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June 29, 2020

Thirty Years of Insider Bordeaux: What You Should Know About 2019 and the Historic Burgundian Bordeaux. La Conseillante Library Collection 1989 - 2019, Direct from Bordeaux with Perfect Provenance. Value Begins Under $55.

“From one of the finest terroirs of Pomerol, La Conseillante is surrounded by Cheval Blanc, Petrus, Vieux Château Certan, and l'Evangile ... not badLa Conseillante appears poised to challenge its closest neighbor, l’Evangile, as the finest estate on the border of the sector of Pomerol facing Cheval Blanc in St.-Émilion. Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate

“La Conseillante is one of the top performers in Pomerol and arguably now one of the best values.” — Neal Martin, Vinous

As you know by now, the 2019 vintage in Bordeaux is shaping up to surpass the vaunted years of 2015 and 2018 as the finest vintage since 2016 and 2010, but, like the 2010, there is a touch more restraint than the even riper 2015s and 2009s. We can tell you firsthand that wines are selling out (Vieux Château Certan, Pichon Lalande, Margaux, and Pontet Canet) and pricing is increasing rapidly from 2019 En Primeur. IWM went back to Bordeaux this past week to restock and the pricing of select wines is quickly climbing 20% due to demand and availability. This is especially true on limited-production wines like today’s featured producer from Pomerol, the 2019 La Conseillante. IWM is unique in that we are including this highly sought-after wine with the rare second wine Duo de Conseillante (just 350 cases produced). In true IWM fashion we are including the flagship wine with vintages dating back to 1989 direct from Marielle Cazaux and the tiny Pomerol Château!

Well, long before Italy had the iconic trio of Masseto, Messorio, and Redigaffi, there was Pomerol and the wines of La Conseillante. For IWM, La Conseillante is the thought-provoking Bordeaux that we buy to drink, and the quotes above says a lot about this insider pick from the prized plateau of Pomerol. Just like Vieux Château Certan, La Conseillante is one of our favorite Right Bank estates, and it is surprising how this eighteenth-century estate has remained relatively under the radar in the US. This insider status is in part due to its size and limited production of just 4,000 cases. We typically appreciate the restraint, elegance and harmony of the wines that La Conseillante delivers, especially in comparison with those of the region.

In many ways, La Conseillante is the insider’s Pomerol; it is about finesse, not extraction, deriving from prized real estate delivered at a fraction of the price of the neighbors at Petrus, L’Evangile, and Cheval Blanc. This is Bordeaux with Burgundian sensibility, and we are not alone: critics, collectors and trade alike often make these comparisons. Critics of La Conseillante have said of La Conseillante, “If this were a Burgundy, one might think of it as a grand cru Musigny” and that the flagship wine may not be “as broad and powerful as Petrus, Trotanoy, Hosanna or Lafleur, but it is gorgeously silky, elegant and stylish.” There is some truth here, but we appreciate about it is how it conveys the elegance of this understated wine in the land of Pomerol giants. It cannot be denied, and if you love Galatrona, Messorio and Masseto, and many other Super Tuscans, it is worth discovering the wines that inspired them to be - and it begins with La Conseillante.

FEATURE: La Conseillante (2016-1990), Direct From Bordeaux (Click to Order)



*Note - wines are pre-arrival, direct from Bordeaux.

As for the recently re-tasted 2010 La Conseillante, Neal Martin echoes our opinion declaring, “It continues to cruise at high altitude. As much as I love the 2009, it cannot hold a torch to the crystalline delineation of the 2010 — a benchmark wine.” There is truth to these statements, for this is how we emphatically feel after visiting La Conseillante and tasting with Estate Manager Marielle Cazaux. This tasting included the inspiring and captivating 2016, 2015, and 2010. It is not often that we receive an allocation of back-vintage La Conseillante, including the rare 1989, and we are presenting these wines with provenance and some exceptional pricing. Wines are available on a first-come, first-served basis and subject to confirmation.

ADDITIONAL NOTES AND REVIEWS:

2010 La Conseillante
Christopher Deas, Italian Wine Merchants: “Tasted eight times and it impresses each and every time. Last year it was the WOTN at the Christmas Eve table with friends and family. Incredibly inviting with a two-hour decant with soft welcoming fruit and silky tannins — there’s plenty under the hood to go the distance where the wine will gain truffle nuances and more treasures for the nose and palate. Right now, expect to find nuances of black and blue fruits, violets, earth and pencil shavings with even a touch of beets, truffles, and olives. Layers and layers of seductive appeal; even after 48 hours, this wine was singing! It is a wine of both texture and depth that keeps you digging for more. A personal favorite, this is a side of Pomerol that should not be missed.”

97 Points, Neal Martin, Vinous: "The 2010 La Conseillante has always been a stunning Pomerol since I first tasted it early one morning out of barrel during en primeur and departed the château a little dazed. It continues to cruise at high altitude. As much as I love the 2009, it cannot hold a torch to the crystalline delineation of the 2010. It is laden with intense black fruit laced with struck flint, wilted rose petals and hints of truffle. The château had never produced aromatics at this level. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, a killer line of acidity, a sense of symmetry and focus that lends this La Conseillante brilliant vivacity and supreme length. This is where everything fell into place for the estate – a benchmark wine. Tasted at La Conseillante vertical at the property."

