The words value and Pomerol rarely go hand in hand, but a happy marriage is found in this gem from the northernmost part of the appellation. Plump and juicy, the 2015 Château Rouget is bursting with black cherry and plum. The Merlot led blend (80%) is aged in one third new oak that lends attractive aromas of liquorice, mocha and sweet spices.
The 2015 Rouget is the blend of five parcels around the Pomerol plateau and I took time to taste each of them when I visited Edouard Labruyère. A blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc aged in one-third new oak, it has quite a punchy, high-toned bouquet with licorice-tinged red fruit that opens nicely in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe tannin, rounded in the mouth with moderate acidity, the Cabernet Franc very articulate. I like the cohesion here, svelte in the mouth with black fruit and allspice fanning out on the structured, sandalwood finish. This is a well-crafted Rouget that deserves wider consumer appreciation. I would not be surprised if this Rouget ends up at the top of my banded score. Drink: 2019 - 2035
The 2015 Rouget is outstanding. Plump, juicy and forward, the 2015 possesses terrific depth to match its flamboyant personality. Black cherry, plum, mocha, dark spice and licorice abound in this forward Pomerol. The style is unquestionably ripe and modern, but very nicely judged. Consulting winemaker Michel Rolland has done a fine job here.
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.