Chateau L'Evangile 2009
An astonishing effort from the Rothschild family, the 2009 l’Evangile may be the reference point offering from this estate for decades to come. A blend of 95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc aged in 100% new oak, with 15% natural alcohol, it exhibits a sumptuous bouquet of caramels, black raspberry liqueur, blackberries, violets, graphite and truffles. Thick, viscous flavors are reminiscent of such super-ripe vintages as 1982, 1959, 1949 and 1947. The striking aromatics, massive, full-bodied mouthfeel and multilayered palate that resembles a skyscraper in the mouth offer an abject lesson in great winemaking, extraordinary terroir, and the ability to combine power with precision, elegance and freshness. This is unquestionably a huge wine, but it also possesses mindboggling complexity and finesse. Because of its sheer extract and velvety personality, it will be drinkable in 4-5 years, and will keep for four decades or more where well-stored. The most profound L’Evangile ever made?
Solid as a rock, aromas of flowers, minerals, dark berries, and milk chocolate. Full and chewy, this has super polished tannins and a powerful backbone. This is very structured and intense, then becomes velvety and intense. I can’t wait to see how this evolves.
Barrel Sample: 96-97 Points
This takes a broader approach, with almost stolid tobacco and charcoal structure guarding the core of black currant, roasted fig and blackberry confiture flavors. Long and very fleshy, offering ample toast and searing singed iron notes, but terrific integration. Merlot in Cabernet clothing, with a long life ahead. Best from 2018 through 2035.
Deep inky-ruby. A fresh violet topnote lifts and complicates aromas of dark plum and cassis on the enticing nose. Quite pure in the mouth, with mineral-driven flavors of dark berries, creamy milk chocolate and smoky plum. Lively framing acidity extends the wine's flavors impressively through a long finish. This has lost some baby fat but picked up more gracefulness since I tried it in the spring of 2010.