Deep color and delicate bouquet, as well as a softness typical of Pomerol and a generous, powerful side reminiscent of Saint-Emilion are the hallmarks of the wines of Château Le Bon Pasteur.
This extraordinary complexity results from the mosaic of identities of its 21 cadastered plots in the Pomerol appellation, to the French border of St. Emilion.
Everything has started rather well: abundant rainfall during winter allowed the soils to gain their water reserve. In spring flowering began in the first days of June, it was very fast and very homogeneous which was favored by perfect weather until the end of June. At this stage, expectations were high for the quality of the new vintage. Unfortunately, in the month of July, the weather was unstable and vineyards focused on their beautiful foliage rather than on the growing of the grapes. It took constant vigilance deployed early to make green harvest (leaf removal and thinning) to help the grapes to reach optimum ripeness. Then finally came the happiest ending: it was as if nature wanted to apologize! Early September the beautiful weather was with us again and lasted until the end of the harvest. We were able to wait and harvest plot by plot (a luxury we have not known for several vintages), the grapes were perfectly ripe.
The Merlots are beautifully balanced, perfumed and vinous. They bring opulence and roundness drawing the true style of the Château Le Bon Pasteur. The Cabernet Franc grapes stand out for their exceptional quality. They bring delicacy, persistence, and they give the wine its glistening side. Château Le Bon Pasteur 2014 is complex and diverse:
Vibrantly scented with some pure luscious fruit. Big and powerful and intense with some light drying tannins on the end, leaving it clean and fresh. Notably sweet with some dried-fruit qualities, but not too heavy. Very pure and vibrant.
The vintage had started from the fall of 2012 by planting vegetal covers between the rows of vines to allow earlier intervention in the vineyard and limit the vigor to favor the blooming process.
Despite the heterogeneous results, works such as removing leaves and selection grapes led to pretty grapes.
Then it was a matter of harvest timing, an earlier ripening at Château Le Bon Pasteur enabled harvesting sooner for the vinification in barrels. We thought we would beat the record of late harvest in 2008, but this was not the case.
Dates of the harvest: October 188.8.131.52.8 and October 11.14.15.
Regarding the vinification, a delicate extraction was needed to keep the smoothness of the tannins and their silkiness, to preserve the fruits and palatability of the wine: The elegance and balance of 2013 have been retained with a tailor-made wine ageing process.
2013 is a real “jealous” vintage. One can often find a form of classicism cherished by amateurs of lighter wines with fresh aromas, with less alcohol than warmer years. Some cuvees are more concentrated, concise and with longer ageing potential, regardless of the grapes varieties and the percentage of cabernet sauvignon, franc and merlot, from north to south, from one bank to another.
We keep in mind vintages like 1997, 2002, 2007 to name a few of them: though difficult, they proved to be well integrated into the diversity of Bordeaux, so dear to the old world.
2013 is to be drunk young, to enjoy its fruitiness and freshness, it will be soon a wine of pleasure, medium bodied with well wrapped tannins without greenness: a palatable wine, allowing the 2008, 2009, 2010 to be forgotten in the cellar, and enjoy sooner this jovial balance.
Wine Spectator March 2016
A fun wine, with juicy raspberry and plum pâte de fruit flavors that course along, flecked with anise and backed by a plush, fruitcake-edged finish. Hedonistic, rounded in feel and ready to go. Drink now through 2019. 600 cases made.
A Pomerol that is refined and velvety with juicy-fruit, chocolate, berry and cream character. Clean finish
After a cold winter and a cool spring, the only fear of this vintage 2010 was during the flowering when the climate was unstable, As often, the old vines were affected by coulure and millerandage, though the damage was much less than we would have thought. The summer was not the typical summer in Bordeaux usually under a cool oceanic influence; lots of sunlight, no rain and high temperatures, however never too hot, and the nights were very fresh.
Under these ideal weather conditions and with an exceptional autumn, merlot and cabernet grapes have reached an exceptional quality of taste, rarely achieved. The grapes got richly pigmented thick skins and harmoniously flavorful juice.
The harvest of the earliest Merlots begun on September 29th, and the last Cabernets were harvested on October 15th. They took place under the sun with the good mood that results from an “a la carte” picking of perfectly healthy and ripe grapes.
The musts were rich in sugar level without exceeding the limits of great vintages.
The wine are beautifully aromatic, supported by a firm acidity, enhancing the freshness character.
It is a record year for anthocyanins; the tannins are highly concentrated without exaggeration, silky and soft as we like them.
A fleshy, full-throttle wine with lots of mocha, kirsch, mulberry, and plum, their 2010 displays a smorgasbord of aromas, a full-bodied mouthfeel, terrific purity, density and even a hint of lead pencil shavings and subtle toasty oak. If you want to understand the genius of the Rollands, there is no better example than looking at their own wine from this property in Pomerol. The tannins are present, but not that significant, thus I tend to think the wine will come into its own in 4-5 years and last for 20 or more.
