2021 Château l'Evangile, Pomerol, Bordeaux
A good example of how skilful winemaking adapts to conditions - all the Cabernet Sauvignon has gone into the 1st wine this year because it achieved plenty of natural concentration, while recently it has been put into Blason because it took away from the elegance of the 1st wine. Savoury, supple black and blue fruits, austere but with sapidity and juice, and a gorgeous wash of campfire smoke, salted caramel, liquorice, cloves and saffron spices. 20hl/h yield after mildew. This is their first organic-certified vinified, and first year with Juliette Couderc as technical director from beginning to end of the growing season. Harvest September 21 to October 4. No chaptilisation. 50% new oak, 15% amphora, 3.6ph.
Drink 2028 - 2042
Jane Anson, janeanson.com (May 2022)
A blend of 69% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2021 L'Evangile offers up aromas of plums, cherries and wild berries mingled with notions of rose petals, violets, licorice and tobacco leaf. Medium to full-bodied, ample and velvety, with fine concentration and rich, powdery structuring tannins that assert themselves on the finish, this estate's rather low average vine age meant Evangile didn't suffer much from coulure this year, and the rainy growing season also spared young Cabernet Franc from hydric stress—explaining its historically high percentage in the 2021 blend.
William Kelley, Wine Advocate (Apr 2022)
The move towards more elegance and finesse confirmed. Floral violet notes. Crunchy fruit and tannins that provide length and persistence. Lovely texture with freshness as well. Harmonious.
Drink 2028 - 2040
James Lawther, jancisrobinson.com (May 2022)
About this WINE
Château L'Evangile is one of the prestigious estates in Pomerol and produces some of the most sought-after wines in the appellation. It is located in the far east of the Pomerol appellation and its vineyards border those of Château La Conseillante, Château Gazin and Château Cheval Blanc. Its 14.1 hectares of vineyards (Merlot 78%; Cabernet Franc 22%) lie on deep gravel beds pitted with sand and clay.
The wine is vinified traditionally, undergoing a lengthy cuvaison followed by maturation in oak barriques (40% new) for 16-20 months. L`Evangile has always been a top-class estate but quality has been pushed noticeably higher since Domaines Baron de Rothschild of Château Lafite acquired a majority shareholding in 1990.
With Michel Rolland as consultant winemaker, the wines of L'Evangile are now challenging Pétrus and Lafleur in terms of their sheer class and quality.
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.
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.
Merlot is now grown in virtually all wine growing countries and is particularly successful in California, Chile and Northern Italy.
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Merlot 69%, Cabernet Franc 30%, Cabernet Sauvignon 1%
Much Merlot was lost to mildew; the excellent Cabernet Franc has been boosted to 30%. Equally important, indicating the estate’s direction under Juliette Couderc, is the ageing in 15% amphorae and the reduced percentage of new oak. This all creates a more polished wine with a silkier texture and greater sensuality than those accustomed to older vintages might expect. But it’s not just gloss: at its heart are the estate’s signatures of spicy plum, ground coffee and woodsmoke. What is so attractive about this “lighter” vintage is the poise and gourmand character it adds. Drink 2027-2042.
Our score: 18/20
Berry Bros. & Rudd, April 2022
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