The firm of Borie-Manoux has become deadly serious about the quality of its top wines. There is no better evidence of this than in the splendidly rich, highly extracted, immensely impressive 1989 Domaine de l'Eglise. Black/ruby in color, with fabulous, highly extracted flavors suggestive of prunes and black plums, gobs of soft tannin as well as alcohol, yet decent acidity for the vintage, this rich, broad-shouldered Pomerol is the most massive wine I have yet tasted from the Domaine de l'Eglise. It is very soft and therefore, should be appealing young. Anticipated maturity: Drink 1996-2017.
The 1989 Château L'Eglise-Clinet continues to shine at 27 years of age and this was certainly a better example than several that I have tasted in the last two or three years. It has a very complex nose, this bottle one of the most backward that I have encountered: red berry fruit, black truffle, crushed violets and sage aromas, a hint of warm tar emerging with time. The palate is extremely well balanced, still quite youthful and structured—a Pomerol that you have to learn to love (although trust me, it is worth the effort). This example suggests that it still has many years ahead, such is its substance and length. This was always a brilliant wine from Denis Durantou, a Pomerol that wears its heart on its sleeve. Long may it shine. Tasted January 2016. Drink: 2016 - 2035
The small sub-region of Pomerol is situated north-east of the industrious city of Libourne. Pomerol's soils are predominately iron-rich clay with a smattering of gravel that produce wines with extraordinary power and depth. As a result of this clay-dominance, it has the highest percentage of Merlot planted in all of Bordeaux. Certain châteaux are produced exclusively from this grape, but most incorporate smaller quantities of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc as well. Despite its hefty (if not exclusive) proportion of Merlot, many people think of wines from this region as separate entities. As one wine aficionado stated recently, "It's not Merlot. It's Pomerol." Despite the region's small size, Pomerol contains some of the world's most sought after (and expensive) wines including Pétrus, Le Pin, Lafleur, l'Evangile and Vieux Château Certan. Unlike other Bordelais subregions, there is no system of classification. The châteaux are traded on reputation alone.