The vines here have an average age of 36 years, being situated on gravel hilltops and a gentle slope leading down to the Barbanne stream, with the Pomerol appellation just across the water. This is one of the best terroirs of Lalande-de-Pomerol, with big-gravel soils making up 70% of the estate, the balance being gravels mixed with clay or sand. We were delighted to welcome this wine back into our selection with the 2015 vintage, after several years’ absence. New owners Christel and Michel de Laet Derache acquired the château in 2011 and rapidly undertook modernisation of the winery, and barrel-storage area. The investments have born fruit magnificently with this 2016. The wine comes from 73% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Franc with 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, now ageing in 40% new barrels. Madame de Laet Derache says of her 2016: “Like our 2015, this is very promising but you must let it mature. There’s no point sharing a meal with babies, you need adults at table!” Colour is purple-ruby of medium depth, the nose being vibrant with fresh red fruits. Palate shows fine balance between fruit density, gentle tannins, refreshing acidity and smooth aftertaste – a lovely wine (for drinking 2019 to 2028+).