Best 2012 Pomerol

11 April 2013
Author: Jeannie Cho Lee


The tasting at Jean-Pierre Moueix was one of the most pleasurable tastings of the week with all ten wines from Pomerol showing the best side of the 2012 vintage. These are not powerhouses with dense, thick tannins that require decades of cellaring; they are very attractive, beautifully aromatic reds with moderate alcohol and silky, supple tannins. The wine from the glasses seems to come out to greet you – they are so friendly, open and enjoyable. There was not one wine in the lineup that was hard, disappointing or dull. It was a wise move to do what Moueix did in this vintage: vinify gently to express the fruit and silky tannins.


Wines from Petrus, Lafleur, Le Pin, La Conseillante and Vieux Chateau Certan all show how gorgeous these 2012 wines are, even it is youth. But they are not without structure or depth – there are plenty of intensity and firm tannins with freshness to age them for a few decades easily. The wines from Pomerol are not just great at the top end; even more modestly priced chateaux like La Pointe did very well in this vintage. Out of all the appellations, this one was the most successful in 2012 with the greatest consistency from the top to the bottom. Of course being a small appellation with small vineyards help, but so does having clay soils and working with an earlier ripening variety like Merlot. I tasted 80 wines from Pomerol and there was not one that was very disappointing. This will be my go-to region for reliable, consistently good 2012 reds.


1. 2012 Chateau Petrus, Pomerol, Bordeaux, France Intense, alluring aromatics of violets, jasmine and sweet spices. A gorgeous array of flavours that entice from the nose and carry through on its promise on the palate with great depth, complexity and velvety texture. This is the most amazing, layered red wine from the 2012 vintage. A wine that will evolve and age well for decades. Very long, lingering finish. Harvest was 26 September to mid October 2012 – one of the longest harvests in their history. 2012 was the first time they used the new cellar with more vats and greater precision and softness – perhaps this is what is contributing to the openness and seductive flavours. 30 hl/ha yield in this vintage with only 30,000 bottles produced due to strict selection. (97) Average Retail Price for 2011: US$1,897 / HK$14,756


2. 2012 Chateau Lafleur, Pomerol, Bordeaux, France Intensely floral with violets and roses, a palate that is complex and generous with layers of flavours that are persistent and fresh. Amazing finesse with intensity and depth. Very long length with wonderful concentration without any heaviness. The Cabernet Franc performed very differently depending on the soil/site so maturation was different by plots. In 2012, Lafleur is composed of 46% Merlot and 54% Cabernet Franc which were harvested between 23 September to 6 October, fairly early for this vintage. (93-96) Average Retail Price for 2011: US$733 / HK$5,700


3. 2012 Chateau Le Pin, Pomerol, Bordeaux, France A gorgeous nose of violets, jasmine, sweet spices and cedar. Amazing generosity on the palate without any heaviness and velvety, plush texture. Great intensity and freshness with impressive depth. Seamless from start to finish with linger flavours. 32 hl/ha and about 10% less production than 2011. This is a gorgeous wine that stands out in this challenging vintage. (92-95) Average Retail Price for 2011: US$1441 / HK$11,209


4. 2012 Chateau La Conseillante, Pomerol, Bordeaux, France Very attractive aroma of violets, rose petals and sweet spices. The tannins are plush and opulent. The wine is more open this year than in many past vintages of La Conseillante where it does not show well en primeur while in barrels. A gorgeous, delicious wine that is approachable but has a long life ahead. 38.5hl/ha with 11% Cabernet Franc and 89% Merlot which was better, so this year there was more in the final blend. The new vat room with18 individual cement vats allowed precision and it was used during the 2012 vintage. Very delicate and precise with great concentration in this vintage. Jean Michel Laporte, the winemaker, contributes part of their wine’s success to the new cellar. (92-94) Average Retail Price for 2011: US$107 / HK$833


5. 2012 Chateau Trotanoy, Pomerol, Bordeaux, France An elegant Trotanoy with velvety tannins, dark berry fruits and hint of cedar and spice. A classic Pomerol that will need at least 5+ years in bottle but should open up to reveal its complex, multi-dimensional personality. Long finish. (91-93) Average Retail Price for 2011: US$177 / HK$1,380


6. 2012 Vieux Chateau Certan, Pomerol, Bordeaux, France This is an opulent, velvety-textured Pomerol with 87% Merlot in the blend. A gorgeous wine with great concentration, which is surprising given the difficult weather conditions. The alcohol is a reasonable at 13.5% and the Cabernet Franc (12%) adds good structure and depth along with the ripe, generous Merlot. There is freshness in the fruit with vibrancy and energy showing ability to age easily for decades. One of the most successful wines of this vintage in Pomerol! Small yield at only 33hl/ha and only 2,800 cases made. (91-93) Average Retail Price for 2011: US$153 / HK$1,190


7. 2012 Chateau l’Eglise Clinet, Pomerol, Bordeaux, France Ripe, expressive and intensely aromatic. Very low quantity this year with 90% Merlot which was ripe, juicy and intense. Lovely layers and depth with sweetness and ripeness in this vintage. Grapes were harvested between 21 September and 6 October, latter part was for the Cabernet Franc. 80% new oak is well integrated in this wine. (90-92) Average Retail Price for 2011: US$155 / HK$1,201


8. 2012 Chateau l’Evangile, Pomerol, Bordeaux, France This is an attractive, generous red with plenty of red and black fruits with spices in the finish. Fresh and lively with alcohol at 14.4% (the pH is 3.7). There was much work done in the vineyard over the past few years including creating better drainage. 73% of the grapes went into the grand vin. Lovely, accessible flavours with fairly long length. Blend of 67% Merlot and 33% Cabernet Franc. (90-92) Average Retail Price for 2011: US$144 / HK$1,118


9. 2012 Chateau La Fleur Petrus, Pomerol, Bordeaux, France A gorgeous, delicious red with approachability and drinkability, and contains the structure and ability to age. Supple, velvety and subtle with an alluring array of sweet spices and dark plum flavours. Fairly long finish. (91) Average Retail Price for 2011: US$148 / HK$1,154


10. 2012 Chateau Le Gay, Pomerol, Bordeaux, France Elegant Pomerol with fresh, lively flavours and good balance. The wine is energetic with very good length. Well composed and balanced with delicate flavours of floral notes and silky tannins – no heavy extraction on this vintage that really appreciated the gentle touch. (89-91) Average Retail Price for 2011: US$78 / HK$606