Region 'Saint-Emilion and Pomerol' - Year 2006

Rating Drinkability Style
starstarstarstarstar drink soon Patchy quality, especially in Saint-Emilion where too many are pallid, dilute and dull. Pomerol's the star (could warrant 4 stars) with many rich and balanced wines. For medium-term drinking.

Weather Conditions

Bud-break came late after a cold winter, but otherwise the vintage got off to a great start, with warm, sunny weather right up to the end of July. Pomerol in particular enjoyed optimum growing conditions. But expectations were dashed by a damp, dreary August putting the brakes on ripening. Later-ripening Cabernet Franc struggled to reach maturity almost everywhere.

Although sunshine returned in September, a rainy spell mid-month encouraged rot and disrupted picking schedules - careful and often selective harvesting was essential for success. Saint-Emilion came off worse - up to 150mm of rain fell in 14 days and the onset of rot was rapid. Growers were forced to choose between picking early ahead of full ripeness or running the risk of lower yields and fatigued flavours.

Best Appellations

A question of individual successes rather than blanket quality. Much depended on the work in the vineyards - and a deft hand in the cellar.

Pomerol stands out with some lovely aromatic, full-bodied wines balanced by zippy acidity and pronounced minerality. Top estates on the warmer gravels of the plateau were the most successful.

In Saint-Emilion, the challenge was greater and many wines struggle with green, harsh tannins and a lack of acidity. Where maturity was correct, there's a bright purity to the fruit, freshness and firm tannins, though even the best wines lack the density of a great vintage. Cabernet Franc is variable with one or two notable successes (Ausone).

Best Producers

Pomerol chateaux: L’Eglise Clinet, Vieux Chateau Certan, Lafleur, Hosanna, Le Gay, L’Evangile, La Conseillante, Providence, Rouget, Petrus.

Saint-Emilion Grand Cru chateaux: Figeac, Ausone, Le Dome, La Mondotte, Pavie, Beausejour-Becot, Beausejour (Duffau-Lagarrosse), Pavie Macquin, Troplong Mondot, Angelus, Canon, La Gaffeliere, Monbousquet, Trotte Vieille, Fonplegade, Cos d'Estournel.