The third tasting of this amazing wine over several years. Bright purple, but with quite a lot of sediment- the nose is classic Pauillac. Cassis, leather, tobacco and hazelnuts. The palate is rich, refined, smooth and very balanced. The primary fruits have given way to tertiary notes of blackberry reduction, that musky leather, dry tobacco and damson torte. There’s a touch of oak, by way of a vanilla note that I’m enjoying. The nuttiness I caught on the nose reappears on the mid palate where I do get some plums alongside the cassis. The tannins gradually build up and really peak on the finish- with black tea, cassis and cinnamon. Delicious and still young. This is a 94 point wine that just keeps getting better. Drink till 2029. Getting pricy at $175 now but tasty as hell and worthy of 5 stars. Salut….
Really dark purple, very striking. On the nose I get blackcurrant, nutmeg and tobacco. The palate has some nice black fruits and an astringency that is a touch heavy. It’s not tannic, perhaps from green stems left in contact with the juice for too long. It takes a turn for the better on the mid palate- more Ribena and a touch of oak. The finish is quite dry with the appearance of some nice tannins alongside a mineral tone that melds nicely with the currants. Overall a decent wine that is slightly out of kilter at the beginning with the astringency but it comes around. 89 points= 3 stars for this $25 wine. Drink till 2025 with hearty stews, or a lamb chop and mint. Salut….
Nearly black and opaque in the glass. On the nose I get gorgeous blackberries and fruitcake with a touch of mint. On the palate it is fresh, young, fruity and chock full of black fruits, cedar, scrumptious tannins and a slight hint of cassis. Tobacco and leather are evident on the mid palate which totally excites me and hints at long term evolution in line with traditional Bordeaux. The tannic structure is amazing, very lithe at the beginning with a steady rise to a crescendo of black tea dryness. 92 points and 4 stars for this $50 Fifth Growth. Drink till 2030. Salut….
Dark purple with nice legs. On the nose it’s quite bland. Black currants, blueberry pie and rubber mat finally come out of the glass. On the palate I’m getting a subdued dose of blueberry pie, cedar, breakfast tea and warm blackberry cobbler. The tannins are of medium intensity and the finish has some dark fruits and tannins. I think this wine is closed right now but it has potential. I’m gonna go with 90 points for now. The pro’s ranged greatly- from 91 to 95 points. I’m not seeing it at this point in time, hopefully it will awaken from slumber as a real powerhouse 3rd Growth Margaux. Drink from 2022/2030. Available for around $50, making it a 3 star wine. Salut….
Very dark purple in the glass with medium opacity. On the nose I get a definitive old oak meets rustic plums and evergreen. On the palate there is not much fruit, but lots of tertiary flavors including mushrooms, leather, cedar and black olive. Tannins are plentiful right off the bat and there’s a hint of acidity. The mid palate and finish continue with the earthy, dry profile and add a touch of blue fruit. The tannic finish runs for a while. This wine has matured very quickly, losing fruit yet the tannins are still fresh and young. 87 points and 2 stars for this $15 Cru Bourgeois. Drink till 2022. Salut….
Very thick purple color. On the nose it’s all blackberries with a hint of nutmeg. A strange one for sure but I like it. On the palate it is a touch thin but tasty. Blackberries and black currant make me think this wine will develop into a cassis laden beaut if cellared for a few years. There is a delightful tannic grip that builds as I transition to the mid palate. An oak component that hits me on the mid to back end, adding depth to the black fruits that are still prominent. However, a touch of black tea alongside some astringency on the finish that makes me wonder. Overall this is a nice wine with potential. It’s drinking young right now unless you fancy a pretty dry drop. Cellar till 2022 then drink for seven more years with steaks, pot roast or even moussakka. 88 points and 3 stars for this $15 wine. Salut….
Pale purple and seethrough in the glass. The nose is black kirsch and charcoal. On the palate it has a definitive woodsy note that opens up the initial palate. Black berries appear alongside rooibos tea, but it’s a little thin. On the midpalate I get some juicy acidity alongside some dark fruits. The finish has some tannic bite, albeit slightly green. Overall I’m quite disappointed in this vintage. 84 points and 1 star for this $15 wine, a major pass I’m afraid. Salut….
I have drunk tons of the 95 and 96 Garraud vintages and when I saw this I got excited. It is of medium darkness and opacity, with nice legs showing. On the nose I get plum, charcoal and currants. The palate is young and slightly corky, not in the ‘corked’ way, it just tastes like cork. Iodine is also present as are black plums and licorice. The mid palate is really where this wine opens up- black fruits melding with a tannic dryness that builds slowly. The tannins are still a little green, I hope they soften a touch. There is a black olive note and more of that iodine on the finish that make this a brooding wine that I hope will mature like it’s predecessors. With a bit of bottle age this winery has turned out some great Bordeaux beauties that drink well for 10-15 years. I think this one has the stuffing, it comes from a great vintage- I just think it needs cellaring for a while. Drink from 2022 till 2030. Pairings will change as the wine matures, for now- if you pop and pour, stick with red meats and hearty cheeses to pair. I’m going with 89 points for now, with a possible upgrade in the future depending on the tannins and how they assimilate. 3 stars for this $30 Bordeaux wine. Salut….
A slightly dull purple in the glass, gives me concern. On the nose however- violets, black currants, a touch of oak. On the palate it is much darker- blackberry, cherry extract, graphite and singed oak. There is a leather component too, it just comes along later, towards the mid palate. The wine transitions very nicely with good tannic structure that is not obtrusive and acidic enough to balance. This is the third wine of Brane Cantenac, a Second Growth Margaux. They use the young plots for source fruit, giving us an approachable young wine that drinks very nicely with good mouthfeel and medium term cellaring potential. 90 points from me for this $29 effort that gets 3 stars. Drink now till 2024. Salut….
Rich purple hues in the glass with classic Bordeaux notes on the palate. Cassis, lovely oak and dark cherry are dominant on the nose. On the palate it is slightly thinner than expected but its litheness is appreciated. Plums, blackberry reduction, black olives and charcoal dominate the initial palate. Very lithe tannins peak on the mid palate with very slight acidity countering them. The finish is where the astringency kicks in with black tea, black currants and spice box. This wine is drinking very nicely now and will improve over the next 10 years. 92 points and 4 stars for this $55 Grand Cru. Salut….