Chateau de Sales 2012
Built in the 17th century, Chateau de Sales is largest estate in the Pomerol appellation on the Right Bank. The chateau possesses exceptional beauty and elegance, and the same is true for its wines as they are the true expression of the Pomerol terroir from which they originate. Located in the northwest corner of Pomerol, it is the only true chateau building in the appellation and has been owned by the same family for more than five hundred years. Chateau de Sales wines are the expression of their terroir: fruit-driven, round and full-bodied, with good structure on the palate, smoothness, refinement and elegance.
Located 22 miles east of Bordeaux, the vineyard of Chateau de Sales is situated in the northwestern part of the Pomerol appellation. The chateau's vineyard has a surface area of over 200 acres, of which 118 acres are planted — the largest in Pomerol. The soils of Chateau de Sales are comprised of fine gravel and sand, with clay in some areas and an omnipresence of iron oxide, known as "crasse de fer."
The vines are an average of more than 30 years old. The grape varieties planted here are typical of this appellation: 73% merlot, 15% cabernet sauvignon and 12% cabernet franc. The vines are cultivated in the traditional way: the soil is regularly ploughed, vineyard practices are environmentally sound, leaves are removed with clusters thinned at regular intervals, and the grapes are harvested by hand at optimum maturity for each parcel.
A source of exceptionally sensual and glamorous 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: Merlot-dominant red blends completed by various amounts of Cabernet Franc or 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 brought widespread recognition to the appellation. Its subsequent distribution by the successful Libourne merchant, Jean-Pierre Mouiex, magnified Pomerol's 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 intensely hued, with qualities 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. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.