2019 Pomerol is dedicated to Denis Durantou of Chateau L’Eglise-Client who passed away in May, after a long illness. I am honored to say I was friends with Denis for 15 years. He was an interesting man that marched to the beat of his own drummer. Like Frank Sinatra, he did it his way. He made the wines he wanted to.
Prior to Denis taking over the property in 1983, the wines were not well thought of, as the estate was under a lease management agreement. By 1985, Denis began turning things around and just 5 years later, Denis was killing it. With the 2000 vintage. his wine was considered to be at the top of the Pomerol pyramid.
Denis was complicated. I attended lunch or dinners with him on every year. He’d always look at what i had not tasted recently and bring a few bottles to share in his antiquated, metal wine carrier. He stayed with me as a guest in my home for about a week. Of course we shared numerous bottles together. But we spent more time talking about his daughters and art than wine.
More than just Pomerol, Denis was passionate about his vineyards in Lalande Pomerol La Chenade and Les Cruzelles, Cotes de Castillon Montlandrie and Saint Emilion with Saintayme. All those wines are great and they sell for a song!
Denis Durantou is survived by his wife, Marie Reilhac and their daughters Alix Durantou, Noemie Durantou and Constance Durantou. Denis was a true vigneron and wine lover. He will be missed by all.
2019 Pomerol began life with an easy January, February and March. All 3 months were basically average climatically. April was cooler and wetter than usual, which can be good for Pomerol. April’s cool climatic conditions slowed the vegetation cycle.
Fears of frost hit the region in April with icy temperatures for a few nights. Growers lit candles and fought back with the end result being most of the vines survived.
The summer however was warm, sunny and very dry. Though the nights were often cool, allowing acidites to build. As usual, it is the drop in evening temperatures, (up to 15 C difference) that adds the necessary amount of freshness into the wines. July and August continued the summery conditions. Fortunately, two July rain storms, most importantly the later hitting July 26, which helped add much needed moisture to the vines.
September was mostly warm, sunny and dry until the last part of the month, which delivered much needed water to the soils helping the red wine grapes reach maturity. Harvesting of the Merlot began by mid-late September and by early October, almost everyone had finished picking.
2019 Pomerol wines can be incredibly hedonistic, sensuous experiences. The vineyards located on the top of the plateau all produced incredible wine. The big difference with 2019 and other top Pomerol vintages is the level of quality found in the vineyards that retained enough water produced far superieur wines than those without ample moisture.
A bit about the 2019 Pomerol samples and the process of how they were received and tasted. The majority of 2019 Pomerol wines were shipped overnight. Most of the 2019 Bordeaux arrived in 2-3 days’ time. Although a few producers managed to ship true overnight, arriving the next day! Almost every wine was cool to the touch on arrival.
When the wines arrived here, they were quickly placed in a wine cellar overnight to relax and cool to cellar temperatures. The following day, the bottles were opened and poured into glasses roughly 15 minutes prior to tasting. All the wines were tasted in the same size Riedel glasses. Wines were served in flights of 3-4 wines from the same appellation.
The following tasting notes cover 2019 Pomerol wines. As you can see, we were able to taste almost every top wine in the appellation. We only missed out on Petrus, Le Pin and Lafleur. However, knowing those estates I am sure their wines in this vintage are superb. I hope to taste them the next time I am in Bordeaux. We also missed tasting Gazin. All of the following 2019 Pomerol wines were tasted in my home office from mid-May until early June in non-blind conditions.
