Pomerol 2010: panel tasting results
Clos Vieux Taillefer
Decanter average score: 18.5pts/20 (95/100pts)
Individual judges' scores: Stephen Brook 18.5 James Lawther MW 18.5 Steven Spurrier 18.5
In the Robin family since 1768, this four-hectare estate lies on sandy soils and thus not in the top sector. About 10% of the vines are Cabernet Franc, the remainder Merlot, with an average age of 40 years. These old vines, careful sorting, and a good dose of new oak – all under the supervision of consultant Stéphane Derenoncourt – have resulted in excellent wines in recent vintages. The wine is aged in 60% new oak for 14 months. About 18,000 bottles are made each year, and there’s no second wine. The Robins have recently bought Château Rol Valentin in St-Emilion from retired French footballer Eric Prisette.
Stephen Brook: Intense red fruit nose alongside pungent and lifted, stylish oak. Fine attack, very concentrated, with marked acidity. It’s ungainly now but all the components seem in place. Tight and unyielding, but it should flesh out with more bottle age. Has great tension and persistence.
James Lawther MW: Fragrant red fruit nose. Firm and fresh. Acidity marked. Firm, dry finish. Tight and reserved at present. Clear potential for ageing.
Steven Spurrier: Good depth of red berry fruit, vigour, grip and balance. Firm tannins will keep the freshness and good vineyard character. Shows the true iron in the Pomerol heart.
Price: £69.99 Hayward Bros