Producer Guide: Chateau Nenin (Bordeaux, France)
Chateau Nenin is one of the most widely recognised names of the Pomerol appellation.
Owned by the Domaines Delon group which also includes Chateau Leoville-Las-Cases and Chateau Potensac in the Medoc, Nenin has been in the same family since 1847.
Days before the harvest in 1996, Jean-Hubert Delon struck a deal with his cousins, the Despujol family to purchase the property and immediately undertook major refurbishments.
Nenin was a high potential site that needed its land draining and vines replanting. While this was being done, major reconstruction was carried out on the cellars with the addition of air conditioning and a new vat room boasting new state of the art equipment was installed.
Equally unusual for Pomerol is the property's somewhat lavish 19th century chateau which stands out amongst the plethora of unassuming low-build agricultural wine cellars that characterise the appellation's skyline.
Today Nenin's wines come from vines planted in a single plot covering 32 hectares, an extremely rare occurrence in Pomerol. Most vineyards are considerably smaller. Because of its size though, Nenin's vineyard is a complex place indeed with many different soil types. Generally though, the soils are a mixture of clay and gravel and are typical of the appellation's flat plateau.
In the glass the wines bear the hallmarks of Michel Rolland, the celebrity consultant responsible for many top wines in the area. The fruit is cleaner and the depth of fleshy black fruit and wood integration represents the blend of around 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, alongside an 18 month blast in 50% new oak.