Château La Conseillante 2019
With its striking violet hued capsule and elegant label, Château La Conseillante is a Pomerol producer that can captivate on looks alone. It is regarded as one of the finest producers in Pomerol, with top tier neighbors like Château Pétrus and Château Cheval Blanc. Château La Conseillante is a consistently excellent wine that has the rare aroma of violets. The label of this beautiful bottle is an homage to this striking aroma that is unique to this estate and the precious terroir it rests upon. Without a doubt, Château La Conseillante is one of the jewels of the Right Bank, hosting enough delicate complexity to please any Pomerol lover.
The history of Château La Conseillante is a rich and lengthy one. It is one of the oldest estates in Pomerol and was founded by Catherine Conseillan. Catherine was known as, “the Iron Lady,” and was a formidable force in the wine industry. It was Catherine Conseillan who created the 12-hectare property, choosing only the choicest parcels upon the Catusseau plateau. She named the property after a feminized version of her last name, and thus Château La Conseillante was born. The estate changed hands numerous times until it was acquired by the Nicolas family in 1871. Louis Nicolas was a prominent force in Pomerol, he created the Pomerol Wine Grower’s union to help launch the smaller appellation’s trajectory as a wine producing region. Amazingly enough, the Nicolas family still owns the property. They approach the land with reverence, believing that each line of vignerons should have the same goal: to preserve the land and pass it on to the next generation.
Creating the grand vin at La Conseillante was a family run operation until 2001, when they hired the hardworking and talented Jean-Michel Laporte to tend to the vines and create the grand vin. Jean-Michel made the decision to bring on Michel Rolland to consult at the property. Marielle Cazaux is currently the managing director and winemaker at Château La Conseillante, and she brings her extensive knowledge from Château Petit-Village to this esteemed property.
Château La Conseillante was the first producer on the Right Bank to vinify in temperature-controlled, stainless steel tanks. The vat room was renovated in 2011, with 22 new areal concrete tanks an additional underground concrete vat. The vineyard is a mosaic of different clay soils, ranging from shades of red, grey, and the famous blue clay associated with Château Pétrus. Vines of Merlot and Cabernet Franc thrive within this mixture of clays and are 35 years old. If one is fortunate enough to visit this beautiful estate, they will find the majority of the Cabernet Franc vines are planted on more graveled soils, closer to Château Cheval Blanc.
If the wine of Château La Conseillante could be boiled down to one word, it would be, “elegance.” Though it does require a few years in bottle, one does not have to wait long. It is truly a perfect wine for those who favor a Pomerol with plenty of finesse.
"The 2019 La Conseillante is a blend of 84% Merlot and 16% Cabernet Franc, harvested from the 17th of September to the 7th of October at yields of 34 hectoliters per hectare. It is being aged in 70% new French oak barrels, 27% second fill barrels and 3% amphora. The alcohol this year is 14.5% with a pH of 3.67. Very deep purple-black colored, it comes bounding out of the glass with all the energy of a new puppy, featuring notes of warm plums, wild blueberries and freshly crushed black cherries with hints of licorice, molten chocolate, violets, woodsmoke and tar plus a waft of lavender. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is laden with layer upon layer of black and blue fruits with loads of floral sparks and a very fine-grained, silt-like texture, finishing with incredible freshness and a provocative mineral edge. La Conseillante's signature perfume, purity and restrained power shine through with amazing clarity and style this vintage." -Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Advocate, Ratings: (96-98)
Marielle Cazaux of La Conseillante started by saying, “What was important for us in terms of vineyard management was realizing that it was a year when, finally, doing nothing was the best solution. We left the leaves on the canopy. Except for the young vines and Cabernet Franc, the vines did well, positioned on the clay. For the young vines, we plowed a little ditch to collect the water when it rained. We have a saying: ‘one good holing is worth two waterings.’” Cazeaux explained, “It was so warm during harvest, so we picked only in the morning, to keep the fruit cool. It was a very easy vinification. We worked from 7 a.m. to noon in the winery, while it was cool. We did all the pump-overs by hand, aiming for very smooth, gentle extraction. We harvested the last parcel of Cabernet Franc on the 7th of October. It was not a difficult vintage in terms of winemaking. Since 2017, all the tanks have had debourbage (a cool settling) done prior to fermentation. We do that overnight, simply to get rid of the dust and dirt. When the vintages are hot and dry, there can be a lot of dust and dirt on the grapes—the quantity can be incredible. We want the wine to be as pure as possible.” She continued, "This 2019 was really simple for me. In the middle of February, the selection was done. Now I understand that at this property, the amount of wine that I make doesn’t matter. If it is not good enough, it doesn’t go into La Conseillante. We are so small, we need to be at the top with the quality. We have a lot competition.” It’s another job superbly done for Cazeaux and her team, as La Conseillante's signature perfume, purity and restrained power shine through with amazing clarity and style this vintage. The Wine Advocate
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