Pomerol is the smallest of Bordeaux’s red wine producing regions, with only about 2,000 acres of vineyards. Located on the east side of the Dordogne River, it is one of the so-called “right bank” appellations and therefore planted primarily to Merlot. Pomerol is unique in Bordeaux in that it is the only district never to have been rated in a classification system. Some historians think Pomerol’s location on the right bank made it unattractive to Bordeaux-based wine traders, who had plenty of wine from Medoc and Graves to export to England and northern Europe. Since ranking estates was essentially a marketing ploy to help brokers sell wine, ranking an area where they did little business held no interest for them. Pomerol didn’t get much attention from the international wine community until the 1960s, when Jean-Pierre Moueix, an entrepreneurial wine merchant, started buying some of Pomerol’s best estates and exporting the wines. Today the influential Moueix family owns Pomerol’s most famous estate, Château Pétrus, along with numerous other Pomerol estates. Pomerol wines, primarily Merlot blended with small amounts of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, are considered softer and less tannic than left bank Bordeaux.
The Merlot grape is such a deep blue that it is named for the blackbird. It’s an early ripening grape and one of the primary varietals used In Bordeaux. Merlot is also grown in the "International style," which is harvested later to bring out more tannins and body.