This wine is a showstopper. Marielle Cazaux continues her success at this estate, which has confirmed its reputation as a star of the Right Bank with a string of excellent recent vintages. This blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc has a heightened aromatic drama, with hints of eucalyptus, mint and bursting red berries. Gentle extraction has yielded sinuous tannins and graceful length. Its perfumed elegance sets it apart from its peers. Standing ovation.
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. 2022 - 2045
The 2017 La Conseillante displays a deep garnet-purple color and simply sings of crushed blueberries, mulberries and ripe plums with suggestions of violets, chocolate box, rose hip tea and a waft of menthol. The palate is medium-bodied with impressive richness at this elegant weight coupled with vivacity and supported by plush, velvety tannins, finishing with great length and energy. This is an arrestingly beautiful expression of this vintage!
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.
The 2017 La Conseillante is a wine of total finesse and class. Bright, floral and beautifully lifted, the 2017 is exceptionally polished and nuanced from start to finish. Despite its mid-weight, gracious personality, the 2017 has real staying power. 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%. As for the wine, well, the 2017 was magnificent on each of the three occasions I tasted it.
Organically certified from this vintage. Winemaker Marielle Cazaux was elated about her 2017. The temperatures dropped to -2C and so they rented a helicopter (which hovered at a height of 30m) and this took the temperatures back up to 0C. On the Cheval Blanc side, the temperature dropped to -3.5C and they lost 15% of fruit which was destined for Duo. A very early vintage, with veraison happening at the end of July. They started picking on 5th September and so Marielle had to cut her holiday short! They stopped for rain and then finished everything on 29th September. The Cabernet Franc berries were very small, very spicy and of great quality. Pure, complex and totally refreshing, this is a stunningly energetic La Conseillante with lovely definition and class. This is all about length rather than depth and while it is forward and clear, it will hold well on account of the stunning acidity. This is a completely different wine to the 2015 and 2016 and it is very worthy of its place in this fabulous trio of vintages.
Many experts consider this an atypical wine, often more reminiscent of grand cru red Burgundy than a heavy weight Pomerol. Its exceptional terroir places it on the Pomerol/St. Emilion border surrounded by Cheval Blanc, Vieux Château Certan, L'Evangile and Pétrus.
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.