One of the great AOCs of Bordeaux, and one of the most famous regions for wine in the world. Pomerol is something of an anomoly when compared to the other famous communes of Bordeaux, as there are no grand estates, giant wineries or even a town of Pomerol so to speak. Located on the east bank of the Dordogne a little to the Northwest of Saint-Émilion, Pomerol is a tiny wine growing region marked more by small Château and family growers than by ornate and impressive homes. The land is a flat and plain-looking mix of vines with few landmarks to speak of. But below this subtle landscape lies a soil that starts with a mix of gravel and clay above a bed of iron-rich soil that is instrumental in producing some of the most famous wines in the world.
Up until the 20th century Pomerol was known for producing light and forgettable white wines. Even as the white vines were replaced by red the area did not garner the respect of Saint-Émilion to the south, let alone the even more famous wines on the left bank in the Mèdoc. Up until the second world war even the great Château Pètrus, unquestionably the best wine in Pomerol and one of the most famous worldwide, was thought of as just another good Bordeaux. Since that time Pomerol has experienced a meteoric rise to fame, much of it attributable to the acquisition of Château Pètrus and many other Pomerol estates by the firm of Jean-Pierre Moueix. Investment in the estate by the firm, as well as the heavy clay soil, low yields of grapes and extensive barrel aging have provided the ladder for Pètrus and indeed Pomerol as a whole to climb to the top of the world of wine in terms of prestige, price and appeal.
The wines of Pomerol are generally regarded as more velvety and seductive than all but the best of Mèdoc, but more rich in body, spice and substance than those of Saint-Émilion. They are often more approachable at a young age than their Mèdoc counterparts. A new trend in Pomerol as of late is the rise of the Garagist, or those winemakers that choose to make wine in tiny quantities from highly regarded vines, slap the name of a new Château on the lable which is often no more of a structure than an actual garage all the while charging an arm and a leg per bottle. These wines are some of the most sought after in the world, yet they frequently do not reach the lofty heights of quality that their price would suggest.
Still, the best of Pomerol are wines that built to be enjoyed soon, but can take to the cellar for a decade or more. They are made primarily from Merlot, but may also contain a portion of Cabernet Franc (known here as Bouchet) and even a splash of Malbec (Pressac).
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