Smoky bacon aromas on the nose, and a densely fruited palate set this wine apart. It is structured, almost stridently so. The tannins have a masculine frame, but they are amply filled by ripe fresh dark fruit flavours. Very promising.
The 2015 Petit Village is a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, the first wine to be made by Diana Garcia-Berrouet (the daughter-in-law of Jean-Claude for those that recognize the appended name). It has a straightforward black cherry and iodine-scented bouquet that needs to muster a little more complexity given the terroir. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, perhaps more filigree than previous vintages. Given the precocity on the Right Bank, I would have liked more depth on the finish, though it is well balanced with ample freshness on the finish. It is a Pomerol estate that just needs to find its "groove."
A Stéphane Derenoncourt wine. Mainly 55-year-old vines plus a block planted in 2004. First vintage of new winemaker. Sweet fruit-cake nose after dark crimson. Lively with sinews. But not that much charm. Quite dry. But much richer and more complete than previous vintages. Drink 2024-2038
Shows wonderful balance and finesse with salt, mineral and dark fruit. Hints of walnut too. Full body, ultra-fine tannins and a bright finish. Wow. Best ever.
The 2015 Petit-Village is the first vintage made under the stewardship of new technical director Diana Berrouet-Garcia. An explosive Pomerol, the 2015 possesses remarkable intensity, texture and overall depth. Dark cherry jam, smoke, licorice, crushed rocks and espresso are some of the many notes that grace this exceptional Pomerol. I can't remember tasting a Petit-Village this good. The interplay of Merlot fruit and more aromatic, savory Cabernet Franc/Sauvignon-inflected notes is simply compelling. The blend is 71% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 9% Cabernet Sauvignon.
A new winemaker and added refinement this year. Fragrant and floral with rounded tannins enrobed by ripe, zesty fruit. Has length and harmony; very complete.
(71 Merlot, 20 Cabernet Franc, 9 Cabernet Sauvignon) | 60% new oak. | 14.5% alc. This vintage includes a small parcel from the new plantings at this Château but otherwise everything else used is from the oldest vines. With this amount of the Cabernets in the wine it tethers the very ripe Merlot to the ground and also prevents the whole flavour from getting out of control. The tannins also help to balance the exotic fruit and the wine is very exciting and flamboyant. The only criticism is the slight oiliness on the palate which comes from the Merlot, but this will fade in time.
I tasted this twice to make sure I wasn’t underscoring it, given the high praise that some critics were lavishing upon it in en primeur week. It’s a serious, concentrated wine all right, with plush Merlot fruit supported by Cabernet Franc acidity, but the finish is a little extracted. Needs a polish during its elevage. Drink: 2022-30
Château Petit Village is reminiscent of a thoroughbred horse. Not only does it have excellent pedigree finely bordering Vieux Château Certan, Certan de May and La Conseillante, but it has been finely groomed by skillful hands over the years - first by Bruno Prats, the dynamic former owner of Cos d'Estournel, followed by AXA Millésimes with Jean-Michel Cazes (of Lynch Bages) and then with the ever-so efficient Christian Seely who remains at the helm today.
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.