A Visit to Château La Conseillante in Pomerol

1-chateau-la-conseillante-bottles The beautiful bright purple color on the bottles makes Château La Conseillante stand out from the rest. This color is used to brand and to decorate their facilities, but the purple is not what makes this place so special, as it is all about location. Situated in Pomerol, La Conseillante is next to the famed Pétrus. La Conseillante has a special quality all its own, and is another of the very unique Pomerol properties to visit.

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Pulling up to La Conseillante, the building is very simple and fairly understated. Upon entering, you will find purple motifs everywhere, from the flowers to the walls.  There has been a lot of work done at La Conseillante, with a new vat room completed in 2012 with the installation of 22 concrete vats. 7-chateau-la-conseillante-vat-room

It is always great when a tour includes a visit to the vineyards. Our guide Audrey explained about the viticulture, and allowed a tasting of a sweet, ripe Merlot grape. The visit continued to the new and impressive vat room, where we met the new winemaker Marielle Cazaux, who previously worked at Château Petit-Village. She was very pleasant, and it was enlightening to hear speak about the current vintage and future of La Conseillante. The visit continued to the barrel room and then to the cellar, which had a bottle from 1912.

6-chateau-la-conseillante-grapes-vineyardThe tasting was in a room surrounded by natural light with windows overlooking the vineyards. The tasting included one wine from the recent 2014 vintage. But the view of the vineyards from the tasting room really enhanced the tasting experience.

4-chateau-la-conseillante-wine-glass-vineyardChâteau La Conseillante is a great place to visit in Pomerol. It is a château that splits the middle of a traditional Pomerol property and a state-of-the-art, modern winemaking facility. Here you get the sense that while the technology may evolve, the soul of the château always stays the same.

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A Horizontal Tasting of 1970 Bordeaux

10-10-2015 A horizontal tasting of 1970 Bordeaux at Wine By the Bay, Miami1970 Bordeaux Lineup1970 has been considered by many to be the best vintage of the ‘70s. However, this is a dubious distinction, as the decade was marred by poor quality vintages. Despite that, there were some great successes in 1970, with many in Pomerol (Pétrus, Trotanoy, and La Conseillante, for example). As of 2015, the vast majority of wines have reached maturity, or have already faded. Still, it is always nice to check in on a classic Bordeaux vintage to see how everything is drinking. This tasting included only wines from the Médoc and Pessac-Léognan, but there were some impressive representatives. I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that wines this old can vary considerably due to storage conditions. Certainly, in this tasting there were variances in fill levels (all noted in the tasting notes) that seemed to have quite an impact on the tasting experiences. How else can you explain the Prieuré-Lichine outperforming the Léoville Las Cases?


Prieure Lichine Pichon LalandeChâteau Prieuré-Lichine, the surprise wine of the night, as expectations weren’t terribly high. Base neck fill. Brick red color. Nose of cassis, raisin, fig, leather, and mint. Smooth mouthfeel. High acidity, fresh finish. Finish a bit short. Nearing end of life but still kicking. This bottle was obviously well-stored and was enjoyable. Absolutely drink now if you have this in your cellar. – 90pts

Château Pichon Lalande, top shoulder fill. Medium ruby color, lightened edges. Still nicely concentrated. Nose of red and dark fruits, barnyard, leather, and a hint of cheesiness and truffle. Lively on the palate and surprisingly tannic. Impressive long finish (the strength here). Overall very good. – 92pts


Lafite Rothschild Haut-BrionChâteau Lafite-Rothschild, very high shoulder. Really light color, almost Burgundian. An elegant delicate nose of red cherry, floral (fresh violets), asparagus, and brown spices. Very strangely, there was an unmistakable muscadine grape scent, which provided some sweetness to the nose. Soft mouthfeel, nicely balanced. Tannins essentially resolved. Medium-plus acid. Freshness on the finish. An incredibly unique Bordeaux wine. Would like to try this again, as it was hard to make sense of this. What I can say is that this was enjoyable, and one of the better wines of the evening. – 93pts

Château Haut-Brion, dark color, surprising for a 1970. An interesting nose. A little funk that blew off. Dried fig, prune, smoky earth, licorice, and eucalyptus. Big on the palate. Tannins still a bit firm. Acidity nicely balanced. Powerful. Young. Can probably hold for a bit longer, but the fruit is certainly fading. – 92pts


Chateau Margaux Las CasesChâteau Margaux, flawed. Cooked fruit. Maderized. Mid shoulder fill.

Château Léoville Las Cases, high shoulder fill. Medium ruby. Very earthy nose, a bit tired. Walks the line between dried and cooked fruits…fig, prune, bacon, old library book. Better on the palate. Somewhat powerful. Seems a little clunky. Acidic on the finish. Drink up. A disappointment. – 88 pts