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“Powerful and explosive … gracious and light on its feet for such a rich wine … a star in the making. 95 rating.”Antonio Galloni on the 2015
“Silky and super-refined … positively stellar … 96 rating.”Antonio Galloni on the 2016
“Fabulous, one of the finds of the appellation.”Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux on Vray Croix de Gay
From Pétrus and Lafleur on down, the greatest Pomerols are Bordeaux’s most singular red wines, described as early as the 19th century as having “the richness of Burgundy … the finesse of a Médoc and the generosity of a Saint-Émilion.”
Pomerol has another distinction as well; it’s the only one of Bordeaux’ great red wine communes that has never had an official classification. Yet, it’s clear that the greatest wines all come from the clay and gravel plateau that lies at Pomerol’s heart.
Here, there’s a Murderer’s Row of legendary châteaux: Pétrus, Lafleur, Trotanoy, Le Pin, La Conseillante, L’Évangile and Vieux Château Certan. Yet, among them lies a tiny property that, though established more than a century ago, is only now emerging as one of Pomerol’s brightest new stars, Ch. Vray Croix de Gay.
Vray Croix de Gay is one of Pomerol’s smallest estates, with three parcels of vines directly adjacent to Lafleur, Trotanoy and Le Pin. But it wasn’t until 2013 that Vray Croix de Gay began its ascension to the Pomerol elite, with its acquisition by Ch. Latour’s owner François Pinault and the arrival of Latour winemaker Pénélope Godefroy, with ex-Pétrus directeur Jean-Claude Berrouet consulting.
Within two vintages, Godefory and Berrouet had produced a pair of masterpieces: the 2015 and 2016 Vray Croix de Gays. Easily the greatest wines in the estate's long history, both wines have by now largely come and gone from the market.
That makes our well-timed acquisition of these wines straight from Bordeaux, and at the lowest U.S. prices, tremendously exciting. For Pomerol of such pedigree and transcendent quality, these prices are a fabulous bargain, especially considering the wine’s provenance.
Starting in 2013, under Pénélope Godefroy and Jean-Claude Berrouet, the vineyards were converted first to organic farming and then to biodynamic. The vines, 86% Merlot and 14% Cabernet Franc, are an average of 40 years old, producing great concentration and perfume, with the exotic richness you expect of great Pomerol. Less than 1000 cases are made.
Having strived for the healthiest, naturally ripe fruit, Godefroy uses simple methods to create as pure an expression of site from them as possible. The grapes are hand harvested, sorted twice and vinified with the native yeasts in temperature-controlled concrete vats. The wine then completes malolactic fermentation and 14 to 18 months aging in barrel, 40% new.
The results are, in Jane Anson’s words, “fabulous, one of the finds of the appellation and still relatively good value.” But it is likely only a matter of time before prices match Vray Croix de Gay’s rapid rise towards stardom, an ascent that began with the 2015 and 2016.
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