The difficult 2011 vintage in Bordeaux was succeeded by another difficult vintage. The 2012 Bordeaux vintage did not get off to an auspicious start. Following a cold winter and a wet spring, April rains drenched the Bordeaux wine region. Following the April rains, there were outbreaks of mildew, which required treatment. May was warmer than April, but June was cooler again, resulting in flowering that was late and uneven. This resulted in small bunches of berries that ripened at different times, which reduced quantities and necessitated serious work in the vineyards and intensive sorting at harvest. After an average July, Bordeaux experienced a torrid heat spell and drought in August and September that stressed the vines. Temperatures exceeded 100 degrees Fahrenheit on several days, soaring to 107 degrees at one point. Near the end of September, conditions improved through a combination of warm days, cool nights, and some desperately needed rain, which helped nourish the vines. Early October coupled warm temperatures during the day with cool nights. Most estates harvested two to three weeks later than normal. Ripening was uneven and individual grapes in bunches achieved varying degrees of ripeness, which made sorting critically important. This resulted in low yields for most producers. The 2012 Bordeaux vintage was a difficult year for winemakers. Estates that took the necessary actions in the vineyards during the growing season, and that severely declassified unripe grapes, produced high quality wines, but in small quantities. The French Minister of Agriculture reported that 2012 produced the lowest yields in Bordeaux since 1991, when some estates declassified their entire harvest, and production of European wines were at their lowest levels since 1975. Fortunately, for estates that exercised prudence, especially those in Pomerol and St. Emilion, the quality of 2012 Bordeaux wines can be exceptional.
The 2012 vintage of Château Pomeaux was harvested in the second week of October. In spite of the difficulties of the vintage, through severe control of output in the vineyard and rigorous selection in the vineyard and winery, Château Pomeaux was able to harvest a small crop of ripe and beautiful grapes. After malolactic fermentation in small oak barrels, the wine matured in new French oak barrels end was bottled in June 2014. The 2012 vintage of Château Pomeaux wine is concentrated, spicy, delicious, rich, opulent, and fruity.
“Currants, fig leaves, mint, chocolate and wet earth on the nose. Medium-bodied with tight, chewy tannins.”
“Chewy wine with lots of plummy, dark chocolate and chalk character on the nose and palate. Long finish for the vintage. Well done.”
This right-bank Bordeaux red comes indeed in a very dark and intense red colour like it’s common in dense Merlots from Pomerol. It’s nearly black to the core, with an intense red still filled with purple hues to the rim, looking vibrant and fairly youthful for a 5-years-old wine. Some notable tannins deposit observed at decanting.
The nose is, straight away, captivating… thanks to its depth, even at first smelling it!
I guess you could say that the fruit character is dominant, as clearly the wine is filled with intense, juicy-smelling dark cherry aromas, some fresh but ripe blackberry, hints of zesty raspberry as well. But there is also so much dark cocoa, hints of coffee, elegant French vanilla, plenty of spices like clove and nutmeg, and hints of black pepper and peppermint as well. Clearly, the fruit character isn’t just the one side to be smelt in this wine. A complex, multifaceted and profound nose.
The round and smooth palate features outstanding savoury characters of wood ashes mixed with sweet spices, intense clove blending into a meaty, juicy meat-stock character.
You know you’re in the Old World, and in Bordeaux in particular. The fruit flavours of dark cherry and blackberry are vibrant and make you salivate and lick your lips in delight, while the tannic structure is smooth like we love and expect from Pomerol.
Yet, Pomeaux brings along so much vinosity and depth of flavors, all in somewhat of an austere dryness if you were to compare with a more ‘New World’ and more opulently-ripe approaches, that you can taste the Earth and terroir of Pomerol, the deep clay and relatively organic-matter-rich soil that is unique to the area, and that promises and outstanding wine for pairing with complex yet elegant dishes.
Despite the obvious fruit ripeness here, the wine’s acidity is outstanding, which sustains a constant tension in the tasting experience, and keeps the wine’s fruit character lively all along.
An outstanding Pomerol wine, not only from its concentration and the smoothness of its fruity approach. However, one that brings in a rare acidity to the style, punchy liveliness and personality from a decadent vinosity, but also an earthiness and welcome warming spices for an explosion of controlled complex flavours.
This makes every sip a new discovery, and a pleasant deep tasting experience. What else do you need?
If this is what Château Pomeaux is able to deliver in a challenging vintage like 2012? I can’t wait to taste what they have pulled out other years!!!
Dark inky young purple. The nose is modern with notes of violet, dark berries, roasted oak and spices. Good grip on the palate, rather full with a dense fruity core, fine but present tannin, integrated oak, spicy notes and long, rich finish.
Dark purple red with violet hue and almost black centre. Opulent nose with fine oak spices, hints of dark berries and plums. On the palate firm tannins, good structure, youthful character and good length. Needs more time to improve.
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