Pomerol: 1999 Le Gay


A much needed and longed for book is about to hit the shelves; Neal Martin’s Pomerol. For a Merlot guy like myself with Pomerol and Saint Emilion high up on the pinnacle, it is the ultimate christmas gift. If I can wait so long that is….

There’s something about Pomerol. Not because of all the chateaux along the road – there aren’t many buildings qualifying as that in the appellation, not many buildings at all actually. Nor is it the flack landscape with its narrow roads where you curiously wonder what great name will pop up around the corner. Or the fact that world known names such as Petrus, Le Pin, Trotanoy or L’Evangile are to be found here.

No, there’s something about Pomerol wines that can’t be plagiarised; their seductive and elegant bouquet; their classy, never to heavy taste which breathes of finesse. A fine Pomerol is unique simply.

Of course there’s a lot going on in Pomerol; properties shifting ownership for example – and hence being styled differently. This happened to Le Gay ten years ago when the chateau was sold. Michel Rolland entered the building as consultant. Rolland wasn’t precisely documented as an angel in the Nossiter documentary – Mondovino. There’s a scene actually at Le Gay, when Michel Rolland is talking about microoxygenation.  I can’t claim to be a fan of Mondovino; it annoys me more than it amuses or educates, but when having a pre-Rolland 1999 Le Gay in the class, the scene comes to my mind.

The 1999 Le Gay will never be remembered amongst score hunters. It doesn’t possess super concentration, decades of aging potential, sweet ripe fruit, huge tannin structure or any attributes linked to what generates high scores. No, the 1999 is an elegant, seductive  glass with lots of drinking pleasure in a medium bodied style. It makes me happy simply; the leather, the plums, the gentle tannins and the humus and licorice feel. Perfect now.

No extreme winemaking here, just a Pomerol style which sadly seems to become increasingly rare. Yes, I love this slightly traditional wine a lot and aren’t unanimously as excited about the new kind of wines taking up more and more space (although I’m a fan of some of them). Sometimes I can’t help but to wonder if that’s what the majority of the Bordeaux consumers really wants; who’s actually in charge of your palate?

The Virtuoso says:



NB. Wine labels with black and white photos of the Chateau; love it! Praying this will be the coolest thing soon again.

NB.2. Why am I writing about Bordeaux when it’s not in focus on my site? Simple. To tell you that in 2013 a big passion of mine will be in focus here; Lesser known satellite appellations and Chateaux in Bordeuax. I’m going to highlight the more unknown, where they don’t drive Ferrari to work. Pusseguin, Montagne, Bourg, Lalande, Lussac; these represent the real Bordeaux and I just love them.

Buy the wine? Wine-search it in the box at the right top column of the site.