2019 Beauregard – Kicking off with licorice, plums, espresso and spice box. The wine is soft, medium-bodied, forward and plummy. Give it a few years for the fruit to better integrate. The wine is blend of 70% Merlot with 30% Cabernet Franc. 89-91 Pts
2019 Bel-Air-Pomerol – Plum, licorice, truffle and underbrush aromatics, medium-body and a forward, lean, earthy, dark cherry profile on the palate are what you find here. This is an easy to like Pomerol for early drinking pleasure. 86-88 Pts
2019 Bon Pasteur – Black cherry, chocolate, flowers, wet earth and licorice are all over the place. This wine is about the sexy, supple, seductive textures and the long, opulent, sensuous finish that does not quit. And that’s just fine with me, as I wanted more of that concentrated, plush, non-stop parade of decadent plummy fruits and chocolate that hit all the right spots again and again. The wine blends 80% Merlot with 20% Cabernet Franc. 95-97 Pts
2019 Bonalgue – Floral and plummy, with a fruity character, along with earth, herbs, olives, and a big hit of oak in the medium-bodied finish. Give it a few years in the bottle to gain additional nuances and complexity. 89-91 Pts
2019 Bourgneuf – Medium-bodied, silky, elegant, discreet expression of its ripe plums, cherries, flowers and espresso filled nose and palate. Fresh, earthy and spicy in its lifted red berry finish, give it some time to develop additional complexities in the cellar before pulling the cork. 91-93 Pts
2019 Certan de May – The only way you can find more floral aromatics is by walking into a flower shop! This is one of the most sensuous wines produced by Certan de May. Lush, silky, long and sexy, this is bottled decadence that is made better by its length, complexity and purity. 94-96 Pts
2019 Clinet – Dark garnet in hue, the truffle, tobacco, smoke, licorice, spice, flower, plum and chocolate aromas work here. But it is on the palate where the wine really rocks. Sultry, rich, opulent, full-bodied, deep and ostentatious, this is incredibly sexy. The layers of velvet-textured, perfectly ripe, sweet, fleshy fruit, with its mineral-driven, salty tannins and dark cocoa covered fruit in the finish lingers and expands. The wine is a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon reaching 14.5% alcohol with pH of 3.75. The harvest took place September 18 to September 26. 96-98 Pts
When Zoom is not on the menu, Facetime is the next best thing. I spent quite a bit of time with Ronan Laborde of Clinet discussing the vintage and the wine as well as his new dog Riesling. It is too bad we cannot arrange a playdate with my Labrador, Hercules. It is interesting to note the unique blend this year that was produced with no Cabernet Franc.
2019 Clos 126 Pomerol – Flowery, with sweet cherries and black licorice create the perfume. Medium-bodied, soft and fresh, with a lift to the juicy plums and licorice in the finish 89-91 Pts.
2019 Clos Beauregard – Big, bodacious, rich, ripe Pomerol with loads of dark black fruits, licorice and chocolate cherries. What the wine exchanges for complexity, it gains in concentration and richness. 89-91 Pts
2019 Clos du Clocher – Flowers, black cherry, gun powder and a touch of mint on the nose get your initial attention. But the best part of the wine is on the medium-bodied, soft, silky, elegant, refined and long palate, that carries all the sweet, ripe, fresh, pure cherry and plum notes that end with a shot of chocolate. 91-93 Pts
2019 Clos LEglise – Black and blue fruit, dark, bitter chocolate, flowers, smoke, cherries, plums, wet earth and forest floor aromatics open the perfume. But it is on the palate where the wine really rocks with its layers of concentrated, rich, opulent, sex bomb textured fruits. The finish packs a punch with its chocolate-covered, dark red, silky pit fruits. The wine was made from a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, reaching 14.5% alcohol. 95-97 Pts
Facetime is popular in Pomerol. I was able to chat with Helene Garcin about all 4 of her wines. I like what is taking place with Clos LEglise these days. The wine is much fresher and more pure since they reduced the amount of new oak during the aging period.
