Pommard’s Timeless Elegance: The Enchanting Tale of Château de Pommard.
Nestled in the heart of Burgundy, France, Château de Pommard stands as a symbol of timeless beauty, rich history, and exceptional winemaking. This iconic estate is renowned not only for its picturesque surroundings but also for producing some of the finest wines that embody the essence of the Pommard appellation. Château de Pommard is one of the oldest wine estates in the region and its 300-year-old Château and Clos is UNESCO-protected.
In this article, we take you on a journey through the charming village of Pommard, delve into the history of Château de Pommard, explore its modern winery, and review some of the exquisite wines that have made it famous.
Pommard: The Quintessential Burgundian Village
Pommard is a charming village, and appellation, located in the Côte de Beaune region of Burgundy. It is celebrated worldwide for its exceptional Pinot Noir wines, and the name “Pommard” has become synonymous with the bold and robust red wines that have been produced here for centuries. The village is picturesque, with its quaint streets, vineyard-covered hillsides, and historic architecture. Pommard’s unique terroir, characterized by limestone and clay-rich soils, contributes to the distinctiveness of its wines, which are known for their depth, structure, and aging potential.
A Glimpse into History
The story of Château de Pommard dates back to the 18th century when it was built by Vivant Micault, the royal tax collector for King Louis XV. This elegant château has witnessed centuries of winemaking traditions and has played a pivotal role in shaping the identity of Pommard wines.
In 2003, the estate was acquired by Maurice and Géraldine Giraud, a dynamic couple with a deep passion for wine. They embarked on a mission to preserve the Château’s heritage while embracing modern winemaking techniques and sustainable practices. Under their stewardship, Château de Pommard underwent significant renovations, including the construction of a state-of-the-art winery, blending tradition with innovation.
In 2014, the Carabello-Baum family, from San Francisco, became the new guardians of Château de Pommard. With exciting dreams for the future fast becoming reality, the fifth family of Château de Pommard are on a journey to realize the estate’s full potential and they cannot wait to share it with the world. Of all the eminent and original personalities that have called Château de Pommard home, it is the Carabello-Baum family who truly define the modern sense of vitality and passion established by 18th century entrepreneur Vivant Micault.
The Modern Winery
The Château de Pommard winery is a harmonious blend of old-world charm and contemporary technology. The estate boasts a beautiful cellar, where wines are aged in oak barrels, allowing them to develop complexity and depth. The winemaking team at Château de Pommard is committed to producing wines that express the unique terroir of the Pommard appellation.
One of the notable features of the winery is its commitment to sustainability. The estate has adopted environmentally friendly practices, from vineyard management to winemaking. Organic and biodynamic methods are used to cultivate the vines, ensuring that the grapes are of the highest quality.
Since the 2021 vintage Château de Pommard is officially Demeter biodynamic certified for the Clos Mary-Monge wines. This dedication to sustainable viticulture not only preserves the land for future generations but also enhances the overall quality of the wines.
At Château de Pommard, winemaking is an art form. The estate employs traditional techniques that honor the region’s heritage while embracing modern innovations. Grapes are hand-harvested, meticulously sorted, and gently destemmed to ensure the utmost quality. Fermentation takes place in wooden vats, and aging occurs in French oak barrels sourced from the best cooperages.
The winemaking team, led by Winemaker Paul Negrerie, is dedicated to crafting wines that capture the essence of the Pommard terroir. The meticulous attention to detail and respect for tradition ensure that every bottle that bears the Château de Pommard label is a true reflection of the region’s character.
The Terroir of Pommard
Pommard’s reputation as a premier winemaking region and appellation is closely tied to its unique terroir. The village is strategically located at the southern end of the Côte de Beaune, where the vineyards are exposed to ideal sun exposure and benefit from the cooling influences of nearby forests. The soils, a blend of limestone, marl, and clay, are perfectly suited for Pinot Noir, allowing the grape to express its true character.
The iconic Clos Marey-Monge, a walled vineyard within Château de Pommard, deserves special mention. This monopole vineyard, encompassing various terroirs, encapsulates the essence of Pommard. Its distinct parcels contribute to the complexity and diversity of the wines produced by Château de Pommard. Each vineyard plot within Clos Marey-Monge is vinified separately, highlighting the unique characteristics of its terroir. The result is a fascinating array of wines, each telling a different story of Pommard’s soil and microclimate.
