Bordeaux 2021 by appellation: Pomerol
Pomerol is, like every other leading appellation of Bordeaux, heterogeneous in quality in 2021. But it is perhaps rather more predictably heterogenous than most, writes Colin Hay.
Whether because of the sheer quality of its terroir or just the capacity of its leading estates to respond rapidly in the vineyard, it seems to have negotiated the compound challenges of the vintage more successfully than anywhere else. It is not surprising, then, that is has produced some of the wines of the vintage.
Indeed, so successful has its management of the vintage been that it has even been able to fashion timeless excellence from 100% Merlot – with Petrus and Le Pin both wonderfully expressive of the vintage and, in their very different ways, quite ethereal and magical despite being forged entirely from a varietal most see as inherently difficult in this vintage.
Yet neither for me is the wine of the vintage. That accolade must surely go to Lafleur – a wine of staggering beauty that seems to have transcended the vintage. Here the care and attention with which its garden vineyard was managed was absolutely crucial. It is, in the end, that which has allowed its unique and exceptional terroir to shine once again so brightly.
Beyond these three almost mythic superstars, the plateau has produced wines that reflect more clearly than in any of the previous three vintages the stylistic singularity and terroir-typicity of each wine.
Each tastes like one’s imagination of how it might taste in a vintage like this – and that is a wonderful thing. It is also extremely reassuring to the potential consumer – who can happily choose between La Conseillante, L’Eglise Clinet, La Fleur-Pétrus or Vieux Chateau Certan without having to worry that they will be surprised by their purchase once they come to remove the cork a decade or so from now.
Each is genuinely great and any preference between them almost entirely subjective. For what it is worth, I would place Vieux Chateau Certan marginally above the others because it seems to express the cool vintage Cabernet that I adore so much more directly than the others.
But there is an almost equally strong case to be made for each.
L’Eglise Clinet, above all, has made a wine that is a fantastic continuation of the line in a vintage where that was incredibly difficult to achieve.
And in a vintage in which even a tiny amount of Cabernet Franc goes a very long well, it is La Fleur-Pétrus that is the star of the Moueix plateau Pomerols (though Hosanna, with rather more Cabernet Franc, is the most floral – and it runs is very close).
Finally, La Conseillante has once again made a wine that is just so utterly and purely expressive of Pomerol itself. Anyone who wants to know what the best Pomerol tastes like, needs to taste this wine.
Highlights in 2021
Best of the appellation:
- Lafleur (97-99)
- La Conseillante (94-96)
- L’Eglise Clinet (95-97)
- La Fleur-Pétrus (94-96+)
- Hosanna (93-95+)
- Petrus (96-98)
- Le Pin (95-97+)
- Vieux Chateau Certan (95-97+)
- Porte Chic (92-94)
See here for db’s en primeur vintage report , with appellation-by-appellation reviews on Margaux, St Julien, Pessac-Leognan & Graves rouge and blanc, St Estephe & Haut-Medoc, Pauillac, Pomerol, St Emilion and Sauternes.