The beginning of the vintage was a bit challenging: temperatures were about the season average, much more rainfall than usual, in such weather conditions flowering was not ideal, and a rather strong mildew pressure was present.
The climate then changed, a week of good weather arrived, sunny but not very warm and the vine began to grow, to bloom. We entered a period of sunlight and heat, excellent conditions without any excess, the vine loves such conditions.
Fruit set and quickly. Then veraison took place early during the last week of July.
As the Ancients used to say: ‘August makes the must’ and it is so true based on the analytical results in early September. On September 14, a few Merlots were picked, then came a rainy weekend that has frighten everybody: from 30 to 80/90 mm fell very quickly, with little impact since the water has not penetrated deep in the soil. However the rain allowed the plots suffering from drought to regain vigor, what enabled the vine to fully mature fine grapes. After these rains, the weather returned to good condition. A high level of sugar was reached very early in September and did not move, while everyday the taste of the skins was changing. Thanks to this great weather condition, everyone could harvest “a la carte” by picking each plot at its best maturity without any rush. What a luxury!
Excellent fruits, great density, silky tannins and beautiful, great aging potential, a long and powerful finish.
This is the archetype of the great vintage, thanks to Mother Nature who only allows us to reach the top.
This is the archetype of the great vintage, thank you Mother Nature who only allows us to reach the top.
A wine, with bright and intense aromas of raspberries and lemon rind. Full body, with silky tannins and an electrifying acid, fruit balance. A super classy bottle here. Best in years from here. Try in 2017.
The last time we saw similar weather conditions was back in 1988. April was very cold and on the 7th, frosts damaged the vines. May was unpleasant, rainy and cold. At the beginning of June, the flowering conditions were not good, temperatures were too cold and there was too much rain for the season. This has resulted in flower abortion and millerandage, … announcing a low yield. July was better than in 2007, but August cloudy and sad : small regular rainfalls caused constant humidity. Temperatures were below the seasonal averages. The veraison was delayed and slow, ending in the second half of August. The harvest was late, too – from the 7th to the 20th of October – and very selective. Winemaking was done almost entirely in new oak barrels a first!
The wines are structured and dense with a large aromatic palette. They reflect a work of respect for the fruit and the material, and seem to have all the ingredients to make a surprising vintage!
A delicious, impressive, stunningly seductive offering, the 2008 Bon Pasteur exhibits spicy, mocha, coffee bean, black currant and sweet mulberry aromas and flavors. With silky tannins, a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, admirable purity and an irresistible personality, it can be enjoyed over the next 10-15 years.
It is challenging for any vintage to follow such an acclaimed vintage as 2005 is.
2006 Chateau Le Bon Pasteur is an illustration of what makes the quality of the Terroir: its capacity to adapt to variable weather conditions and its consistency in producing a great wine year after year.
In early 2006, bud break was late after a long and relatively cold winter. The spring was reasonably humid and the flowering was late. A generous sunshine and little rainfall in July were luckily favorable to growth of vegetation. After a fairly homogenous veraison, all the conditions for another great vintage seemed to be there at the end of August.
Rain in September however disturbed a little the end of the maturation process.
Harvest started on September 25th for the merlots and October 1st for the cabernets.
Fortunately a tremendous potential was accumulated at the end of August. The cool weather of September has contributed to the aromatic development of berries. Finally the wines were rich in fruit and anthocyanes, quite colorful, with beautiful structures and firm tannins giving those hallmarks of longevity. They are fairly dense and powerful with firm but ripe tannins, a vintage in the spirit of classic Bordeaux.
Chateau Le Bon Pasteur 2006 shows today some maturity. The wines show refinement and complexity: Deep brilliant ruby color, nose of fresh red fruit, tannins still slightly firm, bold and mature.
A meaty, powerful and sappy palate. The final blend of merlots and Cabernet Francs achieves a lovely balance. Powerful and full bodied with a long finish, the wine will continue to age for several years.
Budding was a little late but a beautiful spring, with low rainfall and ideal temperatures brought us up to speed. Flowering took place at the normal date in early June. It was homogeneous and short, and stretched over one week. June was warm and sunny. At the beginning of July, a few storms compensate a small drought, the vines grew in good conditions. In late August, some rain brought the necessary moisture. Harvesting took place from September 21st until October 10th. Thanks to a well-mastered yield control, the grapes were picked under excellent conditions. They were full of sugar and fruit with thick skins loaded with anthocyanins and tannins, acidity was very good, and the grapes were perfectly healthy.
2005 enters in the history of Château Le Bon Pasteur, like 1982 did, with more excellence due to our knowledge: the “savoir-faire”, the selection, and a huge respect for the grapes we didn’t know 18 years ago.
A beautiful wine from Dany and Michel Rolland, this 2005 is surprisingly concentrated and powerful – more so than usual. Deep ruby/purple, with plenty of black cherry and cassis fruit, licorice and a touch of caramel, this wine is still full, youthful, and set for another 15-20 years of longevity. This is a beauty and one of their strongest efforts in the first decade of the 21st century. For a terroir considered well below Pomerol’s superstars, this wine is a major overachiever.
