I was immensely impressed by the quality of the 2021 Nenin, a wine that's the fruit of an immensely strict selection—and several consecutive nights of frost protection. Offering up aromas of sweet plums, wild berries, raw cocoa, black truffles and nicely integrated new oak, it's a medium to full-bodied, supple and velvety wine with lively acids, melting tannins and a layered, concentrated profile with a long, penetrating finish. Tasted twice.
William Kelley, Wine Advocate (Apr 2022)
The 2021 Nénin includes 36% Cabernet Franc this year, picked from 25 September until 4 October and raised in 35% new oak. There is plenty of blue fruit on the nose, a touch of crushed violet and Indian ink, quite forward and precocious for the growing season. The palate is medium-bodied with a velvety smooth opening, the new oak neatly integrated, fine acidity with a gentle grip on the finish where the Cabernet Franc subtle tobacco and slightly ferrous notes. Good potential. 13.31% alcohol
Drink 2028 - 2045
Neal Martin, vinous.com, (May 2022)
Very fine tannins with a medium body and a fresh center-palate. Hints of spices and dried lemon peel. Bright and focused. Pretty fruit. Refined.
James Suckling, jamessuckling.com (May 2022)
Elegant and fresh with tidy tannins. Aromatic for Nénin at this stage. Clean if not full throttle. Slight oak presence. Should improve with élevage.
Drink 2026 - 2036
James Lawther, jancisrobinson.com (May 2022)
They believe in structure at Nenin to be identified as Domaines Delon, even within the universe of Pomerol, and you can feel it here, along with the high levels of Cabernet Franc. There is Pomerol exuberance also, with smoked butterscotch notes on the opening beats, and plenty of blackberry and black cherry fruits, along with the signature pencil lead, graphite and crushed earth. This is not exuberant but entirely within the classic estate signature, with a kick of bitter almond on the finish, and a hint of iodine. 65IPT. Harvest September 23 to October 4. 35% new oak, 3.53ph. No frost impact here, but 21 nights of fighting it through the early season
Drink 2026 - 2040
Jane Anson, janeanson.com (May 2022)
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.