Bordeaux 2021 Primeurs: Pomerol

After three instalments focused on St Emilion I come now to 2021 in Pomerol. Like its most famous right-bank partner this is also an appellation with considerable variation in terroir, ranging from the famous blue clay at its very summit, gravels of varying sizes and types, and then lower down the slope – either to the north, closer to the course of the Isle, or west, on the outskirts of Libourne – there are more sandy soils. Elevation, and thus the degree of protection from frost, also varies between these different corners of the appellation.

Bordeaux 2021

Despite my modest expectations, however, as I tasted my way around Pomerol I did at time find myself somewhat underwhelmed. While in St Emilion I found a fair number of wines displaying purity and vibrancy, sometimes even texture and depth, such moments of joy seemed to be fewer in this corner of Bordeaux. A couple of estates which are normally reliable stalwarts seemed to have made lighter and rather more understated wines than I had expected to find, even taking into account the difficult character of the vintage. Yes, there were a small handful of noteworthy successes, generally from trustworthy names, but they seemed small in number.

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