MAGNUMS - offered Duty Paid zero vat
Neal Martin 92-94/100
Tasted en primeur at the property with Jean-Pascal Vazart. The L’Evangile 2011 is a blend of 94% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Franc picked between 6th with the young vines and 21st September and 19th to 21st September respectively cropped at 32hl/ha. It has 13.6 degrees alcohol and a pH of 3.7, an IPT of 76. As usual, this cru is always taciturn at first and so I leave my sample for a few minutes before writing any notes. It has a voluptuous, sensual bouquet with pure vanillary red berry fruit that reminds me of the 1995. The palate is medium-bodied with a nubile texture with supple toasty red fruit that is struck through with crisp acidity and a fine coca-tinged off-dry finish that displays persistency and a pastille-like residual sweetness. Tasted April 2012. The Wine Advocate
Dense, intense colour with hints of violet. Powerful, lingering, expressive, very ripe, concentrated nose, with notes of Morello cherries and blackcurrants. The attack is dense and concentrated with very ripe, powerful tannins. The palate is mature, rich and smooth with a silky finish that is highlighted by the very high quality tannins. 94% Merlot 6% Cabernet Franc
2011 was characterized by a very dry winter and start to the spring. Barely 150 mm of rain during the first five months of the year: a record! High temperatures in April, May and June caused the vines to grow very quickly, resulting in the first flowers appearing remarkably early, at the beginning of May. A cooler July gave the vines a chance to rest a little before an exceptionally hot August (with an average temperature of 31°C for the month). The grapes were harvested two weeks earlier than usual, and were of excellent quality with superb tannins. The Merlot was rich and dense, but the low rainfall during the summer seriously reduced yields. The Cabernet grapes were small, with thick skins, but of very good quality.
In 1990, Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) acquired L’Évangile from the Ducasse family with a view to ensuring that the property was looked after to the same high standard. DBR (Lafite)’s initial influence included a more refined selection of the Grand Vin, and the creation of Blason de L’Évangile as a second wine. Efforts were also undertaken to improve the vineyard with a restoration and partial renewal plan that was launched in 1998. The complete renovation of the vat room and the cellar, which was finished in 2004, completed the property’s new configuration.
The southeast Pomerol plateau features a long line of surface gravel. Three vineyards, including L’Évangile, share this rare soil. The property occupies a very strategic position. It is bordered to the north by Château Pétrus, and is separated from Cheval Blanc in Saint-Emilion to the south by nothing more than a secondary road.
The vineyard covers 22 hectares, made up of sandy clay soil with pure gravel, on a subsoil containing iron residues. The grape varieties consist of Merlot (80%) which contributes to the wine’s fruity flavour and body, and its unmistakable suppleness; and “Bouchet”, the local name for Cabernet Franc (20%), which brings finesse and structure. Traditional techniques are used. Production is limited and the harvests are carried out by hand, as are numerous other tasks in the vineyard throughout the year.