Exploring the Wines of Château de Pommard
Château de Pommard produces an exquisite range of wines that showcase the essence of the Pommard terroir. The flagship wines include the mentioned Pommard Clos Marey-Monge Monopole, a powerful and elegant Pinot Noir, and the Pommard Château de Pommard, which reflects the classic character of the appellation. These wines are known for their deep ruby color, complex aromas of red fruits, and a subtle earthy minerality.
In addition to their flagship wines, the estate also offers a selection of exceptional cuvées, each highlighting different facets of the Pommard terroir. Whether you prefer a youthful and vibrant Pinot Noir or a wine with the potential to age gracefully for decades, Château de Pommard has a wine to suit every palate.
For this article we reviewed three Château de Pommard Pinot Noirs from the Clos Marey-Monge. The Clos are the Château’s walled vineyards, consisting of seven plots on twenty hectares, used to produce blends but also single plot wines. Clos Marey-Monge is a collection of terroirs, with a different composition of limestone, iron-rich clay, alluvium and other minerals essential to Pinot Noir. You can explore the Clos through an interactive map on the Château’s website.
Château de Pommard Clos Marey-Monge Nicolas-Joseph 2021
Nicolas-Joseph’s 3 hectares are comprised of flat limestone rocks with red clay, yielding a fleshy, complex Pinot Noir with red fruits and sweet, silky tannins. Divided into two parts, this plot (containing vines ranging from 20 to 80 years in age) displays the least calcareous soil structure in the Clos. The wine bears the ‘Pommard’ classification and has aged for 12 months in French oak barrels (10% new oak). Production is limited to just 3,900 bottles.
The Nicolas-Joseph is a true embodiment of Pommard’s terroir and the winemaking expertise of this illustrious estate. This wine, named in honor of Nicolas-Joseph Marey and Claude Philibert Barthelot, previous owners of the estate, offers a captivating journey through the heart of the vineyard.
The 2021 Nicolas-Joseph is a captivating portrayal of Pinot Noir’s elegance and freshness. Its deep ruby hue entices the eye, inviting exploration of its graceful character. Upon approach, the wine unveils an inviting and fresh nose, characterized by alluring red fruit aromas with a subtle hint of spice. It is a testament to the vibrancy and complexity inherent in this vintage.
The palate is a revelation of finesse and depth. Red fruits take center stage, delivering a delightful blend of flavors that dance gracefully on the tongue. Succulent red cherries and raspberries, wrapped in sweet, silky tannins, create a harmonious and pleasurable tasting experience. The wine’s generosity knows no bounds, and its complexity is confirmed with every sip. As the journey through this wine unfolds, the finish emerges as generous and flavorsome, leaving a lasting impression on the senses. It is a reminder of the wine’s quality and the skilled craftsmanship that has gone into its creation.
In essence, the Nicolas-Joseph 2021 is a celebration of elegance and freshness, a testament to the beauty of Pinot Noir. It is a wine that invites appreciation for its balanced, fruity profile and leaves a memorable mark with its generous and sapid finish.
We award this Pinot Noir with a 93-point DWA score.
Château de Pommard Clos Marey-Monge Monopole 2020
The largest monopole in Burgundy, Clos Marey-Monge (20 hectares) benefits from a unique environment protected by a two-meter-high stone wall. Positioned at the base of the hill of Pommard, the complexity of our vineyard’s soils come from the alluvia, sand and gravel carried along by the Avant-Dheune river one thousand years ago. This blend of the seven cuvées from the limestone and clay-rich terroirs of the Clos creates a deep, elegant, and sophisticated Pinot Noir.
The wine bears the ‘Pommard’ classification and aged for 15 months in French oak barrels (20% new oak). The vines are between 20 to 80 years in age and the production for the 2020 vintage is 20,000 bottles.
