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2000 L'Evangile

2000 L'Evangile

98 RP

Availability:
Featured Review
This is an absolutely spectacular L’Evangile. It remains to be seen whether 2009 will eclipse this great effort. Largely a Merlot-dominated blend with some Cabernet Franc in it, the greatness of this terroir is exhibited in the complexity of the nose, which offers up hints of subtle chocolate, blueberry, blackberry, truffle, barbecue smoke, and graphite. Dense, rich, and full-bodied, with an opulence and succulence that are prodigious, the tannins are present but extremely sweet, and the wine multi-dimensional and just emerging as a compellingly complex, head-turning beauty. Drink it now and over the next 20-25 years. Kudos to L’Evangile. Robert Parker

Robert Parker | 98 RP

Critic Reviews

The 2000 Château l’Evangile is blockbuster stuff and just about as good as it gets. This Merlot-dominated beauty shows some maturity but is still powerful, concentrated, and layered, with killer notes of currants, chocolate, smoked earth and spice. It has sweet tannin, an opulent, sexy texture, no hard edges and a great finish, all making it an incredible drink today. Nevertheless, it will keep for another 15+ years in cool cellars.

Jeb Dunnuck | 98 JD
This is an absolutely spectacular L’Evangile. It remains to be seen whether 2009 will eclipse this great effort. Largely a Merlot-dominated blend with some Cabernet Franc in it, the greatness of this terroir is exhibited in the complexity of the nose, which offers up hints of subtle chocolate, blueberry, blackberry, truffle, barbecue smoke, and graphite. Dense, rich, and full-bodied, with an opulence and succulence that are prodigious, the tannins are present but extremely sweet, and the wine multi-dimensional and just emerging as a compellingly complex, head-turning beauty. Drink it now and over the next 20-25 years. Kudos to L’Evangile.

Robert Parker | 98 RP
Lots of iodine, oyster, blueberry and blackberry aromas with hints of black olives. Some basil, too. Full body, powerful and dense with velvety tannins and fantastic length and intensity. A rich wine yet shows focus and form. Beautiful now and still showing impressive youth. There is a warmth to it. Drink or hold for years to come.

James Suckling | 96 JS
Saturated ruby. Superripe aromas of black and red fruits and dark chocolate; almost but not quite pruney. Then pliant, sweet and lush, with explosive black raspberry fruit and lots of early personality. This is downright hedonistic and deceptively soft. Finishes very long and ripe, with extremely fine tannins.

Vinous Media | 92-95 VM
91% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc. Needs aerating and remains a touch closed, even after 17 years. Clearly displays the rich black fruit and sexy Pomerol swagger that you expect of such a big vintage, tempered by the delicacy of the winemaking at L’Evangile. This is a great wine, still young, with a long life ahead of it. Drinking Window 2018 - 2035

Decanter | 94 DEC
A savory edge leads off, followed by well-mulled raspberry, blackberry and strawberry flavors, with dried anise and black licorice notes taking over on the finish. Touches of raisin and plum skin notes at the very end have this red flirting with a Port-like surmaturité, but this will have fans for sure. You can push it if you want, but I’d drink this sooner rather than later.—Blind 2000 Bordeaux retrospective (December 2015). Drink now through 2023. 2,800 cases made.

Wine Spectator | 92 WS

Wine Details for 2000 L'Evangile

Type of Wine Bordeaux Red : Picture in your mind a combination of cedar, lead pencil, blackcurrant, plum and mineral aromatics, and texture that caresses your palate like a playful lover. The experience is thrilling from the first whiff to the final seconds of a tannic, generous finish - that is what you'll get from a Bordeaux Red
Varietal Red Bordeaux Blend : The inhabitants of the Bordeaux region of France have been cultivating wine-grapes for thousands of years. Ancient Roman ruins litter the vineyards from Saint Emilion to Graves where the art of blending Bordeaux varietals has been practiced and perfected over a very long history. Bordeaux’s climate, terroir and soils, though varied, provide the optimal growing conditions for the red grape varietals planted in the region.

