I hardly dare say it, but this could even be better than his great 2010! Proprietor Alexandre Thienpont descibes the 2010 as a great Pomerol and the 2011 as a great VCC and I couldn’t describe it better. This is an absolute beauty, brilliant purple in colour it has a charm and purity that isn’t matched anywhere else this year. Simply gorgeous with its silky velvety texture, amazing balance and long refned finish. Unquestionably my wine of the vintage!
Made in a big, bold style with 13.6% natural alcohol, it reveals a stunning perfume of graphite, mulberries, black currants, kirsch, licorice and forest floor. This full-bodied, dense Pomerol transcends the overall vintage character. Thienpont compared the style of the 2011 with their 2000, but with more density to its core because of the extremely low yields. Only 60% of the crop made it into this cuvee. It will need 5-8 years of cellaring, and should still be intact and drinking beautifully at age 30. Drink: 2017-2047.
Alexandre Thienpont says happily, 'De retour a Bordeaux' – back to Bordeaux after the last two atypical vintages, clearly delighted with the way Cabernet Franc has performed this year. He has included 28% in 2011 compared with 5-6% in 2009 and 2010. It's a variety that copes quite well with lack of water but not with extreme heat.Rich purple crimson. Camomile (though I am not sure I would have spotted this if Alexandre hadn't mentioned it) plus fine dark fruit and graphite freshness. Closed on the nose but scented on the palate. Very fine tannins. Crunchy. Fresh and long. Great purity and line and length. Absolutely lovely. Drink 2020-2035
This has a dark ganache and loamy profile that belies the vintage's lighter, fresher profile, and the wine cuts a broad swath but stays well-defined, with dense tobacco and fig on the finish. An impressive effort and an early challenger for one of the wines of the vintage. Tasted non-blind.
What a nose. Such beautiful aromas of Cabernet Franc here with licorice and tea and ark fruits. Wet earth too. Full body, with firm and racy tannins and a beautiful finish of chocolate and berries. Intense. Cashmere texture. 29% Cabernet Franc in this with the rest in Merlot with a touch of Cabernet Sauvignon. The Cabernet Franc comes mostly from a parcel from planted in 1958.
The 'grand retour' of Cabernet Franc with 29% in the blend. Less opulence than 2009 and 2010 but this is a wine that really sings. It has a vital, floral, dark fruit nose, a silky texture and tannins. Succulent, fresh and long. A classic VCC. The Right Bank wine of the vintage. Drink 2020-2040. (5 stars).
What is there not to like about this château and its amiable owner, Alexandre Thienpont? Sensitive,reflective and wonderfully humble, he is of the school who believes that wine makes itself. He is just the assistant who helps it along the way. And the wine certainly seems to be spectacular year after year.
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.