Very typical Bordeaux blend. This one comprises of 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. The ABV is 13.5%. The grapes were harvested by hand and the wine was put on oak casks for one year. The grapes that grow on vines are 30 to 40 years old. grow in the heart of the Médoc region near Bégadan, where the D3 crosses the D103 (for those who were there). Saint Estèphe is just up river.
For what I read, people weren’t too happy about this one when is was younger, so it was no problem to let this lie for a couple of years. I left it for almost 10 years, but now it was time to have a look how it is doing.
2003 was a very special year for the region. The 2002 harvest was very dry and the winter that followed was cool and wet. In march it was already warm (and dry) so growth started early. The following period stayed dry which means low yields. The summer, well, heat wave! So in June, July and August, the grapes got roasted.
Color: Very dark, with deep sparkling red. Almost doesn’t let light through.
Nose: It might be heavy, according to the text above, but for me this is quite lively. Grape skin, hot earth, dry but with a lot of depth. Elderberries with some acidity. Yeast and a little hint of sterile wood. Altogether very balanced. I might be biased by now, but this oozes hot weather.
Taste: Deep, this has some tannins. Thick grape skins and plums. Lots of ripe cherries. Not the red ones but the sweetish black ones. It’s not bitter nor woody, but it does dry the mouth quite a bit. The fun is to be had taking big gulps and the effect this has on the palate. Finish is quite short and a bit anonymous. This is very much recommended with food (meat).
In the end not very complex, but with a lovely nose. And I like the shift toward the black cherries. Especially the taste is ‘simple’ but it doesn’t overpower you, nor does it have any other flaws, apart from the tannins that dry your mouth extensively. Considering early report about this wine, I can say that ageing this is a good idea.