Peter Maude Fine Wines

2019, Château L'Évangile, POMEROL


Bordeaux Blend: Merlot, Cabernet Franc.

The 2019 L'Évangile is tasted from two bottles, the first hideously corked. The second has a well-defined bouquet with blackberry, wild strawberry and truffle. A welcome briny note becomes more pronounced with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins, fleshy and pure. A sweet core of fruit with an almost candied and very flattering finish. A bit evolved? Wonder how long-term it is though? Tasted blind at the Southwold annual tasting. 91 Neal Martin, Vinous (2023).

The 2019 L'Évangile is a highly problematic wine. Whether that is a result of excessive heat stress in the vineyard or decisions made in the field and the cellar, is hard to say. I thought élevage would bring the wine together. Instead, time has only accentuated the awareness present in the en primeur sample. I don't think it is a surprise that a whole new team led by Juliette Couderc and Olivier Trégoat is now in charge. Couderc and Trégoat have worked together previously at the Rothschild family's Long Dai winery in China and seem quite determined in turning things around here. Let me be clear; that does not mean the former team is necessarily totally responsible for the 2019, as some of the decisions may have come from higher up. There is no way for an outsider to know, and in the end it doesn't really matter. What is obvious is that the 2019 L'Évangile is alcoholic, aggressive in its contours and disjointed in feel. It goes without saying that quality is far from where it should be. Even so, Saskia de Rothschild is passionate about her family's Pomerol estate and does not shy away from critiquing her own wines, so I am confident the 2019 will one day be regarded as a bump in the road. 88 Antonio Galloni, Vinous (2022).

The 2019 L'Evangile is very good, wafting from the glass with aromas of cherries, sweet berries, warm spices, violets and loamy soil, framed by a nicely integrated patina of new oak that reflects a concerted effort to refine cooperage choices at this address in recent years. Full-bodied, rich and velvety, it's a broad, textural wine with a richly layered core of fruit, succulent acids and ripe, supple tannins that reflects the warm, dry vintage. As usual, it's a Merlot-dominant blend, complemented by some 16% Cabernet Franc and now 1% Cabernet Sauvignon. 94 William Kelley, Wine Advocate (2022).

The 2019 L'Evangile is composed of 83.5% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Franc and 0.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, harvested from the 13th of September to the 3rd of October. The alcohol comes in at 14.6%. Deep garnet-purple coloured, the nose hits the ground running with opulent scents of ripe black cherries, dried mulberries, baked plums and warm blueberries plus hints of candied violets, liquorice, molten chocolate and wild sage with just a drop of hoisin. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is wonderfully concentrated with seductive layers of exotic spice-laced black fruit preserves and a velvety texture, finishing long and with just enough freshness. Tantalizingly moreish! 96-98 Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate (2020).

Drinking Window: 2025 - 2042

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