CHATEAU L'EVANGILE, Pomerol
Chateau L’Evangile, one of Pomerol’s finest estates, was purchased by Domaines de Rothschild, owners of Chateau Lafite, in 1999. New cellars were built in time for the 2005 vintage and an extensive replanting program was completed in 2018. Vineyard area totals 22 hectares, 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, farmed organically since 2007 and certified in 2015. At harvest the grapes from each plot are kept separate, enabling selection of only the best parcels for the Grand Vin.
Vinification takes place in 20, temperature-controlled cement vats ranging in size from 35 to 81 hectolitres. Chateau L’Evangile is aged in an average of 70% new, French oak barrels for around 18 months. Between 2000 and 3000 cases of the Grand Vin are made each year. There is a second wine, Blason de L’Evangile. L’Evangile is a full-bodied, rich, elegant, powerful, opulent, long-lived Pomerol style.
Stunning aromas of blackberries, black olives, brown sugar and dried flowers. Tar. Full-bodied, dense and layered. Superfine tannins, yet this is muscular and long. An amazing wine reminiscent of the great L’Evangiles of the 1950s. Straight track. Goes on and on. Truly great wine. Try in 2024. Just a baby.
100 points, JamesSuckling.com
What a wine here. It is so traditional and powerful with super depth of fruit and chewy tannins. Full body, incredible concentration and length. It’s so muscular and powerful. So minerally and nutty (walnuts). Marvelous.
99-100 points, JamesSuckling.com
The 2015 L'Evangile is a blend of 84% Merlot and 16% Cabernet Franc picked between September 15 and October 5, and September 29 to October 5 respectively. Matured almost in 100% new oak, it has a very pure and charming bouquet, the Merlot dominant and slightly shrouding the Cabernet Franc at the moment. It is worth staying with this Pomerol, because it does change after four to five minutes in the glass, revealing touches of truffle and iodine. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, well-judged acidity, understated on the entry but gaining momentum in the glass, retaining a wonderful sense of symmetry and finishing with precision and class. This could well be the pick of the wines from the Domaines Barons Rothschild stable in 2015 and kudos to winemaker Jean-Pascal Vazart.
96-98 points, Wine Advocate (April 2016)
"The 2015 L'Evangile is composed of 84% Merlot and 16% Cabernet Franc and was matured for 18 months in new oak barrels from Tonnellerie des Domaines (their own cooperage). Deep garnet-purple in color, it absolutely leaps from the glass with complex, gregarious notes of blackberry pie, plum preserves, smoked meats/charcuterie, mocha and licorice plus suggestions of cloves, black soil and unsmoked cigars. Full-bodied, rich, opulent and jaw-droppingly sexy, it has beautifully plush yet firm tannins with a lively backbone and a very long, spicy finish." 97+ points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown (February 2018)
"Aromatic nose with sweet plums, dark fruits and lovely sweetness. Even young, the wine is forward, enveloping with caressing tannins. The finish is very long. The fruit and sweetness is powerful with 14.8% alcohol, one of the highest over the past 10 years. It was a small quantity - 33hl/ha. 84% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc." 93 points, Jeannie Cho Lee (May 2016)
The 2015 L'Évangile is a powerhouse. Rich, deep and ample, the 2015 shows the richer, more potent side of the year. Black cherry, plum, new leather and spice build as this extroverted Pomerol shows off its flamboyant personality. There is not a whole lot of subtlety here. It will be interesting to see if more nuance develops over time. For now, the 2015 is dense and vibrant, that much is obvious. I would give the 2015 at least a few years in bottle to shed some baby fat.
95+ points, Vinous (February 2018)
One of the highlights of the year, the 2015 L'Évangile is deep, powerful and intense, with remarkable concentration and plenty of power. Dark fruit, exotic spice and new leather are all pushed forward. A dramatic, towering wine, the 2015 is endowed with real density, big, but creamy tannins and exceptional balance, especially for a wine of its size. The blend is 84% Merlot and 16% Cabernet Franc, brought in between September 15 and October 5, and September 29 and October 6 respectively. Seventy percent of the production went into the Grand Vin, which is aging in 100% new oak. The 2015 is a powerhouse that will need considerable bottle age to be at its best.
96-98 points, Wine Advocate (April 2016)
"Densely tannic, this wine displays considerable power and concentration. With 84% Merlot it exhibits jammy, rich black-plum and blackberry fruit and powerful tannins. This is an enormous wine, still very firm. Drink from 2026." 95 points, Wine Enthusiast (April 2018)
"Dark and dense, with a brooding personality, offering a mix of warm tobacco, espresso, dark earth, well-steeped black currant and fig fruit flavors. Finishes with a broad loamy swath of fruit and tobacco, showing a strong echo of mocha and tar. This packs some serious punch. Best from 2024 through 2040." 95 points, Wine Spectator (March 2018)
Extremely dark crimson. Floral, opulent nose. Something quite masculine and leathery - animal? - on the nose. Lots of intensity and sweetness. Almost chocolatey! Tannins not quite integrated yet, but they are quite sandpapery. A little bit of heat on the end. A wine that takes you to the limit of sweetness.
17.5 points, JancisRobinson.com (April 2016)
In the running for the most opulent, sensationally textured, massive wine in the vintage is the 2015 L'Evangile and if tasting this beauty doesn’t make your heart rate increase, I don’t know what will. Made from 84% Merlot and 16% Cabernet Franc brought up in plenty of new oak, its ruby/plum color is followed by an awesome bouquet of blackberry jam, smoked meats, licorice, truffle, and hints of chocolate. Thick, opulent, super ripe, and decadent, with a full-bodied mouthfeel that needs to be tasted to be believed, it still stays balanced and fresh on the palate and is already impossible to resist. It’s going to keep for 3+ decades. This is one of those wines I wish every reader could taste!
99 points, Jeb Dunnuck (November 2017)
Dark and dense, with a brooding personality, offering a mix of warm tobacco, espresso, dark earth, well-steeped black currant and fig fruit flavors. Finishes with a broad loamy swath of fruit and tobacco, showing a strong echo of mocha and tar. This packs some serious punch.
95 points, Wine Spectator (March 2018)
Pomerol, on the Right Bank of Bordeaux’s Gironde River, produces some of the world’s most sought-after wines, including those from such storied properties as Chateau Petrus. Yet Pomerol, the smallest of the fine-wine-producing districts of Bordeaux, offers no Grand Cru or Premier Cru wines: It’s the most significant Bordeaux appellation not included in any quality ranking. At the time of the historic 1855 Classification of Bordeaux, Right Bank chateaux were considered remote and difficult to travel to, and so were ignored by the merchants who created the classification. (St. Émilion, a notable neighbour on the Right Bank, created its own classification system in 1954.)
Pomerol has managed to do quite well without this form of validation. Pomerol’s predominantly clay soil is ideally suited for Merlot, the primary grape used in the appellation. Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon are also included in Pomerol’s blended red wines. The wines of Pomerol are lush and rich, and generally not as tannic as the Cabernet-based wines of Bordeaux’s Left Bank. Although Pomerol’s very best wines are capable of aging for decades, most are made for immediate consumption. These Merlot-based wines are known for their lush texture, elegance and grace, as well as the softer tannins they offer in comparison to the Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines made elsewhere in Bordeaux.