Robert Parker | 100 RP
Robert Parker | 100 RP
The purity of fruit in this is spellbinding now with blackberry and blueberry as well as violet undertones. Focused on intense yet subtle fruit. Full body, very tight yet textured and sexy. Ultra-fine tannins. The aftertaste of light chocolate and burnt orange peel is always subtle and bright. Needs at least another five or six years to open but already a joy to taste.
James Suckling | 99 JS
95% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc. A vintage that managed to tick all the boxes set down by the Bordeaux oenology school for great years, even though it was a little too warm for true balance in some estates. Not here though, with flavours concentrated but not overly so. This has softened just slightly over the years, still showing an exotic, dark, spicy character and intense black fruits. Just getting going, but don’t feel the slightest urgency to open any bottles that you’re lucky enough to have. The tannins are still very present, even if they are like silk. Drinking Window 2018 - 2040
Decanter | 98 DEC
This takes a broader approach, with almost stolid tobacco and charcoal structure guarding the core of black currant, roasted fig and blackberry confiture flavors. Long and very fleshy, offering ample toast and searing singed iron notes, but terrific integration. Merlot in Cabernet clothing, with a long life ahead. Best from 2018 through 2035.
Wine Spectator | 97 WS
Deep inky-ruby. A fresh violet topnote lifts and complicates aromas of dark plum and cassis on the enticing nose. Quite pure in the mouth, with mineral-driven flavors of dark berries, creamy milk chocolate and smoky plum. Lively framing acidity extends the wine’s flavors impressively through a long finish. This has lost some baby fat but picked up more gracefulness since I tried it in the spring of 2010.
Vinous Media | 94+ VM
Wine Details for 2009 L'Evangile
|Type of Wine||
: 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
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.
: 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.
: Even among the greatest and most reputable wine regions on the planet, Bordeaux stands above the rest. The winemakers of this region have a single-minded dedication to the fine art of viticulture and their efforts never fail to show. If you consider yourself a fine wine enthusiast, you owe it to yourself to visit Bordeaux - life changing. Whether you wish to drink some inspirational and gripping wine as soon as possible, or you want to add some masterpieces to your collection, no region on Earth is a more obvious choice.
The noble and beautiful Garonne and Dordogne rivers surge through southwestern France, enriching the soil in a way very few other places can boast. The limestone-based earth is rich in calcium, and the almost oceanic climate conditions give the staple Bordeaux grape varietals vigor and flavor like nowhere else. For their illustrious reds, Bordeaux winemakers rely on a proven combination of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Meanwhile, a sip of their excellent white wine hints at the use of Semillon, Muscadelle and Sauvignon Blanc.Each of these varietals carries a unique identity, making every quality wine a character piece to rival Citizen Kane. It can be incredibly hard to choose only a few wines to collect for your cellar!
: 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.