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  • Country ranking ?

    177
  • Producer ranking ?

    3
  • Decanting time

    -
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  • Food Pairing

    Beef

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The Story

The name “La Conseillante” appeared in the middle of the 18th century, when the influential Catherine Conseillan, who owned the property, decided to endow the estate with her name.

In 1871, the Nicolas family acquired La Conseillante, whose surface area (12 hectares – 30 acres) and plots have not evolved since, enabling the estate to hold on to its exceptional qualities. In 1960, Louis Nicolas’ heirs formed the Société Civile des Héritiers Nicolas company. In 2001, the organisation of the company progressed by recruiting an Estate Manager. Then in 2003, a Family Council was formed.Since 1st February 2010, the Family Council of La Conseillante has had three members, Docteur Bertrand Nicolas, co-Managing Director since 2001, Jean-Valmy Nicolas co-Managing Director since 2010 and Henri Nicolas.

 

Today, the fifth generation of the Nicolas family manages the estate, symbolising the long-lasting attachment of this family to a great wine.The Family Council’s role is to supervise the Estate Manager’s activities and to take part in strategic decisions, such as futures sale prices, allocations, investments, dividends and promotional activities. The Nicolas heirs are identified on the label, which has sloped corners and a silver border surrounding the coat of arms inscribed with the letters “LN”. The violet-coloured capsule is a reminder of the aroma and characteristics of the wine. These parts of the design chosen by the Nicolas brothers in 1871 remain elegantly modern in the 21st century.

For the 140 years that it has existed, Château La Conseillante has thus benefited from long-lasting, unwavering support from the Nicolas family, helping it to express the best of its terroir, one of the greatest in Pomerol. One of its characteristics is that no member of the family lives with income from the property.

 

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Vintage 2019

BORDEAUX 2019 VINTAGE

When I was visiting Bordeaux early March, Corona was a threat on the horizon and France has been more concerned by a strike of the air traffic control. However, I was travelling to Bordeaux and had the chance to get some first insights to the 2019 vintage. I was very much looking forward to the “en primeur tastings” which were scheduled for March 26, 2020 but the tastings were cancelled mid-March. Immediately I contacted the different associations and wineries in Bordeaux and asked for samples.

The result was a small number of wines which arrived in Essen before the shutdown of France made shipments rather difficult. These first samples of the vintage 2019 were tasted under pristine conditions to assure a fair and equal assessment of all qualities. In fact, the samples proved right the opinion of some of Bordeaux’ leading figures. Bruno-Eugène Borie from Château Ducru-Beaucaillou sees 2019 in a line with the excellent vintages of 2016, 2010, 2009 und 2005.

Henri Lurton talks about his best vintage, along with 2016, he has ever vinified at Château Brane-Cantenac. Philippe Dhalluin from Château Mouton-Rothschild asses the vintage as rich and abundant in quality and also in quantity. After some smaller crops they came back to an average production.

Emmanuel Cruse from Château d’Issan sees that 2019 has a lot in common with 2016 yet preserving more freshness. It is a very good vintage but appearing at a very difficult time on the market. In fact, the start of this vintage was very positive. Enough precipitations during winter were retained by soils like chalk and clay. Vineyards on these water retaining soils had a huge advantage in the future growing period. With exception of a wet June, the vintage has taken advantage of a rather dry climatic condition, which prevented diseases in the vineyards to a huge extend. No chance for powdery or downy mildew. Even the heat waves were not really harming the vines as rain set in, always at the last moment but still early enough to prevent massive water stress and a slow-down of the maturity. The late physiological maturity brought a lot of alcohol, but the wines show more freshness as in the previous years.

Fabien Teitgen, Winemaker of Smith-Haut-Lafitte relates this freshness to the good acidity “due to cool night temperatures during the ripening period”. This fact is also good news for white wines. „They are the big surprise “, says Olivier Bernard of Domaine de Chevalier.

At Château Coutet in Barsac, Philippe and Aline Baly were harvesting in three passes with a total of 19 harvesting days. They judge the conditions as rather ideal: “These climatic conditions have generated a harvest whose quality is indisputably present.” Same samples made their way to Essen and I have tasted them. Some more samples are announced and will hopefully arrive during the current week. There will be a weekly update of my tasting notes, whenever samples will arrive.

Unfortunately, 2019 arrives in a difficult time, the Corona virus puts the world in fear and makes trade more and more difficult. Trade berries and new customs duties create a difficult frame for this vintage. However, we should not forget one thing: there are wonderful 2019s waiting for us, wines with ageing potential and charm which will survive every crisis.

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

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Written Notes

La Conseillante – 84% Merlot + 16% Cabernet Franc, 14.5% alcohol, 70% new oak. Marielle Cazaux, winemaker here, used a technique called "debourbage" during maceration, which separates clear juice and solids, so the only clear juice comes back to the vat/barrel. Freshness, complexity, sophisticated and rich. Very blueberry and black cherry. Velvety fruit and tannin. Awesome structure, elegance and impressive length. It seems to me there is more precision in 2019 than in 2018 and more typicity of Pomerol. Stunning effort. 98+p.

  • 98p

The 2019 La Conseillante was picked 17-20 September for the Merlot and 30 September and 7 October for the Cabernet Franc. Yields were low at just 34hl/ha. The Grand Vin is aged in 70% new French oak, 27% one-year old barrels and 3% in clay amphora. Limpid purple in colour, this has an exquisite bouquet with pixelated blackberry and raspberry scents, laced with pressed iris and a touch of graphite. It reminds me of a less powerful version of the 2010 when I tasted that from barrel. The palate is very smooth with ebullient red and black fruit on the entry, then it tapers in a little, towards a very cohesive, satin-textured middle. This is definitely one of the purest La Conseillante wines that I have encountered from barrel. It delivers a subtle spiciness towards the finish with hints of tobacco and clove on the persistent aftertaste. Winemaker Marielle Cazaux and her team have conjured a magnificent Pomerol here.

97-99points

  • 99p

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. 96-98 points

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.

  • 98p

Intense purple colour with violet hue and black core. Noble nose with multi-layered fruit reminiscent of blackberries, fresh plums, ripe Boysenberries and fresh mulberries, backed by elegant flowery tones of violets, hints of cocoa and subtle oak. On the palate velvety tannins, elegant acidity adding freshness, sweet fruit, subtle oak and hints of minerality. A wonderful, energetic Pomerol with fine tension, great aromatic depth and excellent length.

  • 98p
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Information

Origin

Pomerol, Bordeaux

Highlights

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