2019 La Conseillante
97-99 Points, Neal Martin, Vinous: “The 2019 La Conseillante was picked 17-20 September for the Merlot and 30 September and 7 October for the Cabernet Franc. Yields were low at just 34hl/ha. The Grand Vin is aged in 70% new French oak, 27% one-year old barrels and 3% in clay amphora. Limpid purple in colour, this has an exquisite bouquet with pixelated blackberry and raspberry scents, laced with pressed iris and a touch of graphite. It reminds me of a less powerful version of the 2010 when I tasted that from barrel. The palate is very smooth with ebullient red and black fruit on the entry, then it tapers in a little, towards a very cohesive, satin-textured middle. This is definitely one of the purest La Conseillante wines that I have encountered from barrel. It delivers a subtle spiciness towards the finish with hints of tobacco and clove on the persistent aftertaste. Winemaker Marielle Cazaux and her team have conjured a magnificent Pomerol here.

2016 La Conseillante
99 Points, Jeb Dunnuck: "Bottled in June of 2018, the 2016 Château La Conseillante is a beautifully seamless yet powerful version of this cuvée that has the hallmark fragrance and elegance of the estate front and center. Complex blackberries, cassis, flowers, incense, forest floor, and floral notes all soar from this full-bodied, pure, and polished Pomerol that has an undeniable class as well as wonderful purity of fruit, perfect integration of its tannins and acidity, and a blockbuster finish. It's an incredibly complete wine that flirts with perfection and will keep for 30-40 years. The blend is 80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, aged in 70% new French oak, with the balance in once-used barrels. There are less than 4,000 cases made, but this is a wine you want in your cellar." 02/19

98+ Points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2016 La Conseillante is a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc aged in 70% new and 30% one-year-old French oak for 17 months. Deep garnet-purple colored, it slips provocatively out of the glass with a lifted perfume of roses, candied violets and lavender over a core of warm red and black plums, chocolate box, unsmoked cigars and baked cherries with wafts of wild thyme and tilled soil. Medium-bodied, the palate exudes polish and sophistication with bags of fragrance, freshness and energy, sporting exquisitely fine-grained tannins and finishing very long and minerally. Around 3,808 cases produced." 11/18

2015 La Conseillante
96 Points, Neal Martin, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate: The 2015 La Conseillante, a blend of 81% Merlot and 19% Cabernet Franc, is extraordinarily pure and elegant on the nose. Here, I find a little more red fruit than black fruit, extremely elegant and articulating the terroir with great clarity. At first, wild strawberry and cranberry, then crushed stone, a touch of black truffle and tobacco. The palate is medium-bodied, fresh and elegant with fine tannin on the entry. This is one of the most approachable La Conseillante wines that I have tasted in barrel, the acidity very well judged, "classic" in style, good backbone here with a structured finish. It does not quite possess the bravura of the 2010 La Conseillante and I would agree with winemaker Marielle Cazaux that it bears more semblances to the 2005 La Conseillante at this stage, and even bore common traits with its neighbour, Vieux Château Certan. This is an intellectual and to put it prosaically, "delicious" La Conseillante.”

97 Points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous: “Newly-arrived Technical Director Marielle Cazaux turned out a jewel of a wine at La Conseillante in 2015, her debut vintage. A polished and super-sophisticated Pomerol, La Conseillante is all class. Precise, lifted aromatics make a strong first impression, but it is the wine's overall feel and sense of harmony that truly dazzle. Over the last two years, the 2015 seems to have gained in freshness, precision and nuance. What a wine! The blend is 81% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Franc. Don't' miss it.”

2012 La Conseillante
96 Points, Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate: An absolutely amazing wine from the Nicolas family, this is from another estate in Pomerol that is pushing the envelope to higher and higher quality. The final blend has moved to smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc, now approximately 20%, with the balance 80% Merlot. Through crop-thinning, yields have been reduced to an average of 35 hectoliters per hectare. Inky bluish/purple color and stunning sweet tannins embrace a full-bodied opulent Pomerol with beautiful, floral-infused black raspberry, blueberry and cassis fruit. Full-bodied, yet elegant, this is a brilliant marriage between finesse and power. Stunningly pure, this wine can be drunk young or age magnificently for 20 or more years.”

2009 La Conseillante
97 Points, Neal Martin, Vinous: The 2009 La Conseillante has a very classy and sophisticated bouquet with beautifully defined black and red fruit mixed with black truffle and pressed rose petals. The oak is just completely subsumed here. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe and saturated tannin, a fine line of acidity, fresh and tensile with a sense of mineralité on the finish. This bottle shows even better than the one poured at the property 12 months earlier. Tasted blind at Farr Vintners’ 2009 Bordeaux tasting.”

1989 La Conseillante
97 Points, Neal Martin, Vinous: “The 1989 La Conseillante is one of the top performers in Pomerol and arguably now one of the best values. This bottle confirms that exuberance and joie-de-vivre on the nose, displaying the telltale crushed violets in bloom, with precious but controlled red and black fruit underneath. The palate is sumptuous from the start, presenting cashmere tannin and perhaps a little more glycerine in this bottle. The bravura finish leaves you grinning from ear to ear. Stunning, and it will remain on its plateau for many years. Tasted at the 1989 Bordeaux dinner at Hatched in London.”

If you would like to take advantage of this offer, we are asking that you email orders back to me at chris.deas@italianwinemerchants.com, connect with your portfolio manager, or mention receipt of this offer if calling the store. All orders are subject to confirmation.

All my best,
Chris



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