23-01-2017

Château Bourgneuf – Pomerol 2010

As most of us are a bit light in the wallet to indulge in Château Pétrus regularly (yowza), we must search about for other bottles from AOC Pomerol in Bordeaux that attempt to reach for the stars whilst stepping along the rungs that Merlot provides. Yes, despite that famous “fucking Merlot!” quote from Sideways, few serious folks in the wine world gave a damn as Merlot, when produced from these Right Bank soils that drift from clay down in to gravel, is some of the most prized wine there is. It’s also either a deep inside joke or a massive goof in that Miles from Sideways went on this rant about Merlot, but then his prized wine, Château Cheval Blanc is from neighboring Saint Émilion and is a 60/40 split of Cab Franc and Merlot. Who woulda thunk it?

But, let’s go back to trying to find the “other” Merlots out there which eventually led me to this Pomerol from Château Bourgneuf. I picked it up in London as, in addition to having a healthy selection of everything from everywhere, the British seem to bargain better prices that what you can find anywhere, including the region of origin. Something to be said for a country that loves it liquor although I suspect this will be on the decline now that the Pound is in the pooper.

Unbeknownst to me when I bought it, most consider this wine to be something of a reference to Pomerol. Maybe it isn’t the absolutely top but it sits as a perfect example of what that particular vintage in the region should be. This particular bottle was from 2010. A hotter vintage, it was considered to be excellent quality but for those looking to find more subtlety in Bordeaux, you’ll have to wait a bit more as these wines are still quite loaded and tight despite ambling robustly into their seventh year of existence.

I would agree with what the critics say in that the Vayron family, who have owned the domaine since the 1970s, are making a fine example of high quality wine from the region. For those who enjoy these wines but want something that drifts more in the general direction of “affordable”, I highly recommend it.

Château Bourgneuf – Pomerol 2010
Dark ruby with red brick rim. Plum, graphite minerality, very light notes of dark cherry, prune, and kirsch. Medium alcohol, high tannins, medium high acidity, stays generally fresh with dark plum notes throughout and a very, very long finish.

90% Merlot, 10% Cab Franc 14.5% 40€
**+