We all love a Bordeaux value, and we have another great one, this time from Pomerol. The Largest estate in Pomerol, Chateau de Sales, is located in the North West of the appellation and is one of the few Chateaus that are still family-owned—having been under the ownership of the same family since the 16th century. With 90 hectares of land and 48 of which are dedicated to vines, it is also the largest vineyard in Pomerol. The majority of vines are Merlot (73%) which, combined with Cabernet Sauvignon (15%) and Cabernet Franc (12%), finds its full expression in a terroir of gravel and heat-retaining sand, which also contains iron oxide. Vines are grown with an environmentally friendly and sustainable approach and see yield control via leaf thinning and green harvesting. Harvest is completed by hand, parcel by parcel, to ensure proper maturity. Fermentation is traditional, and after the fruit is de-stemmed, it is transferred to temperature-controlled concrete tanks, which undergo alcoholic fermentation and a maceration period which varies by parcel and grape variety. The wine is aged in 15 to 20% new oak for about 12 months and bottled 18 months after harvest.
The attention to detail for a Chateau of this level is remarkable. Where they could make much more wine at a lower quality and ultimately make more money, the family has chosen to keep quality the focal point of this Chateau and show off the many unique characteristics of this sizeable vineyard. One of the best buys for Pomerol, 2019 here, is excellent and is one of the best vintages for this Chateau. A gorgeous showing of fruit while remaining very Pomerol at heart with its rich and velvety character from the Merlot and the savoriness, spice, and structure from the two Cabernets. This one can be enjoyed now but could also spend a few years in the cellar to develop a little more complexity, but it is so fresh and appealing now that there's not much reason to wait. We have friendly pricing here today, and for those that love Bordeaux, especially the right bank, this is highly recommended.
Cellar Tracker 92.3 points!
Wine Advocate (Lisa Perrotti-Brown) 91-93 points! "The 2019 De Sales has a deep garnet-purple color, rolling effortlessly out of the glass with impressively intense baked cherries, plum preserves and fruitcake scents with nuances of potpourri, licorice, chocolate box and fragrant earth. The medium to full-bodied palate is chock-full of ripe, seductive black fruit preserves, framed by rounded tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long and perfumed."
James Suckling 92-93 points! "This shows very pretty, blackberry and chocolate character with some walnuts and hazelnuts. It’s full and layered with gorgeous fruit. Driven, yet fine on the palate."