If Pomerol did have a classification....?

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Mark Golodetz
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If Pomerol did have a classification....?

#1 Post by Mark Golodetz » January 1st, 2018, 10:55 am

Questions for a lazy New Year's Day.

What would be the order? Lots of questions.

Does Petrus have any rivals?
If not, is there a clear cut number 2?
Where do you put Le Pin?
etc, etc.
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#2 Post by Ian A » January 1st, 2018, 11:26 am

Mark I did this when I had some spare time in 2013. Mine would go something like this, with the caveat that by no means are all estates are included:

First - Petrus, Lafleur, Le Pin
Second - VCC, L’Eglise Clinet, La Conseillante, L’Evangile, Trotanoy
Third - La Fleur Petrus, La Tour a Pomerol, La Fleur De Gay, Hosanna, Certan De May
Fourth - Gazin, Le Gay, Petit Village, Bon Pasteur, Nenin
Fifth - Bourgneuf, Rouget, De Sales, La Pointe, Clos Rene, Clos Du Clocher
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If Pomerol did have a classification....?

#3 Post by Jayson Cohen » January 1st, 2018, 11:30 am

It’s a tough question for anyone (like me) who so infrequently gets the opportunity to taste Lafleur and Le Pin, particularly Le Pin, which I cannot place. With that caveat I would put Petrus on top. Undeniably. Then for my taste VCC a very clear second. Then Lafleur and Trotanoy. Then La Fleur Petrus. Then I think it gets trickier to rank. I would probably group the following although if you force me, I would choose the following order based on peaks they have hit across vintages to my taste: Latour a Pomerol, La Conseillante, L’Evangille, Certan de May. Then probably Petit Village. After which I start to lose some interest.

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If Pomerol did have a classification....?

#4 Post by Jeff Leve » January 1st, 2018, 11:58 am

I suppose Petrus, Le Pin and Lafleur are at the top, in many vintages.

But there are years when Clinet, VCC, L'Eglise Clinet and Trotanoy are at the same level, and can even produce better wines, but not a consistent basis.

Just below, La Conseillante, L'Evangile, Le Gay and La Violette.

From there, perhaps, Gazin, Hosanna, Enclose Tourmaline, La Fleur Petrus.

Certan de May, Latour Pomerol, Bon Pasteur, Feytit Clinet and others compete fairly well, vintage dependent. There are also quite a few Pomerol that have recently stepped up their game and are quite competitive.

I am a big fan of Pomerol and try to taste and write about the wines often. In fact I just finished a massive update to almost all the wines from Pomerol on my site. https://www.thewinecellarinsider.com/bo ... x/pomerol/

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If Pomerol did have a classification....?

#5 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » January 1st, 2018, 12:05 pm

Great thread. I had actually intended to ask you, Mark, after you highlighted some classic St Em estates, what your thoughts are on Pomerol Chateaux. My guess is, as a group, we reach close consensus on this storied wine region. I love Pomerol. Sadly, as a country lawyer, there is only so much Pomerol that I can purchase. Petrus is the greatest wine that I have had. And every time I have had a bottle - which is very infrequent - I am blown away. I will also concede it is a concentrated, opulent wine, not the style that I orderinarily chase, but Pomerol seems to do it so well. I have never had Le Pin. Lefleur would be my second (also in that rare opportunity where I have it), and I have a huge soft spot for VCC and then Conseillante. The latter two are pricey, but within reach. The top three, not for us paupers.

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If Pomerol did have a classification....?

#6 Post by R@y.Tupp@+sch » January 1st, 2018, 12:23 pm

Le Pin has no right being in the top tier other than its price.
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#7 Post by Eric Egan » January 1st, 2018, 12:34 pm

Imagining an adopted St. Emillon style classification, and going by consistency over the past 30 or 40 years I would say:

1ere A: Petrus, Lafleur, VCC, L'Eglise Clinet, and Trotanoy
1ere B: Le Pin, Le Conseillante, L'Evangile, La Fleur Petrus
1ere C: Latour Pomerol, Certain de May, Gazin, Clinet
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#8 Post by R. Frankel » January 1st, 2018, 5:04 pm

I haven’t had Petrus or Le Pin ever, and Lafleur once. The first two are so stratospherically priced, I wonder how many people would be qualified to assess them. Reputation? Sure.

