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.
This is so floral and pure, showing crushed-grape character with some walnut and crunchy seeds. It’s full-bodied, juicy and fresh. Purity of fruit. Juicy and long. 88% merlot and 12% cabernet franc.
(98-99) points, JamesSuckling.com (May 2021)
Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2020 L'Evangile rolls effortlessly out of the glass with notions of mulberries, black raspberries and stewed red and black plums, plus suggestions of Indian spices, dusty soil and violets with a touch of iron ore. The medium to full-bodied palate possesses compelling freshness and a fine-grained texture to support the muscular black and red fruits, finishing long and earthy.
(96-98)+ points, Wine Advocate (May 2021)
The sculpting of L'Evangile that began over the past few vintages continues, and the 2020 is a gorgeous wine. Pristine fruit, silky with a whoosh of menthol. It elevates over the palate, both dense and light, with blueberry and raspberry fruits, and pulses of bitter almond and honeysuckle on the finish that gives focus and spice. Juliette Couderc joined L'Evangile (from DBR Lafite's Long Dai winery) in September 2020 so for the harvest of this wine, working alongside technical director Olivier Tregoat. 50% first wine, with no Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend this year because it was so over-concentrated that it made too much impact. Increased selective harvesting meant going through vineyard plots six times to bring in the grapes as they ripened. A yield of 32hl/ha. In the final year of organic conversion, so this next vintage 2021 will be certified. Drinking Window 2028 - 2050
98 points, Decanter (May 2021)
88% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample.
Dense and reserved but with a lift of chocolate and berry fruit as it opens. Generous fruit on the palate, the aromatic complexity more pronounced. Burgundian, berry-fruit nuance. Firmly muscular and tannic behind, the tannins solid but well honed. Slightly grippy finish which could be the oak needing to settle.
17+ points, James Lawther, JancisRobinson.com (April 2021)
The 2020 L'Évangile is fabulous. Aromatic, deep and fleshy, with magnificent purity of fruit, L'Évangile dazzles right out of the gate. Bright Franc aromatics add striking lift as well as vibrancy that carries through to the long, delineated finish. There is an energy to the 2020 that is palpable. Harvest for the Merlot began on September 3, ahead of a heat wave that was forecast, and wrapped up on the 14th for the Merlot and the 21st for the Franc. That approach worked so well here. In the past, L'Évangile and Lafite-Rothschild were very different stylistically, but that seems to be changing now that Saskia de Rothschild is spending a great deal of her time in Pomerol with the new winemaking team. The estate, certified biodynamic as of 2021, has been pursuing a more refined approach for a few years, but 2020 is the first recent vintage where the personality of the year seems to have aligned especially well with the current thinking here. The 2020 L'Évangile is easily the most Lafite-like L'Évangile I have ever tasted. Don't miss it!
(95-97) points, Vinous (June 2021)
The 2020 L’Evangile marks the opening of a chapter with a new winemaking team in place. Perhaps now it will begin challenging the Pomerol elite, which it ought to, given its terroir. The nose augurs a different L’Evangile, no question about that. Gone is the wall of new oak that occasionally shrouded the fruit and terroir expression; the oak is still there, but far more assimilated into the attractive brambly red berry fruit, black currant pastilles and light rose petal scents. The palate is smooth on the entry, so much so that it belies the depth of this wine. Complex and quite cerebral, delivering palpable salinity, particularly toward the finish. Veins of black truffle and white pepper come through with aeration over the course of an hour, and with revisits at three-hour intervals. I think there is a little work to do, but what this L’Evangile conveys is newfound personality and soul and a sense of Pomerol typicité. A new chapter opens.
(94-96) points, Vinous (May 2021)
Described as a new age for l’Evangile by the estate, their 2020 Château L'Evangile showed beautifully, with the pure, elegant yet still ripe, beautifully concentrated style of the estate these days. Rocking levels of crème de cassis, black cherries, blueberries, graphite, and violets all emerge from the glass, and it's medium to full-bodied, with a terrific sense of purity, present, ripe yet firm tannins, and a great finish. It's a promising, elegant yet at the same time powerful 2020 that's going to benefit from 4-5 years of bottle age and keep for 20-25 years or more. The blend is 88% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc, all raised in 60% new French oak.
(95-97)+ points, JebDunnuck.com (May 2021)
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.