The smallest of Bordeaux’s major appellations, Pomerol is home to just 150 producers with only 800 hectares under vine. With such a tiny area dedicated to vineyards, it is no surprise that production for most Chateaux here is extremely limited, often around 1,000 cases. Couple this with Pomerol’s ability to produce some of the world’s most expensive, desirable fine wine (such as Chateau Petrus, Lafleur, and Le Pin) and you have a mecca of a sub-region for both Bordeaux drinkers and savvy investors.
The above-mentioned ‘holy trinity’ of Right Bank Bordeaux shot to international fame following the now-legendary 1982 vintage and continuous glowing reports from Robert Parker Jr. It was also the focused drive of Jean-Pierre Moueix, who tirelessly worked to promote the wines of Pomerol, that put the appellation as a whole on the global fine wine map.
The Pomerol appellation and its boundaries were officially established in the early 20th Century, and its lineation remains unchanged to this day. Located due west of St Emilion and forming part of the ‘Right Bank’ Bordeaux, Pomerol has a variety of terroir and slopes that form the uniqueness of its wines. However, the area does not have an official classification of the appellation; it is one of the few fine wine regions not to do so. The best estates are located on the Pomerol plateau, with soil made up of clay, gravel and iron deposits. These clay-laden soils produce the rich and dense wines the region has become known for. Most famous of all are the blue clay soils of Chateau Petrus, some of the most enviable terroir in the appellation. Close to 40 million years old, and incredibly dense, this blue smectite clay dominates at Petrus and no other vineyard in the world has the same concentration of it. Clay soils are perfect for Merlot production, indeed close to 70% of the total vineyard area in Pomerol is dedicated to the grape. As an early ripening variety, the Merlot in Pomerol is able to obtain high level of ripeness while retaining acidity, and can be harvested before the rains. In addition to the clay-rich soils, pockets of gravel and clay can also be found. The gravel in Pomerol does not run deep, and underneath much of it there is also deep clay. Chateau Lafleur and Cheval Blanc produce stunning wines from these gravel soils.
In the market the impact of high demand, low production is clear to see on the prices and availability for Pomerol wines. Prices are creeping upwards, for example the aforementioned holy trinity of Chateaux have demonstrated an average increase of 39% over the past 24 months. However, landing an allocation of these estates is rare.
With this in mind, and our firm belief in the potential of Pomerol as an appellation, we have identified three key estates that would be a smart addition to any portfolio. Vieux Chateau Certan, l’Eglise Clinet, and Conseillante are all top-scoring Chateaux at a fraction of the price of those most famous wines from the area. To put this into perspective, the 12-vintage average case of Petrus is 2012% higher than Conseillante, yet their average scores only differ by 2.4%.
Vieux Chateau Certan, l’Eglise Clinet, and Conseillante are all becoming increasingly highly regarded and sought-after by critics and clients alike. Most particularly as an intelligent buy for the future; securing these allocations now, while they are available, is something that comes with our highest recommendation.