Otherwise I’d put VCC, L’Eglise Clinet, Trotanoy and La Conseillante in the top rank.
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#9 Post by RichardFlack » January 1st, 2018, 5:13 pm

R@y.Tupp@+sch wrote:Le Pin has no right being in the top tier other than its price.
I seem to recall there was one other ranking system based on price.... [stirthepothal.gif]

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#10 Post by RichardFlack » January 1st, 2018, 5:16 pm

A terrific question... should consistency, or peak potential, have the greater weight in a ranking system?

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#11 Post by R. Frankel » January 1st, 2018, 5:59 pm

RichardFlack wrote:
R@y.Tupp@+sch wrote:Le Pin has no right being in the top tier other than its price.
I seem to recall there was one other ranking system based on price.... [stirthepothal.gif]
Lol, how true.
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#12 Post by William Kelley » January 1st, 2018, 6:21 pm

For me, Lafleur would have to rank about Pétrus. And Le Pin would come in behind Trotanoy, VCC, L'Evangile, Conseillante and probably Eglise Clinet, but ahead of most of the others. La Fleur Pétrus is very solid these days, however.

I have fond memories of visiting the new Le Pin winery back in 2011. Jacques and Fiona were very gracious hosts to a group of college students, and the wine is certainly dramatic and flamboyant; the sort of wine that meets even high expectations. But I think part of the attraction would have been in getting in, as it were, on the ground floor, buying e.g. the 1982 when it could still be had for the asking. The market price is just silly now.
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#13 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » January 1st, 2018, 6:41 pm

William, have you noticed any change in Conseillante in vintages 2014-16?

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#14 Post by Pat Martin » January 1st, 2018, 6:51 pm

A sidelong question, but it seems relevant given the chats we've had about the direction of St. Emilion:

Which Pomerol chateau have remained traditional and which have gone full modern? Or has Pomerol mostly avoided the modernist trend?

This matters to my palate almost as much as "quality".

That all said, I don't get to enjoy much Pomerol, but l'Evangile has been awesome in all of the vintages I've tried (1982, 1983, 1990, 1995, even the 1981 was quite impressive recently).
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#15 Post by Marc Frontario » January 1st, 2018, 6:53 pm

Jeff, wasn't it a bottle of '47 Latour that brought Parker to tears?
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#16 Post by Marc Frontario » January 1st, 2018, 6:56 pm

I do not drink much pomerol, but have tasted a few vintages of L'Evangile, clinet, gazin, la fleur petrus..never blown away though....that is until I tasted a bottle of '98 La Grave a Pomerol, classic right bank heaven
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#17 Post by Marc Frontario » January 1st, 2018, 7:01 pm

Ian A wrote:Mark I did this when I had some spare time in 2013. Mine would go something like this, with the caveat that by no means are all estates are included:

First - Petrus, Lafleur, Le Pin
Second - VCC, L’Eglise Clinet, La Conseillante, L’Evangile, Trotanoy
Third - La Fleur Petrus, La Tour a Pomerol, La Fleur De Gay, Hosanna, Certan De May
Fourth - Gazin, Le Gay, Petit Village, Bon Pasteur, Nenin
Fifth - Bourgneuf, Rouget, De Sales, La Pointe, Clos Rene, Clos Du Clocher
Clos L'Eglise ...No love?
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#18 Post by Marc Frontario » January 2nd, 2018, 2:05 am

Crickets.....
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#19 Post by Ian A » January 2nd, 2018, 2:49 am

Marc Frontario wrote:
Ian A wrote:Mark I did this when I had some spare time in 2013. Mine would go something like this, with the caveat that by no means are all estates are included:

