Château La Conseillante, Pomerol
The vineyard benefits from a unique clay-dominated terroir and is planted to 80% Merlot which brings roundness, fullness and sweetness. The remaining 20% (in Graves) is planted to Cabernet Franc which brings structure and freshness to the blend.
From vine to winery, La Conseillante uses organic practices, or lutte raisonnée, controlled yields, strict sorting and replanting to optimise the opulence and elegance of the finished wine.
The Nicolas family bought the domain in 1871. The Château is managed by the fifth generation of the Nicolas family. Bertrand Nicolas and Jean-Valmy Nicolas are co-managers of La Conseillante. Marielle Cazaux is the Director.
The 2012 La Conseillante exhibits a dark ruby/purple color as well as a beautiful, up-front, projected fragrance that includes mulberry and raspberry jam, licorice, lavender and underbrush. Rich and medium-bodied, this attractive effort possesses the estate’s hallmark elegance, finesse and sweet, velvety tannins. It should be approachable in its youth and last for 15+ years. Robert Parker, 92-94 points.
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.