2019 Clos-de-la-Vieille-Eglise – Bright, fresh and fruity with a citrus, plum and cherry core of fruits, soft textures and a plummy finish. 88-90 Pts
2019 Domaine-de-LEglise – The color is so dark it tells you that you’re not in Kansas anymore. Flowers, licorice, truffle, spice, wet earth, smoke and plum liqueur aromatics get noticed easily. In the mouth, this rockstar wine coats your palate with fruit that does not quit. Opulence bordering on decadence in texture, the fruit feels like polished velvet. Rich and nuanced, concentrated and fresh, the fruit, earth and bitter chocolate endnote sticks with you for over 50 seconds. Produced from a blend of 97% Merlot and 3%, this is so good, I want some for my cellar. This is the finest wine ever produced here in the history of the estate and should age effortlessly for 3 decades. 96-98 Pts
2019 Enclos Tourmaline – Richly-colored, the wine shoots out from the glass with floral, licorice, smoke, black raspberries, cherry and plum. There is freshness, elegance, refinement and most importantly, purity in the fruits. That sense of purity resonates in the long, opulent, finish that borders on decadence. Produced from 100% Merlot and reaching 14.5% alcohol.The wine is aging in 100% new, French oak. This will be quite difficult to find as about 260 cases are produced in this vintage. 96-98 Pts
2019 Fayat – Medium-bodied, soft, forward and fruity with an open personality and a plummy, chocolate coated, black cherry essence. This is already so easy to drink that you can enjoy it for all of its polished fruity character in its youth, or age it for more complexity. 90-92 Pts
2019 Feytit-Clinet – This hits you right where it counts with all the truffle, dark chocolate and earthy plums, Good levels of concentration, richness, and velvety tannins make all the dark cocoa, black cherry, plum and truffle that much better. The finish really sticks with you too, coaxing you back for another sip. The wine blends 92% Merlot with 8% Cabernet Franc, reaching 14.8% alcohol with a pH of 3.8. This is a contender for the finest vintage of Feytit Clinet ever produced. Great job, Jeremy. 95-97 Pts
It is hard to find a better in value in Pomerol than Feytit Clinet. 2019 could be the best vintage ever produced at the estate!
2019 Gouprie – Earthy, herbal and fresh, the wine is medium-bodied with a sweet and tart, bright, crisp, red berry finish. 87-89 Pts
2019 Guillot Clauzel – Dark in color, with truffle, dark cherry, forest leaf, herbs, flowers, plum and espresso notes create the nose. The palate is where this beauty shines with its rich, concentrated, sexy, sensuous textures and alternating layers of chocolate, black cherry, plum and licorice. The lift here is energizing and the finish really carries on and on. This is only the second vintage for Chateau Guillot Clauzel with Guillaume Thienpont at the helm. 93-95 Pts
2019 Haut-Maillet – Medium-bodied, elegant, forward, early-drinking Pomerol with a bright red berry and green olive finish. 85-87 Pts
2019 Hosanna – Black cherry, boysenberry and blueberry fruits are all over the place. You also find truffle, smoke, licorice and chocolate to add to the fun. On the palate the wine is deep, opulent, rich, full and concentrated, with layers of silky, sensuous, chocolate covered, supple textured fruits that go on and on in the finish. 96-98 Pts
2019 La Cabanne – Silky, sexy and earthy, with velvet tannins, medium-body and that ocean of ripe, luscious, fresh plum essence with chocolate that you find in Pomerol. Give it 6-8 years before popping a cork and enjoy it over the next 10-15 years after that. Since 2015 La Cabanne has been getting better and better. 91-93 Pts
2019 La Clemence – Forward, medium-bodied, round, straight-ahead plummy, fruity Pomerol that can be enjoyed early in its evolution. 88-90 Pts
2019 La Commanderie – Juicy, fruity, soft and silky, the ripe red plums come with a citrus and cocoa accent. Medium-bodied and forward, the wine is fresh, spicy and comes with a touch of cocoa on top of the red plums. 88-90 Pts
2019 La Conseillante – Lilacs and violets permeate the air before finding bitter chocolate, forest leaf, truffle, black raspberry, plum liqueur and black cherry juice. This wine is drenched in enough velvet to be classified as heart stopping! In fact, when tasting this with Marielle Cazaux, the director, over Zoom, I accidentally blurted out, “Holy F..K!” Yes, this is that good. This is pure bottled decadence that hits all your pleasure buttons. If you are seeking a deal closer, this Dionysian wine is the right choice! This is in serious contention for one of the wines of the vintage. The wine is a blend of 84% Merlot and 16% Cabernet Franc, reaching 14.5% alcohol with 3.67 pH and is aging in 70% new French oak barrels, although 3% of the harvest is aging in amphora. The harvest took place September 17-20 for Merlot and September 30-October 10 for the Cabernet Franc. 98-100 Pts
Clearly my Zoom session with Marielle Cazaux was more than she bargained for. With my first taste the wine, I might have lost any sense of decorum I hopefully possessed because the first two words out my mouth were “Holy F7*K!” The wine is that good. La Conseillante has been on a roll since they brought in Marielle and even with the incredible string of successes they have notched in 2015, 2016 and 2018, 2019 could be the best of the quartet. Let’s see what happens as it ages in barrel.
