Château La Conseillante 2020
• Domaine: Château La Conseillante
• Appellation: Pomerol
• Origin: Right Bank, Bordeaux, France
• Importer: Laguna Cellar
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.
"There are some beautifully fragrant floral aromatics here with concentration through the mid palate and effortless balance. A little more width and opulence in the 2019 perhaps, but here you get precision and purity, and a feeling of 2010 levels of concentration. An elegant 2020, bright, confident, bursting with life. 70% new oak. A yield of 39hl/ha. 3.67pH. Gravel and clay soils, and to keep freshness they left crop cover on the old vines but on the young ploughed it into the soil so as not to have too much competition for the water. Lowered canopy also but kept shade and leaves around the bunches to protect from the sun. Picked early morning from 7am to noon, harvest of Merlot September 4 to 17, and the Cabernet Franc on September 21 and 30." Jane Anson, Best Pomerol Wines 2020 En Primeur, (04/30/2021) Rating: 96
"The 2020 La Conseillante is a blend of 87% Merlot and 13% Cabernet Franc. Seventy percent of the wine is being aged in new French oak barriques, 27% in second-fill barrels and 3% in amphorae. The alcohol came in at 14% and the pH is 3.64. Deep purple-black colored, it sails gracefully out of the glass with vivacious notes of black raspberries, kirsch and redcurrant jelly, leading to suggestions of ripe, juicy blackberries, violets, star anise and iron ore with a faint waft of dried mint. The medium to full-bodied palate is an exercise in elegance, delivering a quiet intensity of pure, energetic red and black berry layers with gorgeous floral and mineral sparks, framed by perfectly ripe, finely pixilated tannins and seamless freshness, finishing with epic length and the most breathtaking perfume. Simply mind-blowing." Lisa Perotti-Brown, End of May 2021, The Wine Advocate, (05/28/2021) Rating: 97-99, Drink: 2027-2060
"The 2020 Château La Conseillante is a blend of 87% Merlot and 13% Cabernet Franc that saw the Merlot brought in between September 4 and 17 and the Cabernet Franc from the 21st to the 30th of September. Still resting in 70% new barrels, it's a juicy, vibrant Pomerol in every sense and has a vivid purple color to go with a great nose of blueberries, cassis, spring flowers, and violets. Showing the vintage's rich, concentrated, yet also pure and straight style, this beauty is full-bodied, has flawless balance, and terrific tannins. It’s another gorgeous wine from Marielle Cazaux that will require a solid decade of bottle age, but it will see its 30th birthday in fine form." Jeb Dunnuck, Bordeaux En Primeur 2020: Part 1, (05/23/2021) Rating: 96-98
"The 2020 La Conseillante was picked September 14–17 for the Merlot and September 21–30 for the Cabernet Franc (eight picking days), the yields coming in at 37hl/ha, and matured in 70% new oak. Of the 13 parcels, four underwent vinification intégrale this year. Iridescent purple in color. The nose makes an immediate impression, delivering pure and quite precocious black currants and crushed iris flowers; subtle touches of morello cherries develop with aeration. It is beautifully defined and the oak seamlessly integrated. The palate is medium-bodied with succulent, ripe tannins that disguise the backbone of this exquisitely balanced Pomerol. A discreet crescendo leads to a pixelated finish of awe-inspiring persistency. The old "iron fist in a velvet glove" cliché rings true here. A deeply impressive and quite profound La Conseillante courtesy of Marielle Cazaux and her team." Neal Martin, VInous, (June, 2021) Rating: 96-98
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