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Pomerol, Saint-Emilion’s neighbour, is located to the north-east of Libourne and is the smallest of Bordeaux’s prestigious appellations, covering just 800 hectares (1,976 acres) of vineyard. Its outstanding terroir is largely made up of clay-gravel soils in which the Merlot, the king grape variety of the region, finds its full expression alongside the Cabernet Franc, which is planted on the deepest gravel soils. Beauregard is situated at the entrance to the appellation and covers an area of 17.5 hectares (43 acres), making it one of the largest Pomerol estates. Its grape composition is 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc. In 2016, 4% of Cabernet Sauvignon was added to the vineyard, and these grapes will enter into the blend within a few years.
The vines have reached an average grand old age of 35 years, while every new plantation is planted at the very high density of 9,200 vines per hectare.
The wine-making facilities at Beauregard have been completely redesigned with a new, high-performing gravity-flow vat cellar containing 22 temperature-controlled tronco-conical concrete vats of 60 to 80 hectolitre capacity, which enable extremely precise plot by plot vinification. Two barrel cellars, one of which has a gravity-flow system, follow the strictest rules of fine wine ageing.
A demanding vintage that required constant vigilance but which will most probably turn out to have produced one of the greatest wines at the estate.
The first six months of the year were very wet. By the end of March, we had already recorded cumulated rainfall of twice the usual amount. With this humidity, the mildness of winter triggered an early budding in the vines. The temperatures during the following months slowed down the vine cycle. Then a combination of heavy rains and mild temperatures brought about high vine disease pressure, especially that of downy mildew. Meticulous preventive work allied to the appropriate rate of spray treatments enabled us to get through this period without any serious damage.
The month of July marked the end of the rains for the summer, and a period of severe drought then set in. During August and September markedly higher than average temperatures were recorded. Water stress, which is necessary for the production of high quality grapes, gradually set in.
A bout of rain at the beginning of September “unblocked” the plots of young vines growing in soils with low moisture levels and favoured the ripening process in all of the plots.
Thanks to this almost miraculous weather, our grapes were able to reach perfect ripeness in each of the plots. Precise control of crop size was necessary to achieve this optimal ripeness. The harvest was therefore late and long drawn-out. We were able to take advantage of an Indian summer that stayed with us for the first two weeks of October. The homogeneity in the ripeness of the grapes was outstanding this year. After precision vinification aiming to bring out the purity, balance, complexity and elegance of our crop, the tastings we carried out during the wine’s ageing process demonstrated the value of all the efforts we made throughout the growing season and promised an outstanding future for the 2016.