Rainfall was above the 30 year average. The temperatures were variable, climbing high up and falling far down again. Yet we needed to make the best out of it! Depruning, deleafing, green harvesting, and other selections finally gave us some good grapes which were harvested from October 2nd to the 11th.
This vintage was not as homogeneous as its predecessor in a lot of properties, but the hard work and rigorous selection allowed us to obtain excellent musts, with great tannic structures, good balance and a very beautiful mature fruit. This will be a competitor of weight and charm behind 2000 and we are particularly proud.
A terrific success from the well-known estate of Bordeaux’s famed oenologists Dany and Michel Rolland, the 2001 Bon Pasteur is a super effort for the vintage. Deep plum/purple to the rim, with a sumptuous nose of barbecue spices, smoke, black cherries, mocha, and spice box, this opulent, medium to full-bodied, rich red reveals amazing extract and intensity for a wine from this vintage. Its structure and size suggests 2-3 years of cellaring is warranted. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2017. Bravo!
The month of April was particularly hot and humid. May and June were hot and moderately rainy, with fifteen cooler, wetter days. August and early September, were very hot and dry. These conditions were favorable for precocity: the flowering and veraison were relatively rapid and homogeneous. In general, the warm and dry weather in August allowed for a very good maturation, with the exception of the sandy plots that suffered from significant water stress. Harvesting took place from September 25th to October 4th. The grapes were of very high quality with thick skins, they were rich in phenolic compounds, and sugar contents were high.
The wines are very dark, rich, and consistent. They are smooth and suave on the palate with plenty of fruit and body. This is a great vintage for the end of this century, and a great numbered year to sustain the impact!
Seemingly fully mature, Michel and Dany Rolland’s seductive 2000 Bon Pasteur reveals a dark garnet/plum color along with a big, sweet kiss of soy, cedar, roasted herbs, blackberries, caramelized black cherries, and hints of smoke and kirsch. This fleshy, full-bodied Pomerol reveals low acidity, a savory, broad mid-palate, and a decade of life ahead of it.
Late budding, April beat all records for rainfall. This year did not seem promising at first sight. But the flowering happened smoothly during the first week of June. In late June and early July, temperatures were low for the season and the sun was absent! Then came an extremely hot August with four very hot and sunny days in a row, during which temperatures reached above 36°5C. This caused a very rapid development of rich aromatic and phenolic compounds. Things fall into order… The grapes were beautiful, healthy and progressed rapidly. Harvesting took place from the 29th of September to the 5th of October.
The results are impressive, the colors are black and rich and the textures are silky, like great vintages can give us. The quality of the Merlots is surprising.
The wines are of a beautiful deep purple color, with rich and complex flavors of black fruit (blackberry, black cherry, and blackcurrant), mocha and caramel. They are powerful and full-bodied on the palate, the finish is opulent with a long well-rounded persistence, and the wines are rich and elegant. This was a vintage that gives the best expression of the Pomerol terroir.
Aromas of green olive, light raisin and spices follow through to a full body, with sweet and ripe tannins and a long, dark currant, Christmas cake aftertaste. Delicious already. And a long life ahead too.
This was an exceptional vintage. The third year of a rare trilogy in the history of our wines! This was also the first year ever in which we practiced green harvesting, because in July the quantity of grape bunches seemed enormous…yet green harvesting was still a little shy… if we consider the yields! Despite the drought, the vineyards remained in a perfect state and the grapes were beautiful. Hydric stress caused a slight deceleration of the veraison, yet this does not hinder the maturation of the Merlots. We start the harvest on September 20th. The sugar content was high, the quality of the tannins was exceptional.
Great wines, dense, intense, with a deep color and aromas of ripe fruits, full-bodied with beautiful silky tannins and a great length. These are wines to be kept, but they are soft and fleshy. A success.
Fully mature, the 1990 Bon Pasteur offers up aromas of mocha, caramel, spice box, ripe plums, and hints of figs as well as black cherries. Soft, creamy, expansive, sexy, and fleshy.
Alternating beautiful hot weather and rain. It was the exceptional weather conditions that lead to favorable vine development. All stages of phenolic ripening benefit from great conditions. Perfect ripeness was logically reached during the first days of September. The harvest was of great quality as the ripeness was perfect.
The wines are black, rich, and generous. On the nose they are complex with aromas of cherries and notes of ripe candied fruits. The wine is opulent, dense, and concentrated on the palate with beautiful silky tannins and a long aftertaste.
What a great pleasure! This is the wine of the 20st century!
The few critics that Michel Rolland still has need to taste this wine to understand a wine that was fabulous to drink young, yet at age 27 continues to perform incredibly well. A classic Pomerol, it boasts a dark garnet color with only slight lightening at the edge as well as sensational aromas of crème brulee, chocolate-covered black cherries and currants, figs, and plums, full-bodied, powerful, rich flavors, and tremendous purity, opulence, and length. I thought this 1982 would be in its grave a decade ago, but it continues to show just what great balance and length can mean in Bordeaux. It should drink well for another 10 years.