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Decanter - Pomerol

Decanter - Pomerol

Jane Anson is Decanter’s Bordeaux correspondent and has lived in the region since 2003, here are her en primeur tasting notes and scores for the Pomerol 2016 wines..

More scores by Decanter


Château Lafleur

Lafleur manages to deliver extremely ripe fruits without being in the slightest bit sweet. You could almost be on the left bank if it wasn’t for the silkiness of the tannins and the floral aspect on the aftertaste. Cabernet dominates at this stage, a gorgeous, sappy wine with huge, dense curls of liquorice and anis that spiral through the mouth as this wine stretches endlessly out in front of you. Layers of flavour change every minute; first coffee and black chocolate, then tightly fleshed out black fruits, then some Pomerol glamour. Hard to wipe the smile off your face when tasting this! 55% Cabernet Franc and 45% Merlot. 98-100 points.

Drinking window 2027-2050

99 Points


Château Trotanoy

Trotanoy more than delivers on its promise in this vintage, the purity of the black fruit, the confidence of its delivery, the depth of the flavours that just keep on giving. This has the line walking thing, where on the one side you have austerity, on the other you have richness, and it keeps tilting but never declaring its hand on either side. What a wine - fruits, minerals, texture, layers; crazy! 95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc. 98-100 points.

Drinking window 2027-2050

99 Points


Château Le Pin

I tasted through a blend of five barrels, but they may not be the final ones. There is significant gravel in the Le Pin soils, so they suffered a little from the heat, but the Merlot still has incredible finesse and elegance. The astonishing thing is the grilled, smoked damson and ripe wild blackberry and hawthorn perfume that rises out of the glass effortlessly. This wine is deft, elegant, and rich. A naturally low yield of 28hl/ha due to the drought, with a pH of 3.72.

Drinking window 2027-2050

98 Points


Château La Fleur-Pétrus

It’s been fascinating to watch the progression of this wine over the past few years as they have pushed out the less interesting parcels and pulled in those of Guillot and Providence. It is now a very complete footprint of 18.7ha around the ‘plateau’, not dropping below 30 metres (their definition of a plateau). This is now without a doubt one of the true stars of the appellation, planted to 91% Merlot and 9% Cabernet Franc on gravel and deep clay on an iron-rich subsoil. There are no corners cut here at all. It pulls you in with a seductive caress of violet and peony notes, then fills up the mid-palate with black cherry and bilberry, rounding it off with slate and cool ash. Tightly controlled and perfectly extracted.

Drinking window 2027-2050

98 Points


Château Pétrus

The nose jumps right out, then the palate starts tunneling down through an array of dark fruit and cut herb expressions, before slowly flattening out on the mid-palate then rising vertically on the finish. An architectural expression of the vintage, ripe and precise but with great freshness. Harvest here took place between 28th September and 11th October, and the challenges of the vintage meant they had to be precise and rigorous at every moment, never letting down their guard. No green harvesting. 40hl/ha yield, 55% new oak. Lots of anthocyanins. This is soft and caressing and majors in those deceptively soft tannins that slowly but surely build up to remind you that this wine has no intention of going away for many, many years.

Drinking window 2027-2050

98 Points


Château L'Eglise-Clinet

We are now levitating somewhere above the rest of Denis Durantou’s excellent range. Typical of the incredibly deft and precise way of working that is his signature, this wine brings cinammon and clove then hugely deep, rich dark fruits. Utterly elegant, it completes a circuit around your mouth. This is a physical reaction to a wine that you only get in certain vintages and in very few wines. A great European wine. 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc aged in 80% new oak. 43hl/ha yield from 4.2ha.

Drinking window 2027-2050

98 Points



Château Clinet

The colour on this is deep and inky and a blast of cassis and black cherry fruit greets you on the nose. It has undeniable oak impact, but also a lovely lift that carries right through the palate, and that incredible Clinet precision. A fantastic 2016, not as exuberant as 2015 but showing the quality of the vintage where even the big-shouldered wines have a stunning lift, and a feeling of an invisible gossamer curtain holding them in place. Not a hedonist’s vintage like 2009 or 2015, but cerebral in the style of 2001 and 2010. Strong coffee and grilled caramel on the finish.

Drinking window 2027-2050

97 Points


Château L'Evangile

This absolutely stands up to be counted amongst the greatest of the Pomerols this year. It has shots of minerality and elegance darting right through its autumnal fruits, and touches of sexy, bitter chocolate. Persistent, rich and succulent. 92% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc.

Drinking window 2026-2050

97 Points


Château La Conseillante

This is a big wine, from the colour to the stunning level of fruit and tannin extraction that is not overdone, but is certainly evident. Gorgeous violets and blackberries run through the palate and slightly chewy tannins are extremely well-integrated with the oak. At first you think this carries on the slightly more swaggering style of La Conseillante seen in recent years, with black fleshed fruits and high drama, but as it unfurls in the glass you reclaim also the more floral, vibrant and elegant touches that suggest the heart of this property is unchanged. A touch austere, but that’s what you want for long ageing. There is around one degree less alcohol than in 2015, even though they finished picking later. For me, this is a more classic La Conseillante than 2015. The aromatics are just so striking. This is the second year of using biodynamic preparations across the whole vineyard. Michel Rolland consults. 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc aged in 70% new oak.

