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Chateau Beauregard Pomerol 2000
By the middle of the 8th century the property had been inherited by Jérome de Chaussade de Chandos. Beauregard was not the main residence of this gentleman, who had a larger estate at Rauzan in the Entre-Deux-Mers, but his son Luc-Jermé did live here from 1755 to 1769, and it is at this period that the land was transformed from polyculture to viticulture. In 1741, according to Enjalbert, there were two journeaux of vines at Beauregard; by the revolution there were 18 (6.3 hectares). Luc-Jermé Chaussade was a friend of Jacques Kanon (of what was to become Canon in Saint-Emilion) and shared his enthusiasm for the new fashion of serious vineyard husbandry. In his hands Beauregard became one of the first of the Pomerol estates to be vinously expanded. By the time the Revolutionary Convention abolished primogeniture in 1793 Luc-Jermé had been succeeded by his son Jermé, a young man who had three sisters. Seeing his inheritance about to be quartered he put his share of Beauregard up for sale and persuaded his sisters to do likewise. It fetched 110,000 livres (a high price, justified only on the grounds of the reputation of the wine) on 3rd July 1793 and passed into the hands of Bonaventure Berthomieux. Despite his somewhat Italian christian name Berthomieux was a prominent and wealthy citizen of a well-established Saint-Emilion family He was a merchant who dealt in grain as well as wine, and he looked after his brother's estate in Fronsac as well as his own. In 1854 Beauregard was sold to M. Durand-Desgranges. Restoration was swift. Durand-Desgranges, a local courtier (broker), replanted the vineyard, extended it to 14 hectares, and by the second edition of Cocks and Féret in 1868 had raised its eminence to 13th place in the Pomerol hierarchy. The Durand-Desgranges family remained at Beauregard until 1920. After a brief interregnum in the hands of the brothers Chavaroche the estate was acquired by a local lawyer, M. Brulé, on behalf of his god-daughter Henriette Giraud in 1922. Henriette's father was Savinien Giraud, owner of Thotanoy and she was wedded to Raymond Clauzel of the family which owned Château La Tour de Mons in Soussans. The four children remained owners of Château Beauregard until March 1991 when they sold the estate and today it is owned by Foncier Vignobles.
A source of exceptionally glamorous and sensual red wines, Pomerol is actually a rather small appellation in an unassuming countryside. It sits on a plateau immediately northeast of the city of Libourne on the right bank of the Dordogne River. Pomerol and St-Émilion are the stars of what is referred to as Right Bank Bordeaux, which are Merlot-dominated red wines whose blends are completed by various amounts of Cabernet Franc of Cabernet Sauvignon. While Pomerol has no official classification system, its best wines are some of the world’s most sought after.
Historically Pomerol attached itself to the larger and more picturesque neighboring region of St-Émilion until the late 1800s when discerning French consumers began to recognize the quality and distinction of Pomerol on its own. Its popularity spread to northern Europe in the early 1900s.
After some notable vintages of the 1940s, the Pomerol producer, Petrus, began to achieve great international attention and helped bring recognition to the appellation. Its subsequent distribution by the successful Libourne merchant, Jean-Pierre Mouiex, magnified its fame after the Second World War.
Perfect for Merlot, the soils of Pomerol—clay on top of well-drained subsoil—help to create wines capable of displaying an unprecedented concentration of color and flavor.
The best Pomerol wines will be deep in color, with flavors of fresh wild berries, dried fig or concentrated black plum preserves. Aromas may be of forest floor, sifted cocoa powder, anise, exotic spice or toasted sugar and will have a silky, smooth but intense texture.
One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.
In the Glass
Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.
Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.
While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.