The 2022 La Croix du Casse is made from 97% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon, with yields of just 22 hl/ha due to some frost here. Deep garnet-purple in color, it slowly emerges from the glass with tantalizing fruitcake, preserved plums, and boysenberry scents, followed by hints of Chinese five spice and potpourri. The full-bodied palate is rich and plush, with just enough freshness and a spicy finish.
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Independent (May 2023)
Jane Anson, janeanson.com (May 2023)
About this WINE
Chateau la Croix du Casse
Château La Croix du Casse was for many years owned and administered by Jean-Michel Arcaute, who also owned Chateau Jonqueyres and world famous Chateau Clinet. He was one of Bordeaux`s true innovators and propelled Croix du Casse into the front line of Pomerol properties.
La Croix du Casse's wine is fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats and is then aged in oak barriques, 50% of which are new, for 24 months. It is bottled unfined and unfiltered. La Croix du Casse's produces plummy, voluptuously rich Pomerols that ooze sweet, black fruits, herbs, coffee and sometimes dark chocolate accompanied by smoky vanilla oak notes. Irresistible while young but they will continue improving for a decade or so.
Jean-Michel Arcaute was tragically killed in a boating accident in 2001.
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.