Drinking window 2027-2050

96 Points


Clos Latour á Pomerol

Plush and pumped up, stretching out with those elongated tannins and fresh acidities. Totally gorgeous cassis, blackberry, coffee, peppery spice, slate and tar. It’s muscular and ripped, but with a wonderfully rich, textured quality to the tannins. Very much a physical experience, you are pushing through these flavours one at a time. 96% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc.

Drinking window 2027-2045

94 Points


Clos La Violette

The attack is big, becoming extremely juicy through the palate. You get the floral side that you hope for with the name, along with black cherry and tight slate. Good persistency, and a great wine.

Drinking window 2027-2050

94 Points


Château Gazin

Classic, almost savoury fruits here, among the most left bank in style of all the Pomerols with cassis and black pepper spice. It’s a wine that steals up on you - I tasted it several times and became increasingly impressed by the construction and the measured delivery of excellence. A full 13% of Cabernets here, split between 5% Cabernet Franc and 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, the highest proportion of the latter for many years.

Drinking window 2027-2045

94 Points


Château Hosanna

Just a beautiful dense, rich, perfumed Pomerol, with supple coffee and chocolate touches and ripe tannins. 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc from 4ha of gravel and red clay on iron-rich subsoil.

Drinking window 2027-2050

93 Points


Château Petite-Village

Huge density and concentration with incredible elegance and life. A really lovely wine, more fruit than flowers, showing great complexity on the finish. It just seems to be holding itself back. 77% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc and 9% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged in 60% new oak and 40% one year old oak for 15 months.

Drinking window 2027-2045

93 Points


Château L'Eglise Clinet, Petite Eglise

This has the power of Pomerol Merlot combined with an elegant flood of tannins. The stunning purity of Durantou wines is always striking, and they really do suit the freshness of the 2016 vintage. Here the tannins are making an impression on the close of play, but they never stand in the way of the freshness and juice of these cassis fruits. Just so elegant. 100% Merlot, picked on 5th October, aged in 50% new oak. 41hl/ha.

Drinking window 2024-2040

94 Points


Château Rouget

This is a plump wine with freshness and clarity of fruit, even on the nose. There are beautiful red fruits, definitely not as upfront as some, but it is authentic and vibrant and you can feel the juice coursing through the tannins. It is restrained on the finish, with a subtle, pure succulence.

Drinking window 2025-2045

93 Points


Château Vray Croix de Gay

Oh this is rather lovely, with bright, zesty red fruits, plums and raspberries. Austere without being drying, this is a balanced wine that has Pomerol sexiness without any sense of being overdone.

Drinking window 2027-2050

93 Points


Château Nénin

Here we have quite a different take on the vintage, where you get the family resemblance to the Delon’s left bank properties. There is spiced fruit, cardamon and black pepper, and more physical tannins that close in on you. This is a big expression of 2016, extremely well delivered. It demonstrates how Nénin is taking things up a notch and challenging the more celebrated Pomerols, which it does through power not diplomacy.

Drinking window 2027-2045

93 Points


Château Lafleur, Les Pensées de Lafleur

This has astonishing tannic presence for a second wine, and yet the individual strands are so soft and silky. It is more perfumed and softly fruited than Lafleur at this stage, rising in your mouth with a mouthwatering succulence on the finish. 55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Franc from 0.7ha. 3.5pH. The biggest production volume for four years.

Drinking window 2027-2040

93 Points


Château Beauregard

This is the second vintage under new owners (Galleries Lafayette family), with Fabien Tetgien of Smith Haut Lafitte overseeing the winemaking and Vincent Priou heading up the team in Pomerol full time. This is an extremely promising wine, with damsons, graphite, and touches of chocolate and exotic spices, while the tannins are soft and plush even at this early stage. A sexy, polished wine that delivers on the vintage. 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc.

Drinking window 2025-2040

92 Points


Château La Pointe

A very silky, sexy take on the vintage, really demonstrating how they are subtly building delivery of power in La Pointe. The tannins are well defined and pliable, a good support for the black fruits while maintaining the welcoming house style. I really like this wine. The power is subtle but unmistakable and it is clearly going to age well. Hubert de Bouard consults.

Drinking window 2027-2045

92 Points


Château Bourgneuf

The Vayron family is in charge here, and straight off the nose you know you are in quality wine territory. This is extremely subdued, a little more than I expected, with ground coffee beans and crushed blackberries that open up to reveal a luscious quality to the fruit. Restrained power from the 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc blend.

Drinking window 2027-2050

92 Points


Clos du Clocher

A lovely vibrant purple, the Cabernet Franc really comes through very strongly, with an impression of tight cassis, blackberry leaf, tobacco, curling woodsmoke and violet. Beautifully precise and focussed, I love the fresh seam running through it.

Drinking window 2027-2040

92 Points


Château Lafleur-Gazin

The intensity of this wine, hand in hand with its silkiness, is remarkable. Dense but extremely silky tannins, and tight but juicy berry fruits. 94% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Franc from 8.75ha on gravel, clay and silt soils.

Drinking window 2027-2050

92 Points


Domaine Fayat

Fayat combines the freshness of the vintage with beautifully deep, vibrant red fruits. Lovely persistency and elegance, showing restraint despite the 50% new oak. Merlot vines over 100 years old planted on gravel make up 10% of the blend, which overall is 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. 3.7pH.

Drinking window 2025-2040

92 Points