Medium-garnet colour. The nose is still very youthful with notes of ripe cassis, dark cherries, cloves, graphite, a touch of cedar and a little mint. The medium bodied, well structured palate gives medium-firm tannins, medium+ acidity with a good balance of plump, spicy fruit. The oak needs a little more time to marry and tannins are a little on the firm side but otherwise approachable now. Long finish. Drink now – 2025.
Probably the finest Giscours made since the 1975, this black/purple-colored 2000 offers up terrific notes of camphor, creosote, blackberry, and cassis jam intermixed with notions of smoke and earth. Spicy, with low acidity, a big, rich, fleshy, full-bodied palate, outstanding texture, and a long, pure finish, it is, to reiterate, one of the best Giscours produced over the last 25 years. A sleeper of the vintage, it is still available for a realistic price.
One of the more modern-styled wines from the appellation of Margaux, always with a prominent overlay of toasty new oak, espresso roast, and sweet black fruits, this wine seems more restrained and has backed off its concentration with the 2006. It is a mid-weight, elegant wine with notes of licorice and black currants as well as a hint of tobacco leaf. The wine is concentrated and obviously outstanding, but the moderate tannins in the finish suggest cellaring it for 2-3 years and drinking it over the following 15-20.
e"A superb Chasse-Spleen. A similar hue to the Lafon-Rochet but with a wider brick red rim. The palate is more floral and feminine with good complexity: cedar, forest floor, earth - all quite lifted and perfumed from the ripe Merlot. The palate is smooth, with well-knit tannins, good acidity, though with a touch of excess alcohol that lends the wine some bitterness. But after time in the glass, it harmonizes and becomes more cohesive. Cedar and tobacco on the finish. Very focused." Neil Martin, Wine journal Tasted 2004.
Performing much better than I expected, the still fresh 2003 Figeac is not the biggest or richest wine of the vintage, but it is a vibrant St.-Emilion exhibiting a dark ruby/plum color along with a note of cedarwood and the strong Cabernet character that permeates this vineyard. Close to full maturity, this medium-bodied 2003 should drink well for another 5-7 years. Wine Advocate.August, 2014
The 2008 Cheval Blanc (55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Franc) is a winner from this underrated, classic vintage. Notes of forest floor, Asian plum sauce, black currants, sweet cherries and spice are followed by a medium to full-bodied wine with deep fruit, admirable purity, and a long, textured finish. There is not a hard edge to this wine, and in all likelihood, it can be drunk now or cellared for two decades.
Scents of overripe red cherries, along with a boatload of toasty new oak are present in this delicate, lacy, medium-bodied St.-Emilion. A 90-point nose is followed by 82-point flavors, hence the score. This 1998 should drink well for 12-14 years.
This is an equal-part blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Good, dense fruit as well as some toasty new oak and spice jump from the glass of this dark ruby/purple-colored wine. Approachable and showing well, this 2005 is medium to full-bodied, ripe and very well-made. Drink it over the next 10-15 years.
As with so many other wines from the 2001 vintage, this Palmer is classic Margaux. It has delicacy and elegance, but it also packs power, concentration and dark, dry flavors. Intense and concentrated, the richness of the high proportion of Merlot in Palmer's blend shows through, while the Cabernet Sauvignon gives a fresh lift at the end.
The inky/ruby/purple-colored 2001 exhibits a tight but promising nose of crushed stones, a liqueur of blackberries, cherries, and black currants, and subtle smoke and licorice in the background. Powerful, with impressive elegance, fine harmony among its elements, a multi-layered texture, it has a finish that lasts for 50+ seconds. There is considerable tannin, but it is well-integrated. Give it 3-4 years, and drink it over the next two decades. A profound effort for the vintage, it is an example of a perfectionist proprietor pushing the envelope of quality.