2002 Château de Rochemorin Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux, France
Château de Rochemorin is a wine estate with a long and glorious History.
Périgourdins first planted vines at Rochemorin in the 16th century. Then the property came into the hands of Charles Louis de Secondat, the Baron de Montesquieu: a famous French philosopher of the 17th century who was growing wine at Rochemorin. It was then one of the most important vineyard of the local barony.
Château de Rochemorin is now part of the Vignobles André Lurton, a winegrower (or vignerons) from the Entre-Deux-Mers area of Bordeaux, but also the most important (in size) wine producer of the Pessac-Léognan part of the Graves in the South of Bordeaux.
Lurton built a new winery with a modern design to give back to Rochemorin some of its past glory.
Personally, I happened to work at Rochemorin for nearly a year around the 2007 vintage, which is when I acquired this bottle of 2002 that I have cellared ever since.
Time to unveil what it contains, and how good 2002 Château de Rochemorin Pessac-Léognan still is.
The wine is a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
This 15-year-old wine from Pessac-Léognan in the Bordeaux region comes in a pretty dark red color. It is dark and dense to the core, red with orange hues to the rim, showing some evolution but still looking quite vibrant in its appearance.
The nose is a little tight at first, displaying animal notes, like leather, with dark spices. Decant and allow the wine to breathe at least one hour prior to tasting and enjoying.
Once opened up, it will reveal a much fresher and brighter aromatic profile, filled with ripe blackberry, some strawberry jam. It is intrinsically fruity, but also filled with a wealth of generous sweet spices. Charming smell intensified and deepened by delicate oaky notes of wood smoke, toasted hazelnut, and vanilla.
The palate surprises and delights by its great smoothness, delivering a velvety, almost silky feel.
It is dense and tight in its tannic structure. Yet, the tannins seem to have been polished by time and the right amount of fine oak infused to it.
Plenty of strong and pungent flavors of cooked fruits augmented by an oaky buttery yumminess, like an apple and berries crumble. There are plenty of sweet spices too, cinnamon and clove, like a 5 spices Christmas pudding mix.
The whole is delivered with elegance and refinement.
A greatly satisfying relatively humble Bordeaux wine that goes to show how well some selected Bordeaux wines can age and reach a peak of complexity after 10 to twenty years, 15 years here exactly here.
Deep and profound, this French dry red wine delivers an outstanding smoothness with layered complexity combining pungent fruit characters, with complex spices, elegant oaky notes, and discrete ‘bouquet’ of leathery notes for the depth.
Excellent. A wine to experience if you ever get a chance to come across it in this 2002 vintage. The 2005 vintage that I ‘made’ is also excellent.
Would love to taste and review newer vintages. To be continued…
When to Drink?
Drink now and within 5 years to enjoy it at what’s probably its peak of evolution, unless you are really after dominant animal notes.