Fabulously situated alongside Cheval Blanc and L'Evangile, this property has a long track record of making outstanding wine that is never forced or over-extracted. Always consistent and reliable. Quality has been further improved in recent years by the production of a second wine - Duo de la Conseillante.
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Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2017 La Conseillante sashays out of the glass with the most gorgeous notes of lilacs, Black Forest cake, kirsch and black raspberries plus nuances of cinnamon stick, dark chocolate and licorice. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has a firm, finely grained texture with bags of perfumed black fruits and wonderful freshness, finishing very long and very fragrant. 2024-2053.
The 2017 La Conseillante is a regal wine. Lithe and statuesque in the glass, La Conseillante soars with real vertical intensity. Sweet floral aromatics and silky tannins give the 2017 much of its understated, classy personality. Inky dark blue/purplish fruit, spice, licorice and lavender develop with a bit of time, but it is the wine's balance and extreme sense of harmony that stand out most. Technical Director Marielle Cazaux gave the fruit about 2 days on the skins, with no SO2 at crush. Cazaux added that the malos were quite fast. The blend is 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc. Frost reduced production by around 15%, while drought further reduced yields in the Franc by a further 10%. This is a fabulous showing. Drink 2025-2042.
The 2017 La Conseillante suffered a touch of frost on the Cabernet Franc and was bottled 5 and 6 June. It is impressive on the nose with blackberry, boysenberry, truffle and bay leaf aromas. I appreciate the delineation and focus of this Pomerol. The palate is medium-bodied with quite firm, slightly chalky tannins at the moment. It is not a deep nor powerful La Conseillante, but it has plenty of character and charm, reflecting the growing season and the vineyard. It just finishes a little curtly like many 2017 Pomerols, but it should flesh out with bottle age. It's probably bad luck that this is sandwiched between the 2016 and 2018 but hey, you cannot choose the year you were born. 2020 - 2025.
The 2017 La Conseillante contains a little less Cabernet Franc than usual because four or five rows were damaged by frost. It has a classic Pomerol bouquet with touches of truffle and incense infusing the broody black fruit that take a few minutes to unwind in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, well balanced with a subtle sprinkling of white pepper and fennel. The Cabernet Franc, despite its diminished contribution, is quite expressive towards the balsamic-tinged finish that shows plenty of energy and decent persistence. It is less powerful than the 2016 at this stage but it is clearly a very well crafted, almost sensual Pomerol by winemaker Marielle Cazaux. Tasted twice with consistent notes, this may well settle at the top of my banded score once in bottle. Drink 2022-2045.
The 2017 La Conseillante displays a deep garnet-purple color and simply sings of crushed blueberries, mulberries and ripe plums with suggestions of violets, chocolate box, rose hip tea and a waft of menthol. The palate is medium-bodied with impressive richness at this elegant weight coupled with vivacity and supported by plush, velvety tannins, finishing with great length and energy. This is an arrestingly beautiful expression of this vintage!
A young red with sweet fruit and very fine tannins, which have a creamy and almost salty sensation. Medium to full body. Blackberries, dark chocolate and bark. Some black tea, too. It shows an energy and tension. The creamy tannins give polish and beauty. Better after 2023.
Tight and precise with focused tannins and a lovely texture to this young wine. Medium to full body. Compressed and serious. Some salty and dark fruit at the end.
The 2017 La Conseillante is a wine of total finesse and class. Bright, floral and beautifully lifted, the 2017 is exceptionally polished and nuanced from start to finish. Despite its mid-weight, gracious personality, the 2017 has real staying power. Technical Director Marielle Cazaux gave the fruit about 2 days on the skins, with no SO2 at crush. Cazaux added that the malos were quite fast. The blend is 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc. Frost reduced production by around 15%, while drought further reduced yields in the Franc by a further 10%. As for the wine, well, the 2017 was magnificent on each of the three occasions I tasted it.
Picked from 5th to 29th September with frost affecting only the vines that make Duo. The blend is 85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc from yields of 35 hl/ha. They believe this wine to be in the style of their excellent 2001 vintage here. A violet colour in the glass hints at the wild aromatics of blueberry, clove, and jasmine tea. The fruit has great definition, with ripe blue and black fruits etched into the plentiful but velvet-textured tannins. With time in the glass the aromatic expression only increases, and though the tannins remain persistent, their refinement allows for added complexity and spiciness to come through - though the notes from the oak are very subtle, and expertly handled. Finishing with cinnamon and cocoa, this is focused, poised and harmonious.
Violets fragrant the nose has real charm the palate sweet with ripe fruit mid richness suppleness the tannins are discreet and velvety. Rich and ripe at the back there is depth of fruit with purity of flavour on the finish. 2026-38
Harvest began with the Merlots on gravel at La Conseillante, on 5 September. The temperature dropped, and they had 30mm of rain on the 9th, so they stopped and restarted in mid-September, not picking the Cabernet Franc until 29 September. With 15% lost to frost (just 1.5ha entirely lost), the final yield was 34hl/ha, with no second generation fruit in the wine. I had the chance to taste through the individual components of this wine as well as the blend, and then retasted it the following week. It's an excellent take on the vintage, the austerity coming through on the attack before it opens to a wonderfully smoky mid-palate with loganberry and blackberry fruit, showing real fullness and volume. This has texture, structure and good aromatics, with a great sense of energy and persistency. The plot affected by the frost was a Duo parcel, so they will make a small amount of second wine but not as much as usual, and the overall production will be 85% grand vin. In organic conversion. 70% new oak. 3.6pH.
Drinking Window 2025 - 2040
Winemaker Marielle Cazaux was elated about her 2017. The temperatures dropped to -2C and so they rented a helicopter (which hovered at a height of 30m) and this took the temperatures back up to 0C. On the Cheval Blanc side, the temperature dropped to -3.5C and they lost 15% of fruit which was destined for Duo. A very early vintage, with veraison happening at the end of July. They started picking on 5th September and so Marielle had to cut her holiday short! They stopped for rain and then finished everything on 29th September. The Cabernet Franc berries were very small, very spicy and of great quality. Pure, complex and totally refreshing, this is a stunningly energetic La Conseillante with lovely definition and class. This is all about length rather than depth and while it is forward and clear, it will hold well on account of the stunning acidity. This is a completely different wine to the 2015 and 2016 and it is very worthy of its place in this fabulous trio of vintages.