First - Petrus, Lafleur, Le Pin
Second - VCC, L’Eglise Clinet, La Conseillante, L’Evangile, Trotanoy
Third - La Fleur Petrus, La Tour a Pomerol, La Fleur De Gay, Hosanna, Certan De May
Fourth - Gazin, Le Gay, Petit Village, Bon Pasteur, Nenin
Fifth - Bourgneuf, Rouget, De Sales, La Pointe, Clos Rene, Clos Du Clocher
Clos L'Eglise ...No love?
More a question of limited exposure Marc rather than lack of love...as I mentioned my ranking does not cover all the estates...which you can see listed on Jeff Leve’s site.

On my 1855-style classification, maybe some of the thirds were unlucky not to be categorised as seconds, and VCC would surely be a ‘super second’ ... like the LLC of Pomerol.

Having been lucky enough to try Le Pin a few times in my opinion it definitely should be a first growth equivalent. When we tried the 90 against Petrus, Le Pin was the clear winner.
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#20 Post by G. Bienstock » January 2nd, 2018, 6:39 am

Marc Frontario wrote:Jeff, wasn't it a bottle of '47 Latour that brought Parker to tears?
IIRC 61 Latour a Pomerol. I loved the 82 and the 94 was solid for a low tariff.
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#21 Post by Marc Frontario » January 2nd, 2018, 6:56 am

G. Bienstock wrote:
Marc Frontario wrote:Jeff, wasn't it a bottle of '47 Latour that brought Parker to tears?
IIRC 61 Latour a Pomerol. I loved the 82 and the 94 was solid for a low tariff.
I Mistyped...I believe '47 Lafleur brought Parker to tears
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#22 Post by Howard Cooper » January 2nd, 2018, 7:07 am

Jeff Leve wrote:I suppose Petrus, Le Pin and Lafleur are at the top, in many vintages.

But there are years when Clinet, VCC, L'Eglise Clinet and Trotanoy are at the same level, and can even produce better wines, but not a consistent basis.

Just below, La Conseillante, L'Evangile, Le Gay and La Violette.

From there, perhaps, Gazin, Hosanna, Enclose Tourmaline, La Fleur Petrus.

Certan de May, Latour Pomerol, Bon Pasteur, Feytit Clinet and others compete fairly well, vintage dependent. There are also quite a few Pomerol that have recently stepped up their game and are quite competitive.

I am a big fan of Pomerol and try to taste and write about the wines often. In fact I just finished a massive update to almost all the wines from Pomerol on my site. https://www.thewinecellarinsider.com/bo ... x/pomerol/
I find it interesting that Jeff rates Clinet at a higher level than others do on this thread. Clinet is the only winery I have been to where they quote Jeff's ratings in their promotional materials. I guess they like each other.
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#23 Post by Mark Golodetz » January 2nd, 2018, 7:59 am

I have yet to be moved by Le Pin. Chalk it up to style, but for me what makes Pomerol as opposed to a Merlot is that tension, precision and slight austerity, and I find little or none in Le Pin. It is big and lush and long. Whenever I taste it alongside the VCC of the same year, the VCC will always win.

For me, though Petrus still stands alone.

2nd tier Lafleur, VCC and Trotanoy.

3rd tier Le Pin, L'Evangile (on the cusp of second tier) La Conseillante and Lafleur Petrus

A huge gap to the

4th tier Latour a Pomerol, Certan de May, Clinet etc
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#24 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » January 2nd, 2018, 8:51 am

I'm not a Clinet fan. At all.

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#25 Post by David Glasser » January 2nd, 2018, 9:01 am

I like Ian's ranking, though I've only had a few Petrus and Lafleur. And I've never had a Le Pin so have no opinion there. I would put Clos L'Eglise with the seconds and Clinet with the fourths.

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#26 Post by Eric Egan » January 2nd, 2018, 12:39 pm

Mark Golodetz wrote:I have yet to be moved by Le Pin. Chalk it up to style, but for me what makes Pomerol as opposed to a Merlot is that tension, precision and slight austerity, and I find little or none in Le Pin. It is big and lush and long. Whenever I taste it alongside the VCC of the same year, the VCC will always win.