The 2020 Clos Marey-Monge Monopole showcases an enchanting blend of complexity and generosity, inviting wine enthusiasts to embark on a captivating journey through the heart of Pommard’s terroir. Its striking ruby hue, adorned with hints of purple, immediately captivates the eye, promising a wine that is both visually stunning and sensorially rich.
The wine’s nose is a symphony of aromas that gracefully intermingle. Delicate hints of ripe black fruit and dried flowers take center stage, while a subtle undertone of sweet spices weaves through, adding an alluring depth to the bouquet. This aromatic experience sets the stage for the sensory adventure that lies ahead.
Upon the first sip, the 2020 Monopole enchants with its fresh, round, and generous palate. The silky tannins, graced with a touch of sweetness, caress the senses, creating a harmonious balance. The wine’s full-bodied and complex finish is a testament to its power and grace, leaving a lasting impression that lingers on the palate.
While the Clos Marey-Monge Monopole possesses the potential for aging, it also offers immediate gratification for those who wish to savor its charms today. This wine embodies the essence of a great Pommard, a masterpiece that captures the duality of youthful vivacity and the promise of maturation. It stands as a tribute to tradition, yet with an ever-present eye on the contemporary wine experience.
We award this Pinot Noir with a 94-point DWA score.
Château de Pommard Clos Marey-Monge Grands Esprits 2017
Grands Esprits’ 4.81 hectares of large, round, rocky, calcium- rich soils planted between 1980 and 1990 produce a straight Pinot Noir with firm tannins and the potential for long aging. Occupying almost one-quarter of the estate’s vineyards, the 220 rows of the Grands Esprits (formerly known as Grands Champs) plot is the most calcareous area of Clos Marey-Monge. The wine bears the ‘Pommard’ classification and aged for 16 months in French oak barrels (20% new oak). Production is 9,155 bottles.
Clos Marey-Monge Grands Esprits, renowned for its vital contribution to the Clos Marey-Monge Monopole blend, shines brilliantly in its solo performance. This exceptional Pinot Noir presents itself with an intense ruby robe that captivates the eye, hinting at its rich character and vibrant allure.
From the very first encounter, the wine’s exuberant nose entices the senses with a medley of red fruits that sing harmoniously alongside notes of sandalwood. A tantalizing embrace of sweet spices, including the warm allure of cinnamon and cloves, adds a layer of complexity to the aromatic symphony. On the palate, the Grands Esprits reveals its full-bodied and tannic personality with confidence and poise. The lush red fruits promised by the aroma come to life, offering a symphony of flavors that dance gracefully on the tongue. Black cherries, ripe raspberries, and a touch of blackcurrant intermingle seamlessly with earthy undertones, creating a captivating sensory experience. The wine’s fine-grained tannins and velvety texture contribute to a luxurious mouthfeel, showcasing its inherent quality and structure.
The grand finale of this 2017 vintage is a testament to its character and elegance. Notes of minerality emerge, adding a refined touch to this robust cuvée. The finish is long and lingering, inviting contemplation and appreciation of the wine’s depth and nuance.
In essence, the Clos Marey-Monge Grands Esprits is not just a contributor to a blend but a star in its own right. It stands as a testament to the exceptional quality of its Pinot Noir grapes, delivering a wine that embodies richness, structure, and sophistication. Whether enjoyed on its own or as part of a blend, it is a wine that invites exploration and celebration.
We award this Pinot Noir with a 92-point DWA score.
Château de Pommard, with its rich history, commitment to sustainable practices, and dedication to winemaking excellence, is a shining jewel in the Burgundian wine world. As you savor a glass of their exceptional Pinot Noir, you are not merely tasting a wine; you are experiencing the terroir of Pommard, the heritage of the Château, and the passion of the winemakers. Whether you are a seasoned wine aficionado or a novice seeking to explore the world of fine wines, Château de Pommard offers an invitation to discover the true essence of Burgundy’s Pommard appellation and the artistry of winemaking at its finest.
For optimal enjoyment we recommend that you give Château de Pommard’s Pinot’s some time to ground and breathe before you savor these fine wines.
We would like to thank Château de Pommard for sharing these wines with us and encourage you all to try one or more of their wines. This review is written by our own Niels Aarts, photography by our own Eline de Geus.