The red wine appellation Pomerol in Bordeaux, France, rests on the right bank of the beautiful Dordogne River.
Here you will find two different varietals that dominate the region, with Cabernet Sauvignon on the left bank of the river and Merlot and Cabernet Franc grown on the opposite bank.
These high-quality varieties make great red blends that produce plump wines with a velvety mouth and a remarkable plummy depth.
History of Pomerol Wines
Historically, Pomerol has a reputation for being one of the most collectible wine regions worldwide, with the earliest vineyards dating as far back as the 1300s.
It wasn’t until the 1700s that Pomerol established a wine-producing community when farmers gradually switched their wheat and produce crops to wine grapes. This change came about due to the quality of the land, which was mostly gravel, clay, and sandy soils, being better suited for wine than grain.
One of the early grapes planted was Cabernet Franc and white wine grapes. Later, vineyards launched Merlot, the principal varietal of the appellation.
In the early 1800s, Pomerol flourished as an active wine-producing region with 400 hectares of thriving grapevines, and slowly the area phased out the white wines. However, it took over 100 years for Pomerol to gain notice.
In 1982, the Pomerol region finally received the recognition it deserved, thanks to the tireless work of French winemaker Jean Pierre Moueix.
However, Pomerol has no official wine classification system to determine the prestige and quality of the wine from the region. Still, it is the home of the most expensive and sought-after wines.
Expensive Wines of Bordeaux
The smallest appellation in the Bordeaux wine industry, Pomerol has 800 hectares of grapevines, roughly three kilometers by four kilometers.
About 150 chateaus produce Pomerol wine. With some exceptions, most of the wineries are small. Here you will find three of the most expensive wines in Bordeaux: Petrus, Lafleur and Le Pin.
The area is charming and humble, so there are no grand chateaus or signs to draw attention to the vineyards or wineries.
The Top 10 Wines of Pomerol, France
- Petrus – Merlot
- Chateau Lafleur – Cabernet Franc and Merlot
- Le Pin – Merlot
- Vieux Chateau Certan – Bordeaux Blend Red
- Chateau L’Eglise-Clinet – Cabernet Franc and Merlot
- Chateau Trotanoy – Bordeaux Blend Red
- Chateau La Conseillante – Bordeaux Blend Red
- Chateau La Fleur-Petrus – Cabernet Franc and Merlot
- Chateau L’Evangile – Cabernet Franc – Merlot
- Fugue de Nenin – Bordeaux Blend Red
1. Petrus – Merlot
Petrus is not a chateau in itself, though connoisseurs frequently refer to it as a chateau. Petrus is a winery owned by the late Jean Pierre Moueix. Moueix produces this expensive wine, selling over $6,000 for a 750 ml bottle.
Experts value this wine as dark purple and red but not opaque. Aromas are predominantly savory, including notes of boysenberry, blackberry, bullace, damson, and black olive.
The wine is exquisitely fresh with a slight warmth, giving the alcohol balance at the finish. On the palate is a red-fruit edge with damson and mulberry.
The tannins are light and plentiful with well-handled oak, adding toasty drying notes. Thanks to the lifted vanilla, it has a beautiful finish and freshness at the end.
Petrus sold worldwide and auctioned off, particularly vintages like the 1970s, 80s, and 2000s.
2. Chateau Lafluer – Cabernet Franc and Merlot
Wine critics score this wine as one of the top five Pomerol wines. Wine critic Jean-Marc Quarin gave the 2021 Chateau Lafluer a 96 out of 100.
It’s deep but not opaque, with a dark ruby core and lovely purple rim. A brooding wine has complex aromas that combine high-toned, ripe, dark olive fruit and black cherry with meaty notes.
The palate begins savory, offering a tight, dense construction of soft tannins, mighty yet supple and impressive. Fresh and balanced acidity and alcohol will not intrude.
Titillating black fruit achieves meaty and dark olive notes, building a long, savory, and dry finish–brilliantly prepared for an intense wine.
3. Le Pin – Merlot
Bordeaux wine naming traditions say it’s “Le Pin” without the “Chateau.” But some refer to it as a “Chateau Le Pin.” Wine enthusiasts consider Le Pin the most expensive wine in the world.
The red wine comes from Le Pin, a tiny 2.7-hectare property in Pomerol, district of Bordeaux, run by a Belgian family.
Le Pin is a generous wine that welcomes the palate with pretty fruits. Its profile leans towards the dark side with mulberries, black cherries, and a touch of prune.
It has smooth, firm tannins and vibrant acidity that constitutes a solid mid-palate. The wine carries a lively freshness to the end.