For me, though Petrus still stands alone.

2nd tier Lafleur, VCC and Trotanoy.

3rd tier Le Pin, L'Evangile (on the cusp of second tier) La Conseillante and Lafleur Petrus

A huge gap to the

4th tier Latour a Pomerol, Certan de May, Clinet etc
Good ranking! What about L'Eglise Clinet? Up on 2nd alongside Lafleur/VCC/Trotanoy, or do you not think it's good enough in smaller vintages to stand up to the others across the board?
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#27 Post by William Kelley » January 2nd, 2018, 12:59 pm

Eric Egan wrote:
Mark Golodetz wrote:I have yet to be moved by Le Pin. Chalk it up to style, but for me what makes Pomerol as opposed to a Merlot is that tension, precision and slight austerity, and I find little or none in Le Pin. It is big and lush and long. Whenever I taste it alongside the VCC of the same year, the VCC will always win.

For me, though Petrus still stands alone.

2nd tier Lafleur, VCC and Trotanoy.

3rd tier Le Pin, L'Evangile (on the cusp of second tier) La Conseillante and Lafleur Petrus

A huge gap to the

4th tier Latour a Pomerol, Certan de May, Clinet etc
Good ranking! What about L'Eglise Clinet? Up on 2nd alongside Lafleur/VCC/Trotanoy, or do you not think it's good enough in smaller vintages to stand up to the others across the board?
The issue with Eglise-Clinet is more about how long it has been good, rather than how good it has been since the mid- to late-1990s.
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#28 Post by Mark Golodetz » January 2nd, 2018, 2:26 pm

Eric Egan wrote:
Mark Golodetz wrote:I have yet to be moved by Le Pin. Chalk it up to style, but for me what makes Pomerol as opposed to a Merlot is that tension, precision and slight austerity, and I find little or none in Le Pin. It is big and lush and long. Whenever I taste it alongside the VCC of the same year, the VCC will always win.

For me, though Petrus still stands alone.

2nd tier Lafleur, VCC and Trotanoy.

3rd tier Le Pin, L'Evangile (on the cusp of second tier) La Conseillante and Lafleur Petrus

A huge gap to the

4th tier Latour a Pomerol, Certan de May, Clinet etc
Good ranking! What about L'Eglise Clinet? Up on 2nd alongside Lafleur/VCC/Trotanoy, or do you not think it's good enough in smaller vintages to stand up to the others across the board?
Sorry, brain freeze. For me it is third tier, cusp second tier. Personally I just own a couple of bottles since it is a little too fruit juicy for me, but it is hard not to recognize the quality of the current wines.
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#29 Post by Eric Egan » January 2nd, 2018, 2:38 pm

William Kelley wrote:The issue with Eglise-Clinet is more about how long it has been good, rather than how good it has been since the mid- to late-1990s.
Fair enough, they had a dip in the late '70s to mid '80s but older vintages of L'Eglise Clinet has given me some of my most memorable experiences of Pomerol (admittedly I haven't had Petrus all that many times). The 1953 was out of this world both times I've had it, the '61 is a truly legendary wine (possibly the best in Pomerol that year, I preferred it to the amazing Trotanoy I had alongside it). Also, the '62, '71, and '75s I've had were phenomenal. In fact I'd say that IMO the Chateau (or Clos as it was up until '54 or '55 I think) was, if anything, better pre-1980s than it is now. Though as most of it was sold off to Belgium, genuine pre-70s bottles are now exceedingly difficult to get a hold of so perhaps its reputation suffers accordingly (saying that, the same could be said for other Chateaux, like Lafleur etc.).
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#30 Post by Eric Egan » January 2nd, 2018, 2:43 pm

Mark Golodetz wrote:Sorry, brain freeze. For me it is third tier, cusp second tier. Personally I just own a couple of bottles since it is a little too fruit juicy for me, but it is hard not to recognize the quality of the current wines.
Fair point, re. the fruit juice. I have some older vintages but nothing post 1992 I think (remarkably good given the year).
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#31 Post by J a y H a c k » January 2nd, 2018, 7:24 pm

Robert Alfert, Jr. wrote:I'm not a Clinet fan. At all.
How did you know that I like it?
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#32 Post by Mark Golodetz » January 3rd, 2018, 7:05 am

It's interesting how VCC has been on a roll since 2005. The 2005 was for me one of the two best wines of the vintage, and I actually preferred it to Petrus.

