Oeno-File, the Wine & Gastronomy Column

by Frank Ward

Posts Tagged ‘Pomerol’

Tasting of Classed Growth Clarets 2014-2017

Posted by Frank Ward on July 31, 2018

July 2018. An illuminating tasting of three vintages from several leading Bordeaux Châteaux was recently held in London. What it showed – or rather furnished further proof of – is that a majority of such estates are now making better wines than in their entire history. Why? Because (1) greater demand has pushed up prices, thus financing all manner of improvements and expansions; and (2) because of colossal advances in oenology and viticulture over the past few decades [….].

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An Array of 2015 Clarets Part I

Posted by Frank Ward on October 15, 2017

October 2017. GRAVES, PESSAC-LEOGNAN, SAINT EMILION, & POMEROL. A big tasting of 2015 clarets was recently presented in London by the Union of Grands Crus of Bordeaux. This was my first sniff of that well-reputed year. My overall impression? A very good rather than great vintage – but with a number of really outstanding wines. Nonetheless, claret probably lasts better than any other table wine on earth (a 1978 Château Palmer recently opened by me was utterly magnificent and continued to improve after 24 hours, an 1870 Rauzan Segla was magnificent only two years [….]

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Posted by Frank Ward on January 23, 2017

January 2017. PESSAC-LÉOGNAN. Both châteaux BOUSCAUT and DE FIEUZAL were light, elegant, and approachable, with good balance and will drink well in the coming years. HAUT–BAILLY was in a reticent mood, with an elegant aroma reminiscent of freshly sharpened pencil and autumn berries. It too will evolve smoothly if unlikely to generate great excitement. However, such top estates can be very closed up when young and all three may well surprise us. Made of sterner stuff was [….]

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Tasting of Classed Growth Clarets from 2014

Posted by Frank Ward on December 5, 2016

December 2016. A big tasting of classed-growth clarets from the 2014 vintage was recently held in London under the auspices of the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux (UGCB). The following are tasting notes on some 30 of the 100 or so wines on show. I spent an average of 4 minutes per wine. Why that long? The actual sampling takes only a minute or two. But the crucial aftertaste, often the most illuminating element of all, doesn’t reveal its full complexity (or lack of it) in less than 3-4 minutes.[….].

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A Look at some 2013 Clarets, white Graves & Sauternes

Posted by Frank Ward on October 31, 2015

AvatarOctober 2015. Everybody knows that the 2013 vintage in Bordeaux was an extremely difficult one. Nonetheless, some of the greatest estates managed to fashion creditable wines, wines which would, in some cases, give more pleasure over the next few years than many much greater wines from greater vintages, that are completely closed up now and require decades of further storage. That being said, some 2013s at the top end will live for 20-30 years. Cool rainy years impose serious limitations on most properties.[….]

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A Fresh Look at Some Top Bordeaux Estates – Part I : POMEROL

Posted by Frank Ward on September 28, 2014

AvatarSeptember 2014. In April of this year thousands of wine writers and members of the wine trade flocked to Bordeaux to taste the 2013s – a vintage they already suspected was “disastrous”, or simply downright bad. I was not among them. At that stage the only ’13 claret I‘d tried was the Mouton Rothschild 2013, sampled at a vertical tasting in London in February. I found it very good, within the context of the vintage. I travelled to Bordeaux three months later, in late May, not specifically to look at 2013s but to visit a few great estates that had always been among my favourites. While happy to sample any 2013s that came my way while there, my main purpose was just to see [….]

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Tasting le Pin for Two Pins!

Posted by Frank Ward on March 5, 2014

AvatarMarch 2014. Together with Andrew Jefford, well-known wine writer, I am poised to taste two vintages of Château Le Pin, a Pomerol that, since its creation in the early 1980s, has achieved what’s called cult status. Collectors have shown themselves willing to pay several thousand pounds for a single bottle, especially for the 1982. The 1982 was, in fact, the very first vintage of this rare wine, made from a plot measuring a mere one-third of a hectare. The most amazing of all, the vines – mostly Merlot – in that first vintage were only four years old [….]

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The 2005 Vintage on the Right Bank Part 2

Posted by Frank Ward on November 18, 2006

We’re poised to step onto Pomerol terroir but first let’s take a closer look at the grape mix for the whole of the right bank, with special reference to Pomerol itself. There are many quirks and paradoxes, even though only three varieties are really in the picture.

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