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Magnum of Château Guillot, Pomerol 2008

Red Wine from France - Bordeaux
Lovely full savoury Pomerol with style and depth of flavour. The small vineyard is brilliantly situated in the heart of Pomerol on the plateau by the church. Perfect for drinking now.This wine is a Museum Release: thanks to our member-owned co-operative model, our buyers are able to buy wines to mature in the perfect conditions of our temperature-controlled cellars and release them when they are ready to enjoy.
is no longer available
Code: CS8304

Wine characteristics

  • Red Wine
  • Medium-bodied
  • Merlot
  • 150cl
  • Now to 2025
  • 13.5% Alcohol
  • oak used but not v. noticeable
  • Cork, natural

St Emilion, Pomerol

Saint-Emilion

There is an ancient history of wine making in the area of St Emilion, with Roman viticulture attested to in the poetry of Ausonius after whom the Première Grand Cru Château Ausone is named. The vineyards and much visited town have been awarded UNESCO world heritage List status as a cultural landscape and are enjoying a period of particular dynamism and prosperity.

Merlot is the dominant grape here with cabernet franc in earnest support and some supporters of the more difficult to ripen cabernet sauvignon. The soils, damper and cooler than those of the Médoc, are responsible for this and merlot performs beautifully in the clay, limestone, gravel and other alluvial deposits that make up the vineyard soils. Much is made of the clay based soils of the area but the picture is a broader than that.

If we ignore the areas down by the river and on its flood plain and the satellites that we discuss elsewhere, there remain two main areas where the quality of the wines speaks for the...
Saint-Emilion

There is an ancient history of wine making in the area of St Emilion, with Roman viticulture attested to in the poetry of Ausonius after whom the Première Grand Cru Château Ausone is named. The vineyards and much visited town have been awarded UNESCO world heritage List status as a cultural landscape and are enjoying a period of particular dynamism and prosperity.

Merlot is the dominant grape here with cabernet franc in earnest support and some supporters of the more difficult to ripen cabernet sauvignon. The soils, damper and cooler than those of the Médoc, are responsible for this and merlot performs beautifully in the clay, limestone, gravel and other alluvial deposits that make up the vineyard soils. Much is made of the clay based soils of the area but the picture is a broader than that.

If we ignore the areas down by the river and on its flood plain and the satellites that we discuss elsewhere, there remain two main areas where the quality of the wines speaks for the terroir.

The first is up on the plateau that abuts the border with Pomerol. A continuation of the plateau of sand and gravel that defines the best wines of Pomerol, this area is home to the most sought after of all Saint-Emilions, Château Cheval Blanc. The second group of properties are to be found on an escarpment east of the town of Saint-Emilion, where a thin layer of topsoil overlays a bedrock of sandstone on south-facing slopes that end suddenly and precipitously. Though the best wines of the second group are less highly regarded than the best of the first group there are superb wines in both.

Unlike its Pomerol next door, the wines of Saint-Emilion have access to a classification system akin to that of the 1855 Médoc version. Established in 1955, the Saint-Emilion classification is redrawn every ten years, which always causes a legal rumpus as demoted properties seek redress for the insult. Wines are assessed on several criteria such as soils, aspect and vine age and are tasted for typicity. Once accepted at one of the three levels the wines are required to adhere to stricter appellation rules than their supposedly lesser fellow estates with regard to yields and ageing.

The levels of the classification begin with the Grand Cru Classé properties of which there are several hundred (there are 800 or so estates in Saint-Emilion in total). Above this is Première Grand Cru, with 18 member currently, and at the top the Premières Grands Crus (A) which consists of the Châteaux Cheval Blanc, Ausone, Angelus and Pavie, the latter two having been promoted in 2012.

At its best Saint-Emilion should be should be rich, full-coloured, spicy and apparently sweet, and the best properties balance these qualities with finesse length. No white wines are made.

Pomerol

Despite not having a classification system like the Médoc and Saint-Emilion, Pomerol has an enviable reputation for some of the very best Bordeaux wines that can fetch eye-watering prices. However, at its best Pomerol produces sublime wines with a rich, almost fleshy, velvety flavour. It's worth buying the best which are never cheap.

The appellation is tiny, only 785 hectares, but within this flat but bijou acreage there are a great number of small estates with few of the grand châteaux that crop up throughout other Bordeaux districts. The land is effectively a great bank rising in gentle terraces from the Dordogne and Isle rivers, consisting of a good deal of clay leavened by gravel and sand in varying quantities depending on where you stand. The sandiest slopes, making the lightest wines, are on the lower slopes close to the Dordogne, and the best terroir is considered to be up in the north-eastern corner where the clay is at its thickest. Here you will find the big names of the appellation such Châteaux Pétrus, La Fleur Pétrus, Lafleur and Vieux Château Certan. Nowhere is more than 40 metres above sea level.

Merlot is at least 80% of planting and is similarly represented in any blended wines, though many are pure merlot. Cabernet franc is runner up here, with cabernet sauvignon and malbec also permitted.

The influential Moueix family have been incredibly important in the development of Pomerol’s reputation as a fine wine appellation, both as négociants and as owners of some of the finest properties. Pétrus, Lafleur Pétrus, Hosanna and Providence are all under their ownership.
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Bordeaux Vintage 2008

A vintage whose success took everyone by surprise. Anyone who took a holiday in the Bordeaux region in August 2008 will understand: it was cool, wet and decidedly unpromising. July had been dry and sunny, and there were smiles on the vignerons’ faces until the August weather set in. Fortunately, the smiles returned as September provided lovely weather for the harvest from the middle of the month onwards. Indeed, the fine weather stayed throughout October and the vintage was saved. All the major successes were picked later than usual, and this exceptionally long growing season, enabling the fruit to achieve complete ripeness, finesse and complexity of flavour, is what has given the vintage its character.

This was a vintage that required patience and hard work from the growers. Adaptability in the face of capricious weather conditions was vital and they had to wait until their fruit reached full maturity if they were to make good wine. It was important as a buyer to taste and taste...
A vintage whose success took everyone by surprise. Anyone who took a holiday in the Bordeaux region in August 2008 will understand: it was cool, wet and decidedly unpromising. July had been dry and sunny, and there were smiles on the vignerons’ faces until the August weather set in. Fortunately, the smiles returned as September provided lovely weather for the harvest from the middle of the month onwards. Indeed, the fine weather stayed throughout October and the vintage was saved. All the major successes were picked later than usual, and this exceptionally long growing season, enabling the fruit to achieve complete ripeness, finesse and complexity of flavour, is what has given the vintage its character.

This was a vintage that required patience and hard work from the growers. Adaptability in the face of capricious weather conditions was vital and they had to wait until their fruit reached full maturity if they were to make good wine. It was important as a buyer to taste and taste again to monitor the evolution of the wines because of the lateness of the harvest.

The good news is that there are very many fine examples to be found. Pauillac, St-Julien, Pessac-Léognan and the right bank have made a number of outstanding wines: ripe yet fresh, generously flavoured, multi-faceted and fine. Many of the best will benefit from a little more time in your cellars, and many of the middle rank are a delight to drink just a few years after the vintage.
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2008 vintage reviews

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