Bordeaux 2019 at Two Years: Pomerol
Such a curious appellation, Pomerol. Its terroir does not immediately seem so prestigious as the grand limestone plateau of St Emilion, although you only need to taste a few of the wines to understand the value of the gravelly upper reaches of the Pomerol slope, and of course that famous button of blue clay.
The lead variety is also significant; sure, Cabernet Franc plays an important role in a small handful of cuvées, but nothing like the role it has taken on in St Emilion in recent years, where some are even experimenting with small plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon. Here in Pomerol Cabernet Franc usually plays little more than a minor supporting role, its representation in the majority of cuvées no more than 20%, and in many cases much lower than that. No, Pomerol is Merlot country, and given that 2019 was a warm growing season, which can induce heady levels of alcohol in this earlier-ripening variety, at first glance Pomerol appears to be disadvantaged in this vintage.
And yet despite this there are some truly beautiful wines here, and undoubtedly some of the most striking wines of the entire vintage. Naturally, it is those properties clustered around the upper reaches of the Pomerol slope that have won out. In this instalment of my 2019 Bordeaux report I check out 61 wines, from names familiar and exalted, in one or two cases (but no more!) featuring more Cabernet Franc than Merlot, down to some rather less well-known and occasionally anonymous cuvées.
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