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 2017 La Conseillante is a wine of total finesse and class. Bright, floral and beautifully lifted, the 2017 is exceptionally polished and nuanced from start to finish. Despite its mid-weight, gracious personality, the 2017 has real staying power. Technical Director Marielle Cazaux gave the fruit about 2 days on the skins, with no SO2 at crush. Cazaux added that the malos were quite fast. The blend is 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc. Frost reduced production by around 15%, while drought further reduced yields in the Franc by a further 10%. As for the wine, well, the 2017 was magnificent on each of the three occasions I tasted it."
94-97 points, Antonio Galloni
"The 2017 La Conseillante displays a deep garnet-purple colour and simply sings of crushed blueberries, mulberries and ripe plums with suggestions of violets, chocolate box, rose hip tea and a waft of menthol. The palate is medium-bodied with impressive richness at this elegant weight coupled with vivacity and supported by plush, velvety tannins, finishing with great length and energy. This is an arrestingly beautiful expression of this vintage!"
95-97 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW
"The 2017 La Conseillante contains a little less Cabernet Franc than usual because four or five rows were damaged by frost. It has a classic Pomerol bouquet with touches of truffle and incense infusing the broody black fruit that take a few minutes to unwind in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, well balanced with a subtle sprinkling of white pepper and fennel. The Cabernet Franc, despite its diminished contribution, is quite expressive towards the balsamic-tinged finish that shows plenty of energy and decent persistence. It is less powerful than the 2016 at this stage but it is clearly a very well crafted, almost sensual Pomerol by winemaker Marielle Cazaux. Tasted twice with consistent notes, this may well settle at the top of my banded score once in bottle."
93-95 points, Neal Martin
"Tight and precise with focused tannins and a lovely texture to this young wine. Medium to full body. Compressed and serious. Some salty and dark fruit at the end."
94-95 points, James Suckling
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.