The En-Primeur Insider: Fifth Edition, with Alistair Cooper MW

Today our Bordeaux En Primeur Team will be introducing you to one of the hidden gems of one of the smallest but mightiest Appellations in Bordeaux; Chateau Taillefer from Pomerol. 
 

"Floral and violet notes on the nose mingle with some cinnamon spice. Superb extraction of tannins, precise and almost like gentle pinpricks over the mouth, excellent oak integration in a medium bodied style. A cloud of ripe and succulent dark fruits, mulbery and pepper leads to a long and textured finish. This carries itself so well and I suspect will become a really lovely wine in the coming years."

-16.5+PTS, Alistair Cooper MW for JancisRobinson.com

Chateau Taillefer is one of the oldest properties in the Pomerol appellation dating back to at least 1785. The chateau was built in the early 1800’s. Chateau Taillefer is historic for another reason, it is the first property purchased by the Moueix dynasty, who own several key estates throughout Bordeaux and the Napa Valley. Antoine Moueix bought the estate in 1923, and the family still owns it today!

Below is a short video from our man on the ground, Alistair Cooper MW, who has tasted and rated this newest vintage:
 

History of the Region

A few words on the region for those that do not know Pomerol well;
 

If you look back at the history of Pomerol, it lacks the long history of the appellations of the Left Bank. Whilst they can trace their history back over a thousand years, vineyards in Pomerol were only intermittently established in this relatively infertile tract of land; it was just too hard to establish vines on- especially Cabernet Sauvignon. It wasn’t until the late 15th century that anyone bothered to grow grapes here. In fact, it wasn’t until the late 19th century that there was any record of the wines of Pomerol gaining any respect. So needless to say, the famous ‘Classification of 1855’ made no mention of any wine from Pomerol, and that’s the way it has stayed ever since!

It wasn’t until the 1950s, when 2 British wine merchants, sick of squabbling over wines from the Left Bank, went searching for wines with more value to offer the wine drinkers of London hit hard by the austerity enforced during WWII. Harry Waugh and Roland Avery ‘discovered’ Pomerol- most notably via its most iconic property Chateau Petrus. After this, the popularity of Pomerol exploded, and winery names such as Chateau Lafleur, Le Pin, L’Eglise-Clinet, Latour-a-Pomerol and La Fleur de Gay graced the shelves of wine stores not only in London, but all through Europe and the USA. The minute availability and high quality of the wines convinced all these markets to ignore the lack of Classification system in the region.
 

Alistair Cooper Master of Wine and Esteemed Critic

 

- Alistair Cooper,
Master of Wine & Esteemed Critic