Château La Pointe (Pomerol 2012)
Special 6-pack Price: $297 (~$49/bottle)
The soils of gravel, sand, and clay that cover the small Bordeaux appellation of Pomerol are ideal for producing wines that express the complete range of the Merlot variety. Indeed, famous estates like Petrus quite often fetch higher prices than the first-growths of the Médoc and Graves. With a standard of quality high and production low bargains in Pomerol are not exactly easy to find.
At 54 acres, Château La Pointe is considered a large operation by Pomerol standards. While known for its quality wine dating all the way back into the mid-19th Century, it’s the most recent iteration of Château La Pointe that has both critics and consumers excited. Estate manager Eric Monneret has presided over renovations that include a completely new vat room and barrel cellar, allowing for plot-by-plot vinification, and thus enabling fine-tuning of the selection for their top label. Winemaking is assisted by the renowned oenologist Hubert de Boüard de Laforest, who also co-owns Château Angelus in Saint-Emilion.
In the midst of this rebirth, the 2012 vintage (an excellent year for Merlot across Bordeaux) may be Château La Pointe’s best wine to date. A blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, a glass exudes aromas of mocha, sweet berry fruit, and spice. Well-balanced and pure, this is classic Pomerol in structure – lush and accessible now, yet with an energetic core that promises a developmental curve that covers another decade, at least.
The Merlot grape variety often gets a bad rap due to the glut of simple, fruity wines that bear its name lined up on party store shelves. But when the soils and climate are right as in Pomerol, and production is focused on quality, the variety is capable of making some of the finest, age-worthy wines in the world. 2012 Château La Pointe will make a beautiful gift, or a stellar pairing with a holiday roast, without breaking the bank.