Lisa Perrotti-Brown - 14/03/2019
(Jancis Robinson MW - jancisrobinson.com - April 2010)
(James Suckling - Wine Spectator - March 2010)
The wine has closed down considerably since I saw it from barrel, with a Medoc-like, structured minerality and backwardness. The tannins have moved to the front, and the wine displays loads of raspberry and black cherry fruit with a hint of earth in addition to floral notes. Give it 3-4 years of cellaring and drink it over the following 15-20 years.
(Robert Parker - Wine Advocate - Feb 2012)
About this WINE
Château Nénin is a rather large property in the appellation of Pomerol on Bordeaux’s Right Bank. It’s located just outside the village of Catusseau. Jean-Hubert Delon, proprietor of Château Léoville Las Cases, long knew Château Nénin’s potential; he bought it from the Despujol family in 1997. The Delon family quickly got to work, with major investment and renovation in the vineyard and the winery – replanting a huge amount of the vineyard to best suit the soils here. Of the estate’s 32 hectares, around 25 are currently in production, planted to Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Unusually for Pomerol, most plantings are in one block, which is surrounded on two sides by Château Trotanoy. There’s also a smaller plot near Le Pin.
The Cabernet Franc here is the result of massal selection of Léoville Las Cases. The technical team here believe that this enhances the purity and elegance of the fruit. The use of new oak is relatively restrained, with experiments underway with alternative vessels including glass vats, large oak vessels and terracotta. The property benefits greatly from the Delon family’s Left Bank savoir-faire, but it remains true to its Pomerol roots. This is an ever-more precise and elegant Pomerol, with huge ageing potential and offering value for money.
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.
The most widely planted grape in Bordeaux and a grape that has been on a relentless expansion drive throughout the world in the last decade. Merlot is adaptable to most soils and is relatively simple to cultivate. It is a vigorous naturally high yielding grape that requires savage pruning - over-cropped Merlot-based wines are dilute and bland. It is also vital to pick at optimum ripeness as Merlot can quickly lose its varietal characteristics if harvested overripe.
In St.Emilion and Pomerol it withstands the moist clay rich soils far better than Cabernet grapes, and at it best produces opulently rich, plummy clarets with succulent fruitcake-like nuances. Le Pin, Pétrus and Clinet are examples of hedonistically rich Merlot wines at their very best. It also plays a key supporting role in filling out the middle palate of the Cabernet-dominated wines of the Médoc and Graves.