Château L'Evangile 2017
• Domaine: Château L'Evangile
• Appellation: Pomerol
• Grape Varietals: 80-90% Merlot, 10-20% Cabernet Franc
• Origin: Right Bank, Bordeaux, France
• Importer: Laguna Cellar
Saskia de Rothschild is the intuitive and sharp manager of the incomparable Pomerol estate, Château L’Évangile and the First Growth Château Lafite Rothschild. She describes Château L’Évangile as “… a house in Bordeaux situated on the famed plateau of Pomerol. It is at the heart of this natural laboratory that the earth and the heavens bring new lessons for each vintage.” The grand vin of Château L’Evangile is considered one of the finest offerings of this Right Bank appellation, held in esteem after some top tier estates like Château Vieux Château Certan and Château Pétrus. The wine is remarkably consistent, and fabulous vintages occurred even after the devastating frosts in 1956.
Château L’Évangile was one of the first vineyards to be planted in Pomerol. It was founded by the Léglise family from Libourne in 1741. The property’s name at the time was Domaine de Fazilleau. Right around the turn of the 19th Century, the property was purchased by a lawyer who named the estate L’Évangile. Eventually Château L’Évangile would be acquired by the prestigious Ducasse family, who were the owners of the estate until 1990. That year, 70 percent of the stake was sold to Lafite Rothschild. Funnily enough, the Rothschilds wanted to make some changes at the estate – like adding new oak barrels. Madame Ducasse, the owner of the remaining 30 percent of shares, was reluctant to this decision as new oak barrels are very expensive. She turned a blind eye, however, when the Rothschilds began sneaking new oak barrels into the barrel room late at night without presenting her with the bill. Eventually in 2004, Domaine Barons de Rothschild paid for an extensive renovation of the cellars which finished just before the legendary 2005 vintage.
Château L’Évangile has some incredible terroir. A mosaic of only the best soils grace the vineyards of this special place. The property is next door to esteemed estates like Château La Conseillante, Château Pétrus, and Château Cheval Blanc. A tiny dirt road is the only barrier separating Château L’Évangile from the Right Bank region of Saint-Émilion. In terms of soil, this 22 hectare property has a mixture of sandy clay soil with gravel and a small portion of the rare and special blue clay that is so famously associated with Château Pétrus. The vineyard is managed by Oliver Trégoat, the technical director of Château Rieussec. Interestingly enough, the Rothschilds began planting some Cabernet Sauvignon vines in the more graveled portions of the vineyard. They first incorporated Cabernet Sauvignon in the 2019 vintage. Everything is harvested by hand and the mixture of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon vines are fermented based on their original plots in cement vats. After this happens, the grand vin is aged in 70 percent new French oak for 18 months. The resulting wine is a simply stunning expression of Pomerol that needs a bit of time for its potential to unfold. The wine is opulent, and since the 2000s, quality has been at a higher standard than ever before.
"The 2017 L'Évangile, 100% Merlot for this first time, is just as impressive from bottle as it was from barrel. Dark, sumptuous and wonderfully inviting, the 2017 has so much to offer. Dark fruit, spice, mocha, leather and licorice infuse the 2017 with notable depth. Time in the glass brings out lovely aromatic top notes that add freshness. A rapturously beautiful wine, L'Évangile is stellar. Frost wiped out half of the potential crop, including all of the Cabernet Franc, which means the Grand Vin is 100% Merlot. Technical Director Jean Pascal Vazart opted for gentle pumpovers and longer extractions than normal." - Antonio Galloni, Vinous, (March, 2020), Rating: 97, Drink 2025-2042
"The 2017 L'Evangile is deep garnet-purple in color, featuring a profoundly scented nose of plum preserves, smoked meats, chargrill and cigar box with touches of licorice, tapenade, tar and truffles plus an earthy waft of underbrush. The palate is medium to full-bodied with a lovely purity of black and blue fruits, accented with baking spice notions and framed by plush tannins that offer just the right amount of provocative grip, finishing long and earthy." - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Advocate (4/27/2018, Issue 236), Rating: 93-95
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