2019 la Creation – Truffle and plum is always the perfect combination when it comes from Pomerol. Round, lush, silky and focused on its core of clean, sweet, dark red fruits, the finish delivers espresso, plums and dark cocoa. The wine is a blend of 61% Merlot, 37% Cabernet Franc and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon. 89-91 Pts
2019 La Croix de Gay – Pure silk and velvet, this is one sexy Pomerol. The fruit is perfectly ripe, opulent, luscious and rich. Fresh, pure, and complex, with a plummy finish that doesn’t quit, this is the finest bottle of La Croix du Casse I have ever tasted. 92-94 Pts
2019 La Croix St. Georges – Deeply colored, the wine offers black and blue fruit, plum, cherry, smoke, licorice and a hint of truffle in the nose. Silky, fresh and energetic, with lush textures, ripe tannins, sweet fruits and cocoa on the palate. This is going to be great with 5 or more years of cellaring. 93-95 Pts
2019 La Grave Pomerol – Elegant, refined, medium-bodied, soft and silky, with a ripe, sweet, plum, cherry and cocoa core of fruit on the nose and palate. This is perhaps the finest vintage of La Grave Pomerol I have ever tasted!
2019 La Patache – Medium-bodied, elegant, soft, forward and fresh, the sweet, ripe, red fruits show quite well already. You can enjoy this floral and cherry dominated silky-textured wine on release, and over the next decade or so. The wine was made from blending 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc. 90-92 Pts
2019 La Pointe – Smoke, wet earth, licorice and black cherry scents create the nose. On the palate, the wine is plummy, polished and fresh with chocolate-covered plums in the finish. 90-92 Pts
2019 La Renaissance – Medium-bodied, bright and with leafy notes to the red fruits and cocoa on the nose and lean finish.
2019 La Rose Figeac – Bright, fresh, juicy, black and red fruits dipped in chocolate and washed down with a strong cup of fresh brewed coffee, surrounded by wet earth is what you are going to find here. 89-91 Pts
2019 La Violette – Deep in color, the nose explodes from the glass with its intoxicating aromatic profile. Violets, boysenberry, blackberries, bitter chocolate, cherries and a bit of truffle poking through mark the spot. Full, deep, rich and concentrated, with incredibly long, lush, sensuous textures are perfect for the endless wall of fruit. This is a sublime Pomerol. 96-98 Pts
2019 Lafleur-Gazin – Sweet cherries, flowers and earthy aromas resonate here. On the palate the wine is medium-bodied soft, earthy, fresh, refined and is already easy to drink. 90-92 Pts
2019 La-FleurPetrus – A cornucopia of fragrances here ranging from flowers, black and blue fruits, truffle, smoke, wet earth and kirsch grab your focus. It only takes one sip to hook you with its silky, sexy attitude. Concentrated, opulent, fresh and with vibrancy to the fruits, the opulent character knocked me out. 96-98 Pts
2019 Lagrange-Pomerol – Earthy, leafy, ripe, plums with soft tannins and a juicy, forward, plummy, cherry-filled finish are what you will find here in this medium-bodied, early-drinking, correct Pomerol. 88-90 Pts
2019 LatourPomerol – The truffles say hello with little effort before discovering all the voluptuous black cherries, ripe plums, dark cocoa, flowers and accents of juicy kirsch and more dark chocolate in the endnote. The wine is rich, lush, earthy and fresh. Give this 5-7 years and enjoy it over the following 20 years or longer. Latour Pomerol keeps getting better year after year and 2019 clearly continues the trend. 93-95 Pts
