Pro­ducer pro­file: Château L’Evangile

It might be the per­fect ex­am­ple of the Pomerol Ex­cep­tion – the one where Pomerol takes all the usual rules of Bordeaux and turns them on their head. Jane An­son ex­plores this Right Bank in­di­vid­u­al­ist

Decanter - - CONTENTS -

Ex­pect the un­ex­pected from this top Pomerol es­tate. Jane An­son ex­plains why

IT’s AN Ap­pel­la­tion that man­ages to em­body all that is small-scale and ar­ti­san in a re­gion that is of­ten ac­cused of be­ing overly in­ter­ested in cor­po­rate gloss. pomerol is also a part of Bordeaux that was lit­tle known un­til after World War II, yet to­day pro­duces many of its most sought-after and highly priced wines, leapfrog­ging neigh­bour­ing ar­eas that have been mak­ing wine since Ro­man times and have been famed glob­ally since the Mid­dle Ages. And it’s a place that takes the Mer­lot grape, dis­missed for be­ing fruity, easy­drink­ing and not quite se­ri­ous, and turns it into stub­bornly long-last­ing liq­uid po­etry.

look into l’Evangile’s his­tory and you start to see why all of these things are true. For a start, although it’s one of the old­est châteaux in the ap­pel­la­tion, with a men­tion in the land rolls of 1741, it has only been per­ma­nently known un­der its cur­rent name (mean­ing ‘the gospel’ in French) since the mid-19th cen­tury. At that time, then-owner paul Chap­eron se­lected that ti­tle over the de­cid­edly less sexy for­mer name of Do­maine de Fazil­leau – for the pre­vi­ous 50 years it had switched be­tween the two. The es­tate re­mained in his fam­ily for the next 130 years, un­til Baron Eric de Roth­schild of Do­maines Barons de Roth­schild (lafite) bought a ma­jor­ity stake in 1990 from the for­mi­da­ble si­mone Du­casse.

And okay, maybe hav­ing the Roth­schild name at­tached dis­counts l’Evangile from be­ing truly small-scale, but even their ar­rival hap­pened in a de­cid­edly pomerol way.

Sub­tle dif­fer­ence

‘There was no way that Madame Du­casse was go­ing to be im­pressed by the idea of a fancy name com­ing all the way over to pomerol from pauil­lac,’ is how Baron Eric puts it, as he de­scribes the early dis­cus­sions for coown­er­ship. ‘I knew that it was a sen­si­tive sub­ject, be­cause although her hus­band had died sev­eral years ear­lier she was an ex­tremely proud and ca­pa­ble woman and was still over­see­ing ev­ery as­pect of run­ning

‘Maybe hav­ing the Roth­schild name at­tached dis­counts L’ Evangile from be­ing truly small-scale’

Left: Château L’Evangile is one of the old­est es­tates in Pomerol, dat­ing back to 1741

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.