Posted by: Andy Kelly
One of the best wines from one of my favourite regions. An absolute cracker!
I was given this wine as a gift by the old man who is going through a Pomerol phase at the moment. He picked a few bottles up from Majestic and he had been raving about it. It wasn’t exactly cheap so of course I was going to take a bottle off of his hands! I do enjoy a good Pomerol and the fact that it was 15 years old wasn’t lost on me either so it didn’t last long on the rack.
The bottle itself is a little different to the standard bottles you might expect from a right bank Bordeaux wine. Many Château depict the main building of their estate on the bottle but that’s not the case with Vieux Maillet. Instead they’ve gone for a more modern feel with their own version of the Maltese cross that is commonly found on bottles from the AOC which really makes it stand out from many of the other Château in the region.
What also makes this wine stand out from the crowd is just how bloody good it is.
Having poured the bottle into the decanter, the first thing I noticed was the dull, garnet colour as it swirled around. The nose was so pronounced that it made me do a double take. I found myself smelling the glass before every single taste because it was so good. It is typically Pomerol with that earthy, farmyard, minerality smell immediately hitting me. After giving it a good swirl around the glass, there were strong notes of blackcurrant, plums and black cherry too.
I couldn’t get enough of the taste. The fruits were subtle though there were again hints of black cherry coupled with blackberries. It also had plenty of smoke & leather in abundance and the minerality also shone through meaning I got as much on the palate as I did on the nose. I could also taste the slightest hint of chocolate as it went down in what was a very long, smooth finish. The tannins were there though they needed a while to be coaxed out of the decanter, drying my mouth out on my final glass. I’d say it was medium bodied too.
The Château itself is in a place called Maillet in Gironde and stands on the eastern side of the Pomerol Plateau. It covers an area of approximately 10 hectares in what is already a very small AOC. The main grapes planted are Merlot and Cabernet Franc with the harvest being by hand, allowing the Château to produce 20,000 bottles per year. You can pick a bottle of the 2004 vintage up from Majestic for approximately £34 when you mix six and trust me it is worth every penny.
I absolutely loved this wine. Everything about it bowled me over. its age had allowed the tannins to soften and certain fruity characteristics to poke though. The nose was pronounced and typical for the Pomerol region and I got everything on the palate as I did with the nose and then some. For me, this has to be one of the best Pomerol’s I’ve ever tasted and I’ve had a few!
After having had my first glass, I knew I had to make notes as I wanted to accurately depict the qualities in this review so I’ll leave you with what I finished my notes with…
Fucking quality wine!