2019 Le Gay – Dark in color, this is stunning, due to its multiple layers of chocolate-covered plums, cherries, truffle and silky, gently dusted tannins. Full-bodied, rich, sensuous and concentrated, this is a beautiful example of what Le Gay does best! Aging will add even more to this wine. Made from blending 90% Merlot with 10% Cabernet Franc. 95-97 Pts
2019 Le Moulin – Deep in color, the wine is round, supple and forward with a dark red berry presence, chocolate, espresso and smoke. The wine is not for the oak averse. 88-90 Pts
2019 Le-Clos-du-Beau-Pere| – Silky, fresh, soft and energetic, the cherries and plums are ripe, sweet and pure. And the earthy chocolate and spice note on the palate adds the perfect nuance that rounds things out in the supple textured finish. 90-92 Pts
2019 Lecuyer – Cocoa, plums and flowers create the perfume. On the palate the wine is soft, silky and slightly dusty, with an array of red berries, mint and chocolate in the medium-bodied, elegant, fruity finish. This is one of the better values in the increasingly expensive, Pomerol appellation. 90-92 Pts
2019 LEgliseClinet – Like walking into a rose garden, next you find dark cocoa, truffle, violets, licorice and plums on the nose. On the palate the wine is sensuous, opulent, silky and full-bodied. The length is just perfect, as it lets you linger over the layers of fruit, dusty cocoa and truffle nuances that accompany all those gorgeous, velvety plums and black cherries. The wine was made from blending 90% Merlot with 10% Cabernet Franc, reaching 14.5% alcohol, with a pH of 3.75. The harvest took place September 18-26 for the Merlot, with the Cabernet Franc being picked September 26. 2019 the final vintage for Denis Durantou is a testament to his love for his vineyard and wine. It is exactly the type of wine he truly loved making. Owners of this beauty should toast him and his years of work at L’Eglise Clinet. I know I will. 96-98 Pts
2019 LEnclos – The best vintage of L’Enclos ever produced! Round, silky, opulent and with ripe, dark fruits, licorice, smoke, espresso and black cherry with plum, now you find a texturally interesting wine with a lingering finish. 91-93 Pts
2019 LEvangile – The beautiful blend of roses, chocolate, licorice, coffee with cream and perfectly ripe plums is exciting. On the palate, the wine is rich, lush, sensuous and velvety, giving you a backdrop for all that sexy plum liqueur and extremely dark cocoa in the full-bodied, concentrated, long, opulent finish. The wine is a blend of 83.5 Merlot, 16% Cabernet Franc and .5% Cabernet Sauvignon. This is the first time Cabernet Sauvignon has been placed in the blend. Harvesting took place September 13-October 3. The wine reached 14.6 alcohol, with no touch of heat or jammy sensations. The Grand Vin was produced from 60% of the harvest. 96-98 Pts
2019 Maillet – Lush, silky, juicy and rich, with layers of ripe, dark plum liqueur notes in the opening. The wine has a great depth of flavor, good intensity and a sexy, velvet-textured finish. 93-95 Pts
2019 Mazeyres – Medium-bodied, fruity, slightly overripe and plummy, this forward wine is an early drinker. 87-89 Pts
2019 Monregard La Croix – Lusciously textured, black cherries, espresso and dark chocolate are front and center here, on the nose, palate and in the finish. This is an outstanding, well-priced Pomerol that will drink well early.
