La Cabanne is situated few hundred meters from Bourgneuf and Clinet in the best part of the district, Le Plateau Argileux (on right side of Route Nationale 89 in direction Perigueux). The surface here is clay mixed with sand and subsoil is rich in stoned clay-like greasy stones with clear brown lines of iron oxide. Here, we are talking about a traditionally made wine for long keeping as it evolves slowly, without modern style gimmicks.
Estager family originates from Correze and settled in Pomerol in 1952. Francois Estager has been in charge of La Cabanne since 2000 (after the death of his father same year) and has steadily tried to improve the quality of it. The last two vintages, 2016 and 2015, are clear proof, that he's been very successful and La Cabanne has moved quite high up in quality.
At the end of March 2017, Francois Estager arranged a tasting of all vintages between 2000 and 2015 in which I participated. Only 2008 was missing among tasted wines because of fire in March 2010, which destroyed cellar with this vintage in vats. The entire cellar and winemaking facilities had to be rebuilt. The tasting was a great experience and great look into La Cabanne's style and capacity.
La Cabanne is 92% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc, vines are app. 30 years old on average and wine spends 18 months in 60% new barrels.
Fabulous effort from La Cabanne in 2016!
2018 La Cabanne (barrel sample) 95p
Tasted in May 2019. Since 2013, consulting oenologist here has been Thomas Duclos and his work can clearly be tasted beginning with 2015 vintage when the quality of the wine went significantly up. Very intense nose of black cherries, potent and strong, very stylish, precise and focused, splendid complexity and length. Badass wine. 94% Merlot + 6% Cabernet Franc.
2017 La Cabanne (barrel sample) 93p
Tasted in April 2018. Attractive, very well-constructed, splendid acidity, depth and length. Grabs your attention.
2016 La Cabanne (barrel sample) 95+p
Tasted in March 2017. Revelation! This wine surprised me a lot as it probably is one of the best vintages ever made at this property! Frankly, I didn't expect this wine to be that intense and powerful. Great acidity, depth and length. Fabulously intense nose of black cherries. I believe 2016 will surpass 2015 here. I hope this wine won't be filtrated before bottling.
2015 La Cabanne (barrel sample) 93-94p
Tasted twice - last time in March 2017. Significant step up in quality compared to recent vintages. Very pretty wine with silky cherry fruit and tannin, splendid acidity, structure and fine finish.
2014 La Cabanne 91p
Tasted twice - last time in March 2017. Consistent notes. Fruity and aromatic, good concentration and complexity, nice acidity and structure. Very traditional Pomerol wine.
2013 La Cabanne 86p
Tasted twice - last time in March 2017. Consistent notes. Attractive and tasty fruit, very good acidity, balance and firm finish, but this wine is light and short. It was impossible to make better wine in this rainy vintage. Won't keep long.
2012 La Cabanne 90p
Tasted in March 2017. Very nice complexity, succulent, harmonious and enjoyable. Good depth and length. Catchy aromas of cherries. Really good for the vintage.
2011 La Cabanne 88p
Tasted in March 2017. A bit tight and some touch of green flavour, which means ripeness of fruit and tannin hasn't been optimal.
2010 La Cabanne 93p
Tasted in March 2017. Stronger and with fatter tannin than in 2009. More concentration of cherry fruit with the scent of fresh truffles. Great complexity and length. Impressive vintage for the property.
2009 La Cabanne 92p
Tasted in March 2017. Fresh truffles on the nose, potent, complex and long, fruity finish. Reminds a lot of splendid 2005.
2007 La Cabanne 85p
Tasted in March 2017. Lack of ripeness, chunky wine with nice tasty fruit, round but short aftertaste.
2006 La Cabanne 89p
Tasted twice - last time in March 2017. Consistent notes.Truffy, pleasant, lightfooted, tasty and with a nice fruity finish. Ready to be consumed.
2005 La Cabanne 92p
Tasted twice - last time in March 2017. Consistent notes. Potent and concentrated, splendid acidity, strong tannin kept in ave by fleshy ripe fruit, splendid balance. Great effort.
2004 La Cabanne 90p
Tasted in March 2017. Very aromatic, cherries, good acidity, attractive, polished, good bite, depth and length. Well-made.
2003 La Cabanne 89p
Tasted in March 2017. Seemed not to be that affected by extreme heat during summer 2003, only a touch of liquorice. Strawberry flavour. Otherwise round, tasty and with a fruity aftertaste.
2002 La Cabanne 89p
Tasted in March 2017. Keeping its freshness well, mature flavours of truffles and raspberries. Elegant and tasty. Good balance. Just about reaching its peak.
2001 La Cabanne 90p
Tasted twice - last time in March 2017. Not consistent notes. More concentrated, deeper in and longer while tasted in March 2012. In March 2017, this wine was more forward and developed. Truffy, mature, pleasant and round. A bit more concentrated and longer compared to 2002.
2000 La Cabanne 90p
Tasted in March 2017. Not unlike 2001 and 2002, more forward, however, more intense and with better fruit. Coffee and truffles. Fine mature Pomerol wine to enjoy.
1998 La Cabanne (magnum) 91p.
Tasted in March 2012. Backward and tight, concentrated and long. We have to wait for this wine to soften.
1989 La Cabanne (magnum) 93+p
Tasted in March 2012. Still young and powerful wine with perfectly ripe fruit with catching sweetness, fabulous balance and long aftertaste. Long-life waits ahead. Impressive.
1975 La Cabanne (magnum) 92p
Tasted in March 2012. Supple and potent at the same time, powerful tannin and equally powerful fruit with metallic (truffle) scent coming from "crasse de fer" (iron dirt) which La Cabanne has a lot of in its subsoil. Long finish. Splendid stuff for long ageing and well worth the rating.
1971 La Cabanne (magnum) 88p
Tasted in March 2012. This wine was a bit tired, light, round and charming. Should be consumed soon. Was at its peak some years ago.
1964 La Cabanne 96p
Tasted twice - last time in March 2012. This wine was recorked in 2008. Before tasting in Copenhagen, I tasted this wine already in 1988 together with Francois father, Jean-Pierre Estager. Stunningly expressive Pomerols at 24 years of age. 24 years later, in 2012, this 48 years old wine hasn't lost anything of its vitality and energy and tasted exactly the same as in 1988!! Truffles everywhere. Tannins were still fresh backed by the subtle fundament of acidity, formidable balance, depth and length. This wine had enough stuffing to be alive and kicking for an additional 10 years. A great example of how unbelievable long life span Bordeaux wines have. Meditation wine – yes it truly is!