House: Château de Sales
Name: Château de Sales Pomerol
Origin: Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
Price: 206 DKK/27,60 EUR/34 USD on winefamly.dk (market price: 299 DKK/40,10 EUR/49,30 USD)
Editorial: there will be no more posts until Sunday 15th april.
Pomerol as a wine region
Pomerol is the smallest of all the major Bordeaux wine producing appellations. There are only 800 hectares under vine in Pomerol. The appellation is close to 3 kilometers by 4 kilometers. Currently, close to 150 different chateaux produce Pomerol wine. As you can imagine, most Pomerol chateau are small. Of course there are a few exceptions. The largest Pomerol vineyard belongs to Chateau de Sales at 47.5 hectares. This also the house from which I have my wine for today.
Pomerol is the home for some of the most expensive, sought after wines in the world. Petrus, Chateau Lafleur and Le Pin are within walking distance of each other. Yet, casual visitors to the region would not know it. There are no properties with a grand chateau. The area is humble and charming. Some of the top chateau do not have signs or markings of any type on their property to let you know you are there, or even how to get there.
Robert Parker and Pomerol
1982 is an important date in the Pomerol timeline. By 1982, much of the wine from Pomerol was still being exported to Belgium and Switzerland, or enjoyed by the local, Right Bank population. 1982 brought international fame not only to Pomerol, but also to the now famous wine consultant Michel Rolland and the wine writer, Robert Parker.
All three stars rose to prominence with the fame of the 1982 vintage. In part, after 1982, thanks to the continuous glowing reports from Robert Parker, Pomerol wine became instantly popular all over the world. That was the year that prices began to soar for wines like Petrus and Lafleur. While Petrus had been expensive for decades, selling for the same price as First Growth Bordeaux, it was not the cult superstar it is today.
Following the 1982 vintage, prices and demand for Pomerol exploded and so did the fortunes of the young consultant Michel Rolland and Ets. Moueix, who continued adding estates and vines to their already massive portfolio.
Grapes planted in Pomerol
Pomerol, along with St. Emilion, is where you’ll find the majority of vines devoted to Merlot. In St. Emilion, many producers rely on Cabernet Franc as well. There is a smattering of Cabernet Sauvignon planted as well as a very, small amount of Malbec too. Neither of those two two grape varieties are popular in Pomerol today. On average, when you look at the entire 800 hectares of the Pomerol appellation, it is planted to 70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Château de Sales 2011, AOC Pomerol
This wine consists of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon in unknown amounts. In the nose we get intense note of tobacco, leather with hints of spices. In the taste we get similar notes with additions of vanilla and chocolate. Wine is low on tannins but with slightly higher acidity. This wine has a very long finish.
Today I finished my journey through the major regions of Bordeaux. Each of them have very distinct style and appeals to different taste profiles. St. Emilion with its fruitiness, Pomerol with rich, oaky wines and Médoc somewhere in between. Even though St. Emilion is always going to be my favourite, I enjoyed my short “trip” to Pomerol, to the largest house in the region. This wine is perfect with a strong steak on a cold winter night.