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Bordeaux 2002 - Part III

St-Emilion & Pomerol

by Neal Martin

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Château Cheval Blanc
22/25. It took 3 tries in the green harvest to make this magnificent Cheval which is more broody and backward on the nose than usual. But the palate has a wonderfully elegance, dense savoury Cabernet France coming to the fore. Very rich, almost decadent at birth (in contrast to the stubborn L`Eglise-Clinet), this is a superb wine in an otherwise "iffy" St. Emilion vintage.

Le Petit Cheval
19/25. Very fleshy nose and palate on this fine second wine. Ripe blueberry and plum with good acidity and a fine length. Quite simple, though like the first wine, the Cabernet Franc adds weight to the mid-palate. Fine.

Château Berliquet
13/25. A very reductive nose that reminded me of gravy! The palate is poor, over-extracted and can only be described as fermented grape juice. A poor wine.

Château Angelus
17/25. Limpid ruby colour. The nose is hard, metallic and mean. The palate has brutish tannins, moderate fruit concentration and is quite aggressive. Certainly a step away from the highly extracted style of late but perhaps a poor vintage to go in that direction?

Château Balestard la Tonnelle
17/25. A muted plummy nose with a little vanilla from the New Oak. Good concentration on the palate but one-dimensional. Good clean fruits but a dry astringent finish. Not bad.

Château Beausejour Becot
17/25. A light plum and damson nose with attractive purity and finesse. A sappy black fruity palate with moderate tannins. Clean but not complex and then dries towards the finish. Started well but just let down at the end.

Château Canon
18/25. A good wine from Canon this year. The nose is totally closed and the palate has dry, slightly coarse tannins with notes of blackberry and tar. Quite abrupt on the finish but this wine has more body and harmony than most other Right Bank wines.

Château Canon-la-Gaffeliere
20/25. At last a decent wine. An immediately charming nose of raisins and plums. Very good ripeness here. The palate is concentrated with well-knit tannins, very focussed with integrated New Oak. An attractive herbal finish leaves this one of the best Right Bank wines.

Château Cap de Moulin
15/25. An over-extracted cloying nose with oodles of sickly sweet red fruits. The palate is tart, one-dimensional with a dry abrupt finish. Not undrinkable but utterly charmless.

Château Dassault
16/25. The nose lacks definition, monolithic strawberry and cherry flavours and seems over-sweetened. The palate is quite peppery, slightly harsh tannins with another astringent finish. Not terrible, but not attractive either.

Château Figeac
18/25. The nose lacks definition, flabby and quite thin. The palate has sturdy tannins, quite minerally but has a green streak running through. Quite compact and easy-drinking in style. I expected a little more from Figeac.

Château Fonplegade
16/25. Very little on the nose. The light palate is clean but lacks depth. Very simple cherry/strawberry fruit. Certainly what I would describe as a "hollow" wine. Below par.

Château Clos Fourtet
17/25. A weedy plummy nose. The palate is medium bodied, with moderate tannins. The fruit concentration is a little greater than others, quite chewy in the mouth with a dry, slightly bitter strawberry finish. Average.

Château Franc-Mayne
18/25. A very over-extracted nose with little depth. But the palate was surprising: medium bodied, well-balanced with good definition and acidity. There`s an attractive minerally texture, a good balance although never complex. Fine early drinking wine.

Château Grand Mayne
19/25. An attractive raspberry/plum nose. Quite rounded and plump. The palate has good concentration, firm tannins with a little spice. Moderate complexity with a pure blackberry finish. Still a vastly under-rated property.

Château La Couspade
17/25. A rounded plum, damson nose, perhaps a bit flabby but just about acceptable. The palate is quite harsh and astringent with a woody hollow mid-palate. Tannic and one-dimensional. A tough wine.

Château La Dominique
16/25. A very muted fleshy nose with notes of blueberry and cassis. The palate is chunky and masculine with harsh tannins and disappointingly mean finish. A poor wine from a reliable chateau.

Château La Gaffeliere
16/25. A rounded plummy nose which is quite perfumed and intense. The palate is disappointing, lacking structure and definition with one-dimensional stalky black fruits. For early consumption.

Château La Tour Figeac
17/25. My note for the nose simply says "ribena"! The charmless palate has monderate tannins, simple black, cassis fruits although improves in the mouth, gaining more balanced and harmony. Quite acidic on the finish. Perhaps this will improve before bottling.

Château Larcis Ducasse
15/25. A surprisingly intense savoury nose with plum, cassis notes. Quite complex. But the palate is a real let-down: dry, harsh, aggressive and mean. Oh well.

Château Troplong Mondot
19/25. The nose is quite closed, but there is some dense black fruits lurking underneath. A compact, masculine palate: quite minerally with plum and blackberry notes. A nice floral finish. A good wine for the vintage.


Château Beauregard
19/25. A high-toned plummy, grassy nose with a hint of mint. A good mid-palate with fine concentration: lots of raspberry and blackcurrant flavours. Well-balanced with a nice spicy finish. Quite elegant and suave. One of my favourite Pomerol`s for 2002.

Château Clinet
17/25. A thick plum, tar and liquorish nose. Quite focussed with a touch of anis. The palate is dry, quite harsh tannins, compact with good grip but quite light. I prefer the Beauregard which has more style.

Château Gazin
17/25. A very green nose. The palate is medium to full bodied, dry tannins, stalky, hard with black tarry fruits. Medium length - this lacks charm and is too aggressive.

Château La Cabanne
18/25. Quite a dense redcurrant/cranberry flavoured nose. High-toned with a lot of oak. The palate is quite plump and rounded with good acidity but a bitter cherry finish. Medium length. A good wine.

Château La Conseillante
19/25. Good depth on the nose: perhaps too much oak with lots of black fruits, spice and musk (?) The palate is balanced with good weight: quite muscular, though a little thin on the finish.

Château La Croix de Gay
17/25. Nothing on the nose. The palate has moderate/weak tannins, quite light and feminine in style. Notes of liquorice and cassis, again with a dry finish. Average.

Château La Pointe
19/25. Good depth on the nose, a little vegetal but not enough to warrant concern. The palate is quite spicy, good concentration, black liquorice fruits and good length on a quite creamy finish. A fine wine.

Château L`Evangile
19/25. The nose is very closed. Medium bodied palate, quite toasty with delicate black fruits, liquorice and tar. Not a powerful wine like usual from L`Evangile, far more reserved and a bit jammy on the finish. A decent wine but not by L`Evangile`s standards.

Château Petit-Village
16/25. A rather wimpy nose. A dry earthy palate, light tannins, light black fruits. Thin and hollow. I expected a lot more from Petit-Village - this is quite poor.

Château L`Eglise-Clinet
22/25. The aromatics are still closed at the moment. As usual, this is so difficult to assess when young as the tannins smack you in the face. But left in the glass there is obvious a lot of broody black brambly fruits underneath which will come out in the first year. More muscular than the 2001, I hope it isn`t too tannic. But still near the top of the Pomerol League.

La Petite L`Eglise
18/25. Again the nose is very closed. Quite rustic and austere, this may be a little too coarse for my liking. Give it 2-3 years as it may balance out and make a superb 2nd wine.

La Fugue de Nenin
17/25. A rather mean, minerally nose. A soft supple palate with spicy black fruits, truffle and an almost volatile hot spicy finish. Lacks a little focus and restraint.

Château Nenin
18/25. A pruney, raisin nose. A medium-bodied wine with soft tannins and a liquorice core. It lacks a bit of complexity and depth at this stage. May improve by time of bottling though.

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