Rarely listed on the labels as “blend,” the red wines of Bordeaux are perhaps the most artfully designed and celebrated in the world. The calculated art of blending the native Bordeaux varietals is impressively accomplished in the most famous winegrowing region in the world. The phrase Bordeaux Blend which seems to have been coined by British wine merchants in the 19th Century relates as much to wines made from the blend as to the grape variety combination itself.

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec and occasionally Carmenere are the lead characters in the creation of Red Bordeaux Blends. Each plays a part in their own fashion and implemented in various combinations and percentages in each appellation within Bordeaux. Red Bordeaux Blends are majorly composed of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, roughly making up 90% of all Bordeaux Blends. Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec (occasionally Carmenere) are also important components and vital to the production of the region’s red wines.

For simplicity, the winegrowing region of Bordeaux can be divided into three main appellations producing Red Bordeaux Blends; the Left Bank (Medoc), Right Bank and Pessac-Leognan (Graves). The Left Bank has a terroir comprised of a wide variety of gravel, stones, sand, limestone and clay soils on a natural terrain of gentle slopes. This sets the stage perfectly for the production of Cabernet Sauvignon, which is the dominant grape of the Left Bank. For example, Chateau Lafite (Paulliac) is composed of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Right Bank is dominated by clay and limestone with sand and gravel, but the clay in the Right Bank is distinctly its own and adds to the health, growth and vitality of the vines of the varietals grown here. Right Bank wines are typically 80% Merlot-based, which are often denser, richer and mature earlier than those of the Left Bank (with exceptions – Petrus for example). Merlot is a vital component to Pomerol winegrowing and making. Cabernet Franc also plays a major role in the Right Bank, most notably, in Saint Emilion, where the infamous vineyards of Chateau Ausone and Chateau Cheval Blanc are planted to 55% and 52% Cabernet Franc, respectively. Chateaux that produce wines with a majority of Cabernet Franc are considered “old school” producers, but have perfected the use of Cabernet Franc, which was originally used as a blending grape.

Pessac-Leognan (Graves) enjoys a temperate climate, natural hygrometry influenced by the ocean, and has a terroir composed of gravelly soil over a clay subsoil on sloping, hilly terrain. Natural drainage due to the hilly terrain as well as the gravelly soil structure are perfectly attuned to the Cabernet Sauvignon grape vine, which prospers under these conditions. Pessac reaps the benefits of having the terroir of both the Left and Right Bank as it contains gravel and clay. The clay sub-soil allows the growth and success of Merlot, as well as Cabernet Franc. It is home to the only First Growth not in the Medoc. The 50-hectare vineyard of Haut Brion is planted to 45.4% Merlot, 43.9% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9.7% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot.

The percentage of Petit Verdot and Malbec may be lesser in quantity, but not in quality. They are vital to the region’s creation of Red Bordeaux Blends. The combination of Bordeaux varietals is legendary in the region, around the world and has influenced winegrowers worldwide to plant and vinify wines which resemble those of Red Bordeaux Blends.

Country France : Wine is the lifeblood that courses through the country of France, pulsing with vigorous pride and determination. Viticulture is not just a hobby or an occupation in France; it is a passion, a cherished tradition that has been passed down through generations of wine stained hands. Winemaking is a beloved art that has been ingrained in the culture, an aptitude instilled in sons by fathers and the hallmark for which France’s reputation was built, allowing it to be renowned as, arguably, the most important wine producing country in the world.



For centuries, France has been producing wines of superior quality and in much greater quantity than any other country in the world. It boasts some of the most impressive wine regions, coveted vineyards and prestigious wines on earth. The regions of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhone, Sauternes and Champagne have become the benchmark, for which others aspire to become. Legendary producers such as Chateaux Margaux, Domaine De La Romanee Conti, Chapoutier, d’Yquem and Dom Perignon are idolized world-wide.



France has stamped its name on nearly every style of wine, from the nectar-like sweet Sauternes to hedonistic Chateauneuf Du Papes classic Bordeaux and Burgundy, to its sparkling dominance in Champagne. Many of the most infamous grape varietals in the world, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay originated in France and are not only beloved, but utilized in the creation of some of the greatest wines on earth. French wine production commands the attention of the wine market year after year. With over 860,000 hectares under vine, and numbers close to 50 million hectoliters of wine produced annually, France dominates the market and sets the standard for not only product quality, but also quantity.



