2027 - 2055
The 2019 L'Evangile is very good, wafting from the glass with aromas of cherries, sweet berries, warm spices, violets and loamy soil, framed by a nicely integrated patina of new oak that reflects a concerted effort to refine cooperage choices at this address in recent years. Full-bodied, rich and velvety, it's a broad, textural wine with a richly layered core of fruit, succulent acids and ripe, supple tannins that reflects the warm, dry vintage. As usual, it's a Merlot-dominant blend, complemented by some 16% Cabernet Franc and now 1% Cabernet Sauvignon.
The 2019 vintage marks a period of transition at L'Evangile. Most obviously, it's the last vintage produced by Jean-Pascal Vazart, before Juliette Couderc and Olivier Trégoat took the reins at this Pomerol benchmark, sandwiched between the likes of La Conseillante, Cheval Blanc, Vieux Château Certan and Pétrus. But it's also a waypoint in the life of the vines, fully 22 hectares of which have been replanted since 2001, and which now have an average age of 15 years. In warmer, drier vintages, canopies are being hedged lower to mitigate against excess sugar accumulation; systematic de-leafing is no longer employed; cover crops are protecting the soils; and a row of Cabernet Sauvignon is increasingly making it into the grand vin, traditionally a blend of more or less 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. Attempts are also being made to rein in this wine's tendency to opulence: the 2019 already saw only 75% new oak instead of entirely new barrels, and the technical team is refining cooperage choices (80% of the barrels are made in house at Lafite), looking for more discreet toasts adapted to Evangile, and experimenting with amphorae and now a foudre. Of course, timing harvest is crucial, and more and more the vineyard is picked by soil type instead of by block. The 2019 l'Evangile already reflects some of these evolutions—just as it does the richness and maturity of which Evangile's Merlot is capable in a warm, dry vintage such as this—and it will be exciting to follow them to their conclusion in the years to come.