Prior to that, I would have put it on the same level as Conseillante and L'Evangile, since then, it seems to be at least on a par with Lafleur, and at a fraction of the price.
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#33 Post by William Kelley » January 3rd, 2018, 7:46 am

Eric Egan wrote:
William Kelley wrote:The issue with Eglise-Clinet is more about how long it has been good, rather than how good it has been since the mid- to late-1990s.
Fair enough, they had a dip in the late '70s to mid '80s but older vintages of L'Eglise Clinet has given me some of my most memorable experiences of Pomerol (admittedly I haven't had Petrus all that many times). The 1953 was out of this world both times I've had it, the '61 is a truly legendary wine (possibly the best in Pomerol that year, I preferred it to the amazing Trotanoy I had alongside it). Also, the '62, '71, and '75s I've had were phenomenal. In fact I'd say that IMO the Chateau (or Clos as it was up until '54 or '55 I think) was, if anything, better pre-1980s than it is now. Though as most of it was sold off to Belgium, genuine pre-70s bottles are now exceedingly difficult to get a hold of so perhaps its reputation suffers accordingly (saying that, the same could be said for other Chateaux, like Lafleur etc.).
Fair enough. My pre-1980s experience only extends to a marginal 1952, from which I won't extrapolate.

The post-war period was so great in Pomerol. Did you ever drink any old Rouget?
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#34 Post by Eric Egan » January 3rd, 2018, 8:04 am

William Kelley wrote:Fair enough. My pre-1980s experience only extends to a marginal 1952, from which I won't extrapolate.

The post-war period was so great in Pomerol. Did you ever drink any old Rouget?
Haha, don't mention post-war Rouget here, it might increase the competition the next time a few bottles pop up... I've only ever had a '50 but it was superb. Shame your '52 L'Eglise Clinet wasn't great. I do wonder if some of those Belgians Hermitaged their Pomerols as well as their Burgundies, with varying degrees of success. There might even have been some in the '53s I had - they were dark as hell (tasted with a few mates they both guessed 1980s...) and one of them even had a pretty low level (just on the cusp of the Shoulder). Still, it was superb so I'm not going to worry too much about it...
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#35 Post by Gerhard P. » January 3rd, 2018, 8:32 am

Most of the best Chateaux have already be mentioned above ...

I would put Petrus AND Lafleur on top ... they are as different (if not more) as Ausone (the old one) and Cheval blanc, but equally individual and of high quality (with some exceptions) ...

(I have not had enough Le Pin (unfortunately) to have a well-founded opinion ... certainly not "bad" ;-) )

In the 2nd group there is Conseillante, L´Evangile AND Trotanoy ... I have made verticals of all three, and there is no real difference in overall quality for me ...
VCC also belongs here ... and most probably Lafleur-Petrus (at least since 1998) ...
also in question L´Eglise-Clinet ... not only was the 1985 superior to ´85 Petrus ... I had some really great wines from this producer ...

3rd group: Latour a Pomerol, Gazin, Le Gay, Certan de May, Clinet, La Fleur de Gay and maybe some others ...
I haven´t had enough La Violette and Hosanna (former Certan-Giraud which was not outstanding), to be sure about these ...

Other good producers:
Clos L´Eglise, Bon Pasteur, L´Enclos (1990!), Petit-Village, Nenin, Rouget, La Grave (a Pomerol/Trigant de Boisset), de Sales (1978+1979 !) ...

