, it had not been decided if it might be used for the second wine). The yield was 34 hl/ha, a pretty good figure bearing in mind 10% of the harvest was lost to the frost, and Marielle Cazaux estimates the volume was reduced a further 5% by the summer drought. Of what was picked, 85% has gone into the grand vin. The alcohol here is 13.67%, the pH 3.65 and the total acidity is 3.6 g/l. The sample was drawn from ten different barrels, seven new and three older, and a mix of coopers. It starts proceedings with a very darkly perfumed nose, quite plush, with black cherry and black plum fruits. The palate is very tense though, very pure, very focused, with a lovely dark expression of fruit, all black olive, black plum and damson, underlined by a very fine seam of tannins, which give great tension and poise. The grip and structure here seems perfectly balanced, wrapped up in a very savoury and fresh middle. A very impressive wine, with a poised composition. This estate has moved up a notch in the last few years, and this wine is typical of that new level of quality; it is a wine of great intensity, but with focus rather than fat. It has delicious potential, dark, savoury, with fine tannins. Brilliant wine. The 茅levage will be in 70% new oak (which explains the selection of barrels for this sample). Rating: 96-98 Chris Kissack, (Apr 2018)

Ch芒teau la Conseillante鈥檚 origins lay in an estate called Domaine de Mautretat that was broken up in the early years of the 18th Century with reverend gentleman called M. L茅glise purchasing the part that became Ch芒teau l鈥橢vangile whilst Catherine Conseillan took the other. In 1871 Ch芒teau la Conseillante was bought by the Nicolas family who own it to this day. With only the addition of a small plot of vines in 2014, the estate has remained the same ever since. The 12ha of vineyard are planted with 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. The vineyards border Petrus to the north, and one can gaze across l鈥橢vangile and see the vines of Ch芒teau Cheval Blanc. Indeed, a small part of la Conseillante鈥檚 vineyard strays across into St Emilion, but is included in the main Pomerol cuv茅e. Ch芒teau la Conseillante is a well-executed balancing act marrying tradition with modernity, something exemplified by the new cellar that opened in 2012.