Chateau D’Aiguilhe 2000

90 points

Cotes De Castillon, Bordeaux, France. 13.5%

A merlot dominant wine, which is perhaps why I’m not fond of the 2002 (a difficult year for Merlot). This is ultra dark, with coffee new oak. Modern, somewhat extracted, showing very little sign of its 7 years of age.

This wine has voted one of the best bargains of Bordeaux by Decanter magazine, and while I fear that the voting system ended up favouring wines of consistent body and extract (over the years) rather than individual style and finesse, with this bottle I can understand it having achieved quite a fan base relatively quickly.

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Chateau Raymond-Lafon 2002

89 points

Sauternes, Bordeaux, France. 13.5%

Mellow wine with complex fruit (pears and other things) and far less racey acidity than I’d expected – a bit less than I might have hoped for. In some ways its simple, in others it hints at considerable complexity – I guess that’s just because it is far too young. Too easy to drink now. Keep for 5 more years.

Chateau Pontet Canet 2002

90 points

Pauillac, Bordeaux, France. 13%

A dark and full wine, deep. It has a richness that makes it approachable now but this wine really needs some years to reveal its charm. It isn’t so fresh and light on its feet as some cabernet oriented 2002 clarets. It has brooding depth.

Here is a Ch√Ęteau profile on the excellent WineDoctor site, with tasting notes for a number of vintages.

Chateau Haut-Batailley 2002

89 points

Pauillac, Bordeaux, France. 13%

Quite powerful, somewhat raw, with plenty of acid. Not dissimilar to a top Coonawarra (I say that without tasting them side by side, where I’m sure the similarity would be less than expected). Another good (cabernet dominant) wine from 2002. May merit an even higher score in 5 years.