This is NO complete list ...!
William Kelley wrote: The post-war period was so great in Pomerol. Did you ever drink any old Rouget?
Yes, 1964 can be very fine (if a good bottle) ... and also 1959 and 1966 were very good ... 1975 not so ...
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#36 Post by Jeff Leve » January 3rd, 2018, 8:48 am

Eric Egan wrote:
William Kelley wrote:The issue with Eglise-Clinet is more about how long it has been good, rather than how good it has been since the mid- to late-1990s.
Fair enough, they had a dip in the late '70s to mid '80s but older vintages of L'Eglise Clinet has given me some of my most memorable experiences of Pomerol (admittedly I haven't had Petrus all that many times). The 1953 was out of this world both times I've had it, the '61 is a truly legendary wine (possibly the best in Pomerol that year, I preferred it to the amazing Trotanoy I had alongside it). Also, the '62, '71, and '75s I've had were phenomenal. In fact I'd say that IMO the Chateau (or Clos as it was up until '54 or '55 I think) was, if anything, better pre-1980s than it is now. Though as most of it was sold off to Belgium, genuine pre-70s bottles are now exceedingly difficult to get a hold of so perhaps its reputation suffers accordingly (saying that, the same could be said for other Chateaux, like Lafleur etc.).
I like L'Eglise Clinet a lot. But I do not agree with you both, a bit for different reasons.

L'Eglise Clinet was not always L'Eglise Clinet. During much of its early years, until 1954, the wine was sold as Clos L’Eglise-Clinet. 1955 saw the vineyards split to create Clos l'Eglise and l'Eglise Clinet. Different wines and vines for sure.

During the 60's, 70's and early 80's, with the exception of the 1961, which I have tasted, the wine was more than unremarkable. Starting in 1985, after Denis Durantou took over, things really stepped up here.

In 1998, they made another big jump in quality, pushing their wines close to the top of the Pomerol pyramid.

IMO, the wines have been good for almost 35 years and really good for 20. That seems like a long enough track record.

https://www.thewinecellarinsider.com/bo ... se-clinet/

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If Pomerol did have a classification....?

#37 Post by Jayson Cohen » January 3rd, 2018, 12:35 pm

Mark Golodetz wrote:It's interesting how VCC has been on a roll since 2005. The 2005 was for me one of the two best wines of the vintage, and I actually preferred it to Petrus.

Prior to that, I would have put it on the same level as Conseillante and L'Evangile, since then, it seems to be at least on a par with Lafleur, and at a fraction of the price.
Is that a global statement— all vintages before 2005? I would not profess to having deep experience here in direct comparison, but anecdotally I’ve had them side-by-side during 1964 and 1971 horizontals, and the VCC was younger, fresher, more complete, more complex, and longer even though La Conseillante and L'Evangile were both outstanding as well.

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If Pomerol did have a classification....?

#38 Post by Gerhard P. » January 3rd, 2018, 2:15 pm

Jayson Cohen wrote:
Mark Golodetz wrote:It's interesting how VCC has been on a roll since 2005. The 2005 was for me one of the two best wines of the vintage, and I actually preferred it to Petrus.

Prior to that, I would have put it on the same level as Conseillante and L'Evangile, since then, it seems to be at least on a par with Lafleur, and at a fraction of the price.
Is that a global statement— all vintages before 2005? I would not profess to having deep experience here in direct comparison, but anecdotally I’ve had them side-by-side during 1964 and 1971 horizontals, and the VCC was younger, fresher, more complete, more complex, and longer even though La Conseillante and L'Evangile were both outstanding as well.
VCC produced excellent wines also before 2005, no doubt (and 1964 is a dear memory), but maybe not as consistantly as L´Evangile and La Conseillante ...
Just take the 1982 VCC - an excellent wine, maybe just short of outstanding, but L´E and LC made simply great wines
(also in 1985 and 1989/90) ...
(all imho)
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#39 Post by Mark Golodetz » January 3rd, 2018, 2:37 pm

As with most Bordeaux, there are some high spots. I agree that the 1964 is pretty special, as is the 1959. The 1947 is legendary, never had it, although I have just secured a bottle for a major vertical we are planning in the Fall.

