80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc. Under the precise and assiduous guidance of winemaker Marielle Cazaux, La Conseillante has produced a stellar wine this year. The fruit is held in a cold room for one night before sorting. This helps retain the natural freshness of the fruit flavours, and the characteristic floral notes of violets and peonies. Black fruit flavours soak the palate, highlighted with some liquorice spice and velvety tannins. CP
The 2016 La Conseillante is a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc picked from 22 September to 13 October and 12-17 October at 39.5 hectoliters per hectare. Winemaker Marielle Cazaux told me that there is 13.8% alcohol, nearly one degree less than in 2015, with a pH of 3.65 and it is matured in 70% new oak. This has a succinct bouquet that is stylistically not that far removed from its neighbor Vieux Château Certan: detailed and understated at first with scents of blackberry, wild hedgerow and a touch of pressed flowers. The palate is very well balanced with a fine backbone, but what really marks out this La Conseillante is the salinity that comes through on the second half. It exerts a gentle grip in the mouth, reveals a little spiciness towards the finish whereupon it gently fans out, leaving a touch of black pepper on the saline aftertaste. This is a classic La Conseillante and the best since the majestic 2010. Similar to that vintage, it will require several years in bottle, but it will be well worth the wait. Drink Date 2023 - 2060
Not as aromatic as some of the very top Pomerols. Lovely texture but not as expressive as some. A hint of soapiness. Lots of texture buried under the substance here but needs time for the flavour to develop. Lots to chew on. Drink 2026-2040
This is the greatest Conseillante in modern times. Full body and incredible tannins that are polished and velvety. The texture lasts for minutes. I am speechless. What a young and awe-inspiring wine!
The 2016 La Conseillante is one of the undisputed stars of the vintage. Dark, rich and voluptuous, with no hard edges and exceptional balance, the 2016 has been simply extraordinary on the two occasions I have tasted it so far. Black cherry, plum, chocolate, lavender and spice notes flesh out in the glass, but it is the wine's textural feel and overall balance that stand out most. The 2016 is plush, deep and textured, yet retains the super-classic midweight feel that is such a Conseillante signature.
They only lost 2-3% of their crop in the rainy weather, but they work organically and so everything seemed to perform really well. When the sun came out the vineyard sprang into life. The old vines looked great but some of the younger vines needed to have their grapes chopped off to save the vines. During August the vines shut down and this means that the alcohol level is lower than normal, but the flavours are even more focussed. Beautiful weight and structure coupled with the epic purity and lift on the finish makes this a hedonistic and extraordinary La Conseillante. Extremely well made and packed with finesse and charm, this is a near perfect creation. They employ 100% cold pre-fermentation maceration and also pre-rinse the barrels in order to soften the impact of the new oak and these details have really paid off. They adjusted the Cabernet Franc percentage from 15% to 20% by taking a little from the second wine Duo and this has helped the aromas and also the acidity perfectly. At La Conseillante this was known as the wow blend and it certainly made me say the same word when I tasted it. This is the finest young La Conseillante I have ever had the pleasure of tasting and winemaker Marielle Cazaux and her team should take a bow!
Back on form after a slight dip in quality in 2015, this feels like a more assured, confident wine, with classic La Conseillante perfume, grassy, leafy freshness, fine-grained tannins and lovely elegance and balance. Deceptively forward, it will age very well. 2026-36
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.