2019 Montviel – Truffle is the first note in the perfume, followed by flowers, coffee bean and ripe cherries. Medium-bodied, elegant and fresh, the fruity, soft, silky finish delivers a lot of charm. It is hard to find a better Pomerol for the money these days. 89-91 Pts
2019 Nenin – Notes of flowers, greenery, dark plums, chocolate, licorice and wet earth on the nose gets thing’s going. On the palate the wine is fresh, concentrated, powerful and loaded with lifted, dark pit fruits and plums with a judicious dose of chocolate. With the structure and tannins to age, coupled with the complexity making it worth the wait, this is a fine vintage for Nenin. The wine was made blending 70% Merlot with 30% Cabernet Franc, reaching 14.45 alcohol with a pH of 3.59. 92-94 Pts
2019 Pierhem – The medium-bodied, juicy, sweet, fresh, dark plum and espresso filled wine offers grip, a juicy mid palate and ripe plums in the finish. This should drink well for at least 12-15 years. 89-91 Pts
2019 Plincette – Early drinking charmer with ripe cherries, plums, soft textures and a fruity finish that will be easy to enjoy on release. 87-89 Pts
2019 Rouget – Dark in color, the wine pops with flowers, earth, black forest cake and licorice notes on the nose. Lush, supple and rich, the wine ends with silky plums, black cherries and chocolate. This is a top vintage for Rouget. 92-94 Pts
2019 Sacre Coeur – The plum, rose and chocolate nose is on point. Medium-bodied, silky and lush in texture, the palate picks up on all of that great, chocolate-covered plummy character from the nose. This is clearly a big step up for this 100% Merlot wine! 90-92 Pts
2019 Saint-Pierre-Pomerol – Licorice, chocolate, flowers, smoke and plums are what you find on the nose. On the palate the wine is medium-bodied, silky, fresh, energetic and polished. Forward, with loads of sweet smoky cherries, plums and cocoa on the palate, give this elegant Pomerol a few years in the cellar before pulling a cork. 90-92 Pts
2019 Taillefer – Medium-bodied, fresh, easy-going, soft textured, classic styled Pomerol wine with ripe red plums, thyme and earthy nuances on the palate and in the finish. 89-91 Pts
2019 Tour Maillet – Plummy and already displaying a hint of truffle along with mocha, mint and chocolate on the nose, the wine offers supple, opulent textures and a wealth of ripe, showy black cherries and dark chocolate on the velvety palate. 92-94 Pts
2019 Trotanoy – Beautifully deep, garnet in color, the wine rocks from the moment you check out the perfume with its all-star cast of roses, star anise, spice, smoked black cherry and plum nuances. Full-bodied, rich and so sexy, it is impossible not taken over by its decadent textures. Concentrated, opulent and velvety, the finish delivers an array of perfectly ripe, Pomerolian fruits with a gorgeous sense of purity. This was so good, I could not stop drinking it. 97-99 Pts
2019 Valois – Medium-bodied, forward, early-drinking, light style of Pomerol with soft red fruits paired with a slight chocolate accent. This will drink well on release. 87-89 Pts
2019 Vieux Chateau Certan – Flowers, black raspberry, plum liqueur, truffle, wet earth, forest floor and cherry blossoms are in the nose. Rich, intense, full-bodied, deep and velvety, the wine is loaded with dark chocolate, black cherries and the essence of dark plums. The decadent finish sticks with you for close to 60 seconds, which is a good thing, because the wine is so texturally sensual, you do not want it to end. Blending 78% Merlot with 15% Cabernet Franc and 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine reached 14.5% alcohol with a pH of 3.75. Picking took place September 23 – September 27 for the old vine Merlot and October 2-October 3 for the Cabernet. The wine is aging in about 67% new, French oak barrels. 98-100 Pts
2019 Vieux Maillet – Espresso, earth, spice and plums work together in this forward, medium-bodied early drinking wine. 87-89 Pts
2019 Vray Croix de Gay – Quite floral, with red pit fruits, spice, earth and assorted forest leaves. Elegant, silky, soft and polished. Medium-bodied, fresh and focused on the sweetness and purity in the fruits, the wine leaves you with freshness, and energy in the silky, cherry, plum, cocoa and espresso filled finish. 92-94 Pts
We will continue with articles on the 2019 Right Bank wines we tasted. Tomorrow we will start publishing our notes on St. Emilion.