2006 Château La Pointe, Pomerol, Bordeaux
About this WINE
Chateau La Pointe
Château La Pointe is a large (by Pomerol standards) estate that can trace its history back to 1845. It was originally owned by the Chaperon family who was responsible for building the elegant Directoire-style château. In the 1868 edition of Charles Cocks' Bordeaux et ses vins, Edouard Féret lists La Pointe as among the finest growths in Pomerol and goes on to say that the wines "are noteworthy for their finesse, bouquet and beautiful colour." The property has been owned by the d'Arfeuille family since 1941 and has been owned and managed by Stéphane d'Arfeuille since 1975.
The property is located in the south-western part of the Pomerol appellation, near the city of Libourne. It consists of 21 hectares of vineyards planted with 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc. The grapes are fermented in temperature-controlled, stainless steel vats and the wine is matured in small oak barriques (33% new) for 15-18 months. Consistently one of Pomerol's best-value buys.
Pomerol is the smallest of Bordeaux's major appellations, with about 150 producers and approximately 740 hectares of vineyards. It is home to many bijou domaines, many of which produce little more than 1,000 cases per annum.
Both the topography and architecture of the region is unremarkable, but the style of the wines is most individual. The finest vineyards are planted on a seam of rich clay which extends across the gently-elevated plateau of Pomerol, which runs from the north-eastern boundary of St Emilion. On the sides of the plateau, the soil becomes sandier and the wines lighter.
There is one satellite region to the immediate north, Lalande-de-Pomerol whose wines are stylistically very similar, if sometimes lacking the finesse of its neighbour. There has never been a classification of Pomerol wines.
Recommended Châteaux : Ch. Pétrus, Vieux Ch. Certan, Le Pin, Ch. L’Eglise-Clinet, Ch. La Conseillante, Ch. L’Evangile, Ch. Lafleur, Trotanoy, Ch. Nenin, Ch. Beauregard, Ch. Feytit-Clinet, Le Gay.
Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.
In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.
In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and Australia.
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