France’s many contributions to the world of wine have been absolutely indispensable. The country is the originator of the term “Premier Cru,” coined the term Terroir (a French term so complex there is no literal translation) and has laid the blueprint for a structured appellation system, which others have implemented in their own countries. French vineyard techniques and winemaking practices are mimicked world-wide. California vintners have been replicating Rhone style wines for decades, South America has adopted the French varietal of Malbec and countries around the world are imitating Burgundian styled Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.



With vast diversity in terroir, France is home to some of the most hospitable winegrowing locations on earth. The combination of topography, geology, climate, rainfall and even the amount of sunlight combined with the long historical tradition of winegrowing and making, has allowed the vintners of France to not only hone their skills, but learn from nature to create a product that like the world in which it resides… is very much alive.


Subregion Pomerol

Overview

Producer Chateau L'Evangile : As one of the oldest properties in Pomerol, Chateau L’Evangile has a long and storied history in the Bordeaux appellation. The property dates way back to 1741 when it was founded by the L’Eglise family who resided in Libourne. At that time the estate was under the name of Domaine de Fazilleau. As the years progressed, it became known as Le Domaine de L’Evangile ou de Fazilleau. When the property was purchased in 1862 by Jean-Paul Chaperon, the name finally changed to Chateau L’Evangile.

Chaperon, who was related to the well-known and mighty Ducasse family is the one responsible for the famous Pomerol estate name that we recognize today. He is also responsible for constructing the chateau in 1874, and the one that still stands to this day. His efforts in adding vineyard land, swelling the size of the estate was an incredible feat and one that would play a major role in the future of L’Evangile. By 1900, Chateau L’Evangile was widely considered the third best wine in all of Pomerol, behind only Chateau Petrus and Vieux Chateau Certan. This was a mighty accomplishment for Chaperon.

After the death of Jean-Paul Chaperon in 1903, his family continued to manage the property until the Ducasse family began running the estate in the 1940’s. Like many Pomerol estates, the vineyard was dealt a devastating blow after the 1956 frost. New vines were planted and amazingly, L’Evangile produced successful vintages in 1959 and 1961 from very young vines.

Simone Ducasse, who took on the responsibility of managing the Right Bank estate would eventually sell a 70% stake of the property to the owner of the famous First Growth, Pauillac estate Chateau Lafite Rothschild. During that time, 30% shareholder Madame Ducasse was not a fan of using new, oak barrels due to the expense, as she did not want to spend the money. Humorously, the owners of Lafite began sneaking new barrels into the cellars late at night. Madame Ducasse would notice the new barrels but when no bill was produced, she would smile but act as if nothing had ever happened.

The remaining shares of L’Evangile were eventually purchased in 1999, giving the Rothschilds 100% control of the estate. After the purchase, large amounts of money were invested in improving the vineyards, wine-making facilities and the chateau itself. The redesigned cellar is very much similar to that of Lafite Rothschild; dug deep and allowing for everything to be moved by gravity. An extensive replanting program was implemented and continued until 2018. Great efforts went into making sure L’Evangile was a top tier Pomerol producer.

The 22-hectare vineyard has a wonderful terroir of clay, gravel and sand with iron oxide soil. There are parcels near the peak of the Pomerol plateau and very near Petrus. This is the location where there is the very import blue clay and one of the major contributing factors to the success of Chateau Petrus. At the vineyard edges, closer to Saint Emilion and Cheval Blanc, the terroir is comprised of gravel and sand, for which the vines planted are used to source their second wine.

The vineyard is planted to 80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, which are vines that are on average 30 years of age. The 22 hectares are able to supply L’Evangile with an annual production of 2,000 to 3,000 cases, depending on the vintage. The second wine, which debuted in 1989, is named Blason de L’Evangile. Chateau L’Evangile is recognized as one of the best producers in Pomerol and though it has had a long history of success, the modern era beginning in the tremendous 2005 vintage has strung together a slew of already legendary vintages.


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