4. Vieux Chateau Certan – Bordeaux Blend Red
The Wine Advocate, a bi-weekly wine publication, gave the 1928 vintage 96 out of 100. Other critics scored Vieux Chateau Certan as one of the top five Pomerol wines.
The medium to deep purple-red wine has savory aromas and characteristics of dark-licorice fruit and hints of graceful leaves.
The palate tastes black-plum backed by earthy and concentrated black-licorice flavors. Its acidity is fresh, making it smooth.
The wine is medium-bodied yet concentrated with fine tannins, seamlessly integrated with fruit without a dry, puckery quality.
The alcohol rounds out nicely, being balanced slightly at the finish. However, the wine finishes long and lean as the tannin grips with licorice, cedar, and hints of tobacco.
5. Chateau L’Eglise-Clinet
Enjoy this red, savory, and classic wine, formerly known as Clos I’Eglise Clinet. It’s deep, dark, and reasonably opaque with ruby to black hues along the glass rim.
Savor the lifting black fruit aromas with spirity touch on the nose. The palate holds black fruit overlaid by dusty oak notes. The texture is smooth and has plenty of oak flavors.
The wine carries a perfect length, and the black fruit gains a juicy perspective as the lively acidity cuts to the finish. Also, its concentrated fruit taste remains impenetrable.
6. Chateau Trotanoy – Bordeaux Blend Red
One of the top ten most highly rated Pomerol wines based on critic scores. In fact, the 2019 vintage received a 100 score by Jeff Leve of The Wine Cellar Insider, the leading source for Bordeaux harvest information.
The wine looks deep and dark, though not opaque, with ruby-red color. Savor the aromas of vanilla nuts and ripe red fruit—a palate with fruit, soft plummy red fruit, and an overlay of earthy chocolate notes.
Acidity is fresh and balanced—a medium to full-bodied wine with luscious fine tannins and notes of cedar and vanilla. The tannins balance the alcohol and finish well, lingering with truffle flavors and red fruit.
7. Chateau La Conseillante – Bordeaux Blend Red
Another red, savory classic, scoring as one of the top ten Pomerol wines from an aggregated critic score. Jean-Marc Quarin honored the 2020 vintage with 97.
Not opaque, with deep and dark ruby colors that hit the glass rim with garnet touches. It has lovely ripe dried fruits. Call it a Christmas Cake that makes up the nose.
The palate stays concentrated, delivering over-ripe black fruit at the beginning, then savory and dark-olive notes. Its texture has plush and velvety tannins.
Alcohol and acid have a comfortable balance, ensuring a pleasant ending along with a lovely freshness.
8. Chateau La Fleur-Petrus – Cabernet Franc and Merlot
Here is a classic, savory red where several critics rated this Pomerol wine extremely high. The Wine Advocate scored the 2010 vintage at 98.
The wine is medium to intensely dark red with a beautiful purple hue at the glass rim. The nose offers ripe dark plum with overlaid cedary and toasty notes, adding vanilla and chocolate.
Taste the concentrated plum and damson flavors with hints of chocolate. The exquisite tannins are fine, smooth, and cedary. Yet, they are lightly dusty, marrying harmonious fruit.
The balanced alcohol brings a slight warmth to the taste. Juicy fruit finishes last long yet are lean, light, and elegant.
9. Chateau L’Evangile – Cabernet Franc – Merlot
Here is a classic wine that is savory and red, with aggregated scores from critics that place it as one of the top ten Pomerol.
Jane Anson, the author of Inside Bordeaux, a ground-breaking book guide to the Bordeaux wine region, honored the 2019 vintage with a 97 score.
Visually, this wine is deep and dark with black and red colors that offer purple hues at the rim. It’s full of fragrant aromas of overt fruits like black cherries and blackberries.
You can sense the licorice and light cedary oak as the palate offers creamy, rich, velvety, full-bodied wine and a touch of orange peel with 14.7 percent alcohol.
It includes a brilliant concentration of vibrant and bright fruit paired with round, sophisticated, ripe, and smooth tannins. The finish is long and lovely as a refined and restrained wine, showing incredible finesse.
10. Fugue de Nenin – Bordeaux Blend Red
A famous wine from Chateau Nenin, the 2012 vintage has earned one star from the Guide Hachette des Vins.
The wine has a color of medium purple-red with plummy aromas that lift into soft leafy notes. The palate shares lively red-plum fruit with hints of coffee grounds and coca.
The texture is smooth, yet the tannins have a touch of dryness, followed by toasty and chalky notes. The acidity and alcohol are balanced and give the wine a reasonable length.