My point actually was that the greatness of a chateau is not only those high points, but also its consistency over many years, and i would argue that currently VCC is not only incredibly consistent but also producing one of Pomerol's top two wines in almost every vintage since '05. For example, the 2014 is breathtakingly good, and for those of you who love great old fashioned Bordeaux, you should be going out and buying as much of this as you can afford. Not even a great year, but a great wine. The 2008 and 2012 were also extremely strong, and well worth picking up.
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#40 Post by Mike Evans » January 3rd, 2018, 4:59 pm

The 2002 VCC was pretty impressive about a year ago.

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#41 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » January 3rd, 2018, 5:41 pm

I love love VCC but even the 2014 is $175. Ouch. The second label, La Gravette de Certan, turned out quite a winner in 2010. Anyone try the 2014?

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#42 Post by William Kelley » January 3rd, 2018, 5:58 pm

Robert Alfert, Jr. wrote:I love love VCC but even the 2014 is $175. Ouch. The second label, La Gravette de Certan, turned out quite a winner in 2010. Anyone try the 2014?
Just buy the 2011. I preferred it to Pétrus from barrel.
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#43 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » January 3rd, 2018, 6:13 pm

William Kelley wrote:
Robert Alfert, Jr. wrote:I love love VCC but even the 2014 is $175. Ouch. The second label, La Gravette de Certan, turned out quite a winner in 2010. Anyone try the 2014?
Just buy the 2011. I preferred it to Pétrus from barrel.
Fascinating. Had no idea VCC has such a successful 2011. Neal Martin has a nice note on it. Still $150-$165, so not cheap. Pomerol is Pomerol, I guess. The price of entry is high.

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#44 Post by William Kelley » January 3rd, 2018, 6:33 pm

Robert Alfert, Jr. wrote:
William Kelley wrote:
Robert Alfert, Jr. wrote:I love love VCC but even the 2014 is $175. Ouch. The second label, La Gravette de Certan, turned out quite a winner in 2010. Anyone try the 2014?
Just buy the 2011. I preferred it to Pétrus from barrel.
Fascinating. Had no idea VCC has such a successful 2011. Neal Martin has a nice note on it. Still $150-$165, so not cheap. Pomerol is Pomerol, I guess. The price of entry is high.
The Parker barrel score was also high (94-96), and, to my palate, right on.

I have several cases, so my money is where my mouth is.
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#45 Post by Mark Golodetz » January 3rd, 2018, 9:23 pm

Robert Alfert, Jr. wrote:I love love VCC but even the 2014 is $175. Ouch. The second label, La Gravette de Certan, turned out quite a winner in 2010. Anyone try the 2014?

After the bottle I had this weekend, I went out to find some. Total Wine had it for just over $150 by the six pack. Not cheap, but well priced for what it is.

After William's comment, I checked my notes from the 2011 En Primers, and also liked the 2011, and also preferred it to Petrus. I get the sense that the 2014 is a more complete, but bear in mind I tasted the bottle rather than the barrel sample.
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#46 Post by James Billy » January 3rd, 2018, 9:24 pm

Lots of mentions of 2014. What is your take on it in Pomerol?

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#47 Post by Peter Chiu » January 5th, 2018, 7:55 am

Gerhard P. wrote:Most of the best Chateaux have already be mentioned above ...

I would put Petrus AND Lafleur on top ... they are as different (if not more) as Ausone (the old one) and Cheval blanc, but equally individual and of high quality (with some exceptions) ...

(I have not had enough Le Pin (unfortunately) to have a well-founded opinion ... certainly not "bad" ;-) )

In the 2nd group there is Conseillante, L´Evangile AND Trotanoy ... I have made verticals of all three, and there is no real difference in overall quality for me ...
VCC also belongs here ... and most probably Lafleur-Petrus (at least since 1998) ...
also in question L´Eglise-Clinet ... not only was the 1985 superior to ´85 Petrus ... I had some really great wines from this producer ...

