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Château La Conseillante

by Tom Cannavan, 05/2011

cellars Whilst visiting Château La Conseillante in Pomerol during 'en primeur' week 2011, I was surprised (and delighted) to discover the château had decided to put on a tasting not only of its new 2010 wine, but of five more of its best vintages back to the legendary 1945. What an absolute treat this was, and what fine wines they turned out to be. Now under the control of the fifth generation of the Nicolas family, Bertrand and Jean-Valmy, La Conseillante's 12 hectares of vineyard are dominated by Merlot (which makes up 80% of plantings), the remainder being Cabernet Franc.

the wines

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Château La Conseillante 2010
Gorgeous ripe black fruit, a touch of balsam and resin, but pure and lifted with lots of chocolaty depth and beautiful tannins. Very silky and refined though those tannins are imposing. 93/100

Château La Conseillante 2009
Lots of resinous oak dominating at this stage, but the fruit is quite charming, perhaps lacking the fleshy density of the 2010, but long and pure with fantastic sweetness and a burgeoning sense of chocolate richness beneath that oak and tannin. 93/100

Château La Conseillante 2005
Huge, juicy, slightly gamy complexity here with masses of ripe black fruit. Absolutely delightful fruit on the palate, with great structure, fine juicy freshness and a seamless tannin framework. Complex and delicious, though will develop even greater mid-palate harmony and surity with a little more time. 94/100

Château La Conseillante 2000
Relatively closed, with a touch of gamy and meaty substance. The palate has a big, dense, fleshy richness and still very grippy tannins, but there is a hint of chocolate and a freshening cherry lift to the acidity. Not quite singing at this stage. 92/100

Château La Conseillante 1990
A little sign of fading brown. Nice old wine warmth with tobacco and a touch of game and resolved, blackcurranty fruit where the tannins are sweet and ripe, the acidity quite low, and the whole picture seductively sweet fruited and chocolate rich. 94/100

Château La Conseillante 1945
Fabulous nose of mocha coffee and gently damp autumnal sweet earth and leaves, the palate has lost a little of its body and tannins have gone, but there's a hugely sweet core of fruit there still, giving great precision, and along with some orangy acidity, what an absolutely fabulous 66-year-old wine. 94/100

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