Tasting Notes L'Evangile 2017
The 2017 L'Évangile is a stunning wine. Frost wiped out half of the potential crop, including all of the Cabernet Franc, which means the Grand Vin is 100% Merlot. Rich, sumptuous and explosive, the 2017 possesses remarkable depth and stunning intensity in all of its dimensions. The purity, energy and textural resonance of the fruit is ravishing. The 2017 saw five days of cold soak followed by 30 days on the skins. Technical Director Jean Pascal Vazart opted for gentle pumpovers and longer extractions than normal. Malolactic fermentation was done in 100% new oak, where the wine is presently aging. A massive, concentrated wine, L'Évangile is going to need a number of years to be at its very best, but it is magnificent, even in the early going. In a word: dazzling!
Very fine and velvety tannins in the mouth with juicy fruit that gives dark-berry, chocolate and spice character. Medium to full body. Bright acidity. Harmonious and very pretty. Pure merlot. Reminds me of the 2012, but shows a little more ripeness and suppleness.
The 2017 L'Evangile is deep garnet-purple in color, featuring a profoundly scented nose of plum preserves, smoked meats, chargrill and cigar box with touches of licorice, tapenade, tar and truffles plus an earthy waft of underbrush. The palate is medium to full-bodied with a lovely purity of black and blue fruits, accented with baking spice notions and framed by plush tannins that offer just the right amount of provocative grip, finishing long and earthy.
The 2017 L’Evangile is picked from 4 September to 3 October. There is no Cabernet Franc since it was frosted over (50% of the vineyard) and so Jean-Pierre Vazart said it is missing some of its power. He marked all the vines with different colors to indicate those affected so that none of the second-generation fruit was used for the Grand Vin. Yields came in at 20hl/ha and it is matured in 100% new oak. It has a deep inky purple hue. The new wood comes over quite strongly as it often does, perhaps missing the Cabernet Franc component to support that level of wood? There are light floral scents: wilted iris and violet that spring up with aeration although I would still like to see more terroir expression. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannin, mocha and dark chocolate on the entry with a fine bead of acidity. But I have a nagging question of whether a more prudent approach to the new oak might have engendered a more endearing L’Evangile, I was a bit disturbed by the level of wood tannin on the finish. I will be more than happy to upgrade my score if the tannin will be absorbed during élevage and with bottle age and I will be more than happy to upgrade my score.