3rd group: Latour a Pomerol, Gazin, Le Gay, Certan de May, Clinet, La Fleur de Gay and maybe some others ...
I haven´t had enough La Violette and Hosanna (former Certan-Giraud which was not outstanding), to be sure about these ...

Other good producers:
Clos L´Eglise, Bon Pasteur, L´Enclos (1990!), Petit-Village, Nenin, Rouget, La Grave (a Pomerol/Trigant de Boisset), de Sales (1978+1979 !) ...

This is NO complete list ...!
William Kelley wrote: The post-war period was so great in Pomerol. Did you ever drink any old Rouget?
Yes, 1964 can be very fine (if a good bottle) ... and also 1959 and 1966 were very good ... 1975 not so ...


If Pomerol did have a classification, it would not be the same as an AOC in Burgundy.

From what I understand, the laws there allow the owner of the Chateaux to label any juice from his newly acquired ( but must be adjacent ) vineyards under the name of his own Chateaux.

For example, if Chateaux Petrus bought up all the vineyards next to his plot - which he now owns - he is allowed to include the all juice from the new acquired vineyards as if they are from Chateaux Petrus.

So....what kind of a *classification* would that be ? [rofl.gif]

I maybe wrong ....but [scratch.gif]

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#48 Post by Jeff Leve » January 5th, 2018, 8:19 am

Peter Chiu wrote:
If Pomerol did have a classification, it would not be the same as an AOC in Burgundy.

From what I understand, the laws there allow the owner of the Chateaux to label any juice from his newly acquired ( but must be adjacent ) vineyards under the name of his own Chateaux. So....what kind of a *classification* would that be ? [rofl.gif]

I maybe wrong ....but [scratch.gif]
Not to let facts get in the way of a good argument, but you are wrong. Pomerol as you note is not classified. In the Left Bank, you can add land to your estate, provided the vines are in the appellation. They do not need to be contiguous.

However, even though for example, Latour can purchase additional vines and sell wine from those grapes as Latour, they do not. That is why they make a second wine, a third wine and declassify other lots, selling them in bulk.

For another example, Mouton could add Clerc Milon and d'Armailhac (Both 5th Growths) to Mouton, vastly increasing the amount of Mouton produced, and they don't. Leoville Las Cases has a second wine and they make Clos du Marquis from the LLC vineyards, which has its own second wine, which could all be LLC, etc. There are numerous other examples of this at all the top properties.

In Saint Emilion, classified estates cannot purchase additional land without asking the INAO for permission, based on terroir, for those vines to be included in their classified parcels.

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#49 Post by Mark Golodetz » January 5th, 2018, 8:31 am

James Billy wrote:Lots of mentions of 2014. What is your take on it in Pomerol?

Have tasted a few 2014s (I wasn't at Primeurs) and VCC and Conseillante are the only Pomerols I have had. Both extraordinarily good. I like the vintage in general, there's a real crunch and freshness there.

You should also note as I continue to backfill old vintages of VCC, that the 2014 was around $160, and the 2015/16 are $250.
Last edited by Mark Golodetz on January 5th, 2018, 8:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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#50 Post by Mark Golodetz » January 5th, 2018, 8:34 am

Jeff Leve wrote:
In Saint Emilion, classified estates cannot purchase additional land without asking the INAO for permission, based on terroir, for those vines to be included in their classified parcels.

Each classification chooses the rules they want to impose on their constituents. Pomerol could follow the Medoc model or St. Emilion. They will do neither, they like things as they are.

Beausejour Becot was demoted for co-mingling of wines without getting INAO permission.

Plenty of Medoc winemakers are adding to their vineyards the whole time. Montrose recently bought a large parcel from Phelan Segur. Ironically, that particular parcel was part of the 1855 classification, and by buying it, they were getting closer to the original 2nd Growth vineyards.
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