Sonoma Valley, California, USA. 14.3%
I lost a bottle of the 2001 to airport security but was able to buy this in Cincinnati (for a hefty price though).
Odd sulpher like (reductive ?) burnt match aromas. Clears a little with breathing. But noticeable on the palate too. Rich wine without strident varietal character. Moderate acidity but it carries its alcohol (average for California) well. Toasty French oak in the background, quite well handled.
Overall though this bottle or wine must be faulty. Not enough to make it undrinkable, but I can’t enthuse about the experience.
The winery has a wikipedia page
Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France. 13%
Slightly disappointing because of a degree of vegetal character, not what I expected for the great 2000 vintage. Yet still quite rich, in a savoury style. Match carefully to food. Drink now to 2010.
Beaune, Burgundy, France. 13.5%
Lovely, svelte wine. Acid, oak and alcohol are in balance.
Quite gentle, lacks sufficient concentration (even seems a touch dilute which is odd, given the vintage and this reliable, if not stellar producer).
It may very well fatten and seem richer, though still soft, with a few more years.
2000 90 points 13%
2003 88 points 13.5%
Saint Estephe, Bordeaux, France.
2nd wine of Chateau Cos d’Estournel. I was quite surprised that the 2000 had a more purple youthful colour, much more classic (cedar and blackcurrant) aromas, and was generally a less approachable wine, it needs time. The younger 2003 had exotic aromas, fruitcake and spice and was much softer, more alcoholic though not a sweet wine.
On a positive note for the 2003 it didn’t show any baked characters. I made me feel better about the 2003 vintage. But put against the other big expensive vintage of recent years it seems a drink early vintage. I’m still glad I didn’t spend much money on 2003.
Rioja, Spain. 13.5%
My previous experiences with this wine (5-10 years ago) were a number of corked bottles. But this was perfect. Rich, plummy even – Robert Parker compared it to a Pomerol and it’s a fair comparison. Sophisticated yet fairly powerful. A modern Rioja, but not extracted. Nor is it over oaked, I think it may even be French oak.
Ribera Del Duero, Spain. 13.5%
I’d never heard of this brand before. But it is another rich but fine wine from Ribera Del Duero. I wish I had paid it a bit more attention (cosumed in a hotel room, after a busy day, with less than ideal glasses).
Margaux, Bordeaux. 13%
Surprisingly rich low acid wine. Somewhat coffee latte. Like a Napa cabernet without the alcohol and perhaps the concentration.
Haut-Medoc, Bordeaux, France.
Pleasant wine, but not super classy. A touch of hot alcohol, and tiny tad of vegetal character.
Pomerol, Bordeaux. 13%
Dark, plummy deep wine, almost leathery (but without oxidation). This is about as ripe and extracted as I can take. Pretty good, but I would hesitate in buying this wine in a hot vintage.
Pessac-Leogan, Bordeaux, France 13%
I really wasn’t expecting such a robust wine. Dark with plenty of French oak. Quite intense and burly. Not fleshy or alcoholic, but rather raw. Needs more time (3+ years). A surprise for a relatively unknown and not expensive wine, at 6 years old, from a vintage that wasn’t super ripe or concentrated.
TheWineDoctor has a history of the estate.
Rioja, Spain. 13%
Bit of a harsh point rating for a gran reserva, but that’s because it should have more concentration than this. Pleasant but weak – a product of the vintage which perhaps really should not have, in this case, been declared for Gran Reserva wines.
Montefalco (near Todi), Umbria, Italy. 13.5%
A bit of a rare wine, from a single grape variety. We discovered these wines when staying in Todi more than 10 years ago, it was unheard of then, and cheap. Not anymore. I recently had one that was alcoholic, very extracted and oaked up (Parkerised as they say) but this is seriously savoury, perhaps reflecting the difficult vintage.
Italian wine often is very grapey, in a grape skin slightly bitter way. This is quite extreme bringing grape pips even to mind. Rounded out a tad by the neutral French oak. Very grippy tannin finish. Needs food, and excellent with food. Very good wine from a poor vintage.
Very traditional Rioja, huge amount of oak and some oxidation. Some juicyness to the Tempranillo fruit but this is a complete contrast to some of the modern extracted, more alcoholic styles, and so fruit is not a huge character of this wine.