Pomerol's history goes back a long way. The plateau was crossed by two Roman road's, one of which was used by the poet Ausonius to go to his villa, Lucaniac. In the 12th century, the hospitallers of Saint John of Jerusalem established their first commandery in the Libourne as well as a hospice, or special stopping place for pelgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela. The vineyards were distroyed during the Hundred Years' War, replanted in the 15th and 16th centuries, and have been famous for quality ever since the latter half of the 19th century.
Chateau Pétrus (click for info)
Soil in Pomerol is a unique, outstanding geological phenomenon. The topsoil is made up of gravel that varies in compactness, with layers of clay and sand. The subsoil includes iron oxide, locally called "crasse de fer". This soil, combined with a special micro-climate, accounts for Pomerol's absolutely inimitable personality.
Though it is tiny, Pomerol is famous world over. The vineyards are located 30 kms north-east of Bordeaux and 3 kms from the city of Libourne on a slightly rolling plateau, that slopes gradually towards the Isle river valley and its confluence with the Dordogne. It is bordered by Barbanne stream to the north, Saint Emilion to the east, and Libourne to the south and east. This is one of the tiniest vineyards in Bordeaux: 4 kms long and 3 kms wide, 780 hectares of vines that produce an average of 28,000 hectolitres, or the equivalent of 4 million bottles of wine a year. Merlot accounts for 80% of vines planted, withthe remainder devided between Bouchet or Cabernet Franc (15%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (5%). These vines attain perfection in such a special soil.
Pomerol wine is true work of art, owing to be happy blend of the mild Aquitaine climate, privileged location, and local winemaking know-how. There are a great number of wine chateaux, and many winegrowers cultivate quite a small area (sometimes less than one hectare) with as much love and care as the owners of prestigious growths whose names are known all over the world. Patience, determination, hard work and science have given Pomerol its reputation as one of the finest wines in the world. The excellent homogeneous quality means that Pomerol has no official classification, which helps to maintain good relations and cooperation between producers.
Pomerol's charm is immediate, and appeals as much to the most demanding connoisseur as to the person just learning to enjoy wine. Fine colour, power and an elegant bouquet combine to produce velvety wines with subtle aromas of berries, violets and truffles. Pomerol wines are deeply coloured and admirably structured, with remarkable elegance and a taste that is both rich and generous. Pomerol is even delicious young, though it reaches perfection after 5-10 years in bottle, depending on the chateau and wine storage conditions.
As with all great wines, there are a few basic guidelines: handle the bottle with care and bring it up to room temperature (16-18 C) over a 24 hour period. Do not hesitate to decant the wine. either to seperate it from the sediment that is always present in old wines, or let a young wine breathe and develop its bouquet. Pomerol is an ideal accompaniment to almost any food, and is particulary fine with red meat, game and cheese.