WOW! Talk about a vintage that packs some fruit. Where to start with this incredible vintage? I guess with what was one of my favorite estates in 2002, Châteaux Pedesclaux ($19.99), which was not only good for cellaring but also quite inexpensive. The 2003 Château Pedesclaux ($20.99) continues the classic Pauillac style with great balance and a very elegant finish that keeps going like the energizer bunny. Cherry, anise as well as a bite of dusty quality on the nose reinforces my opinion that this estate has changed for the better. Cellar or drink today. 2003 Cambon La Pelouse, Haut-Medoc ($17.99) has also just arrived and is showing great. Slightly closed on the nose, it packs tons of red fruit, currant and a bit of cocoa. It’s very clean, elegant but also shows oak and tannins on the finish. Decant or keep for the next 5-10 years. If you’re looking for something that you don’t have to wait for, the 2003 Château La Fleur, St-Emilion ($26.99) is right for you. Talk about ripe berries, sweet plum, raisin, very rich cocoa, great texture. Decant for a short period and enjoy! Will also cellar for the next five years. How about a sweet tooth to finish the day? The 1997 Château Guiraud ($46.99) is a steal for the vintage. Great richness, pineapple, coconut, and spices come to mind. Balance of the fruit, botrytis and the acidity ensure that this sauternes will last in your cellar. —Alexandre Brisoux
We tasted wines 1) at the properties from April 3rd to April 7th 2) at the UGC tastings on April 4th, 5th, 6th. 3) at negociant offices and 4) at the big Joanne tasting on April 10th.We tasted many more wines than those listed below and will offer some of these wines below on a futures basis. As to the ratings below: ** to***Outstanding to Classic wines. Best of the vintage (that we tasted) * to *1/2 Very good to Excellent wines ½* Good wines-could be values Bordeaux Blanc, Graves, and Pessac-Leognan Blanc Pavillon Blanc de Margaux, Bordeaux ** 14.5 degrees alcohol and you can’t taste it. Pear aromas and creamy texture. Richer than the 2004. Tons of spice. Carbonnieux Blanc, Pessac-Léognan * Some oak and good palate entry. Nicely balanced. de Fieuzal, Pessac-Léognan Domaine de Chevalier Blanc, Pessac-Léognan *1/2 Very elegant wine with some flowers and citrus on the nose. Very fine length. Nice wine. Haut Bergey Blanc, Pessac-Léognan Haut Brion Blanc, Pessac-Léognan *** 52% sauvignon blanc and 48% semillon. Wow! Classic white graves nose with minerals and some toasty notes. White flowers and touch of honey. Fills the mouth and stays there. Intense but in perfect harmony. The finish lasts a minute. Delicious. Laville Haut Brion, Pessac-Léognan **1/2 78% semillon, 22% sauvignon blanc and 1% muscadelle. Toasty oak and pear aromas-extremely rich and powerful with nutty undertones. some grapefruit flavors and on finish. Very round and lush. Latour Martillac, Pessac * Good richness and focused fruit. Grapefruit flavors. Nice. Malartic Lagraviere Blanc, Pessac-Léognan * A bit toasty with clean lemony fruit flavors and touch of oak. Fine concentration and some tropical notes. Good Marjosse Blanc, Entre deux Mers Citric nose and flavor. Easy drinker. Pape Clement Blanc, Pessac * Finely balanced upfront. A bit hot at the end. Let it settle down. Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc, Pessac-Léognan * Quite oaky and fat on the entry. Good acid at the back. Needs to settle down. 2005 S de Suduiraut, Bordeaux *+ A wonderful spicy pear aroma that followed to the palate. Very rich wine with sweet tart flavors and lingering finish. Quite deep. 70% sauvignon blanc and 30% semillon. Graves Rouge, Pessac-Léognan Reds Carbonnieux Rouge, Pessac-Léognan Lighter style. Sweet and fruity. Easy drinker. Domaine de Chevalier Rouge, Pessac-Léognan * Toasty oak aromas. Sweet red fruits. Excellent wine. Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan ** 58% cabernet sauvignon, 36% merlot and 6% cabernet franc. Super sweet blackberry aromas. Tons of ripe fruit on the palate. Silky also and fruit covers ample tannins. Great balance and lingering finish. One of the best from an area that suffered from the lack of moisture. Buy this. Visit to Haut Brion: 10:30 am April 7th: In all of our years of going to Haut Brion (since 1985), we have never tasted such a fine range of wines. Every one was good and easy to taste, unlike most trips here. Some people think that Haut Brion may be best of vintage? 2005 Bahans Haut Brion, Pessac-Léognan *1/2 45% merlot, 25% cabernet sauvignon and 30% cabernet franc. More mineral aromas and flavors but deeper core of fruit. Red fruits dominate. Very elegant and long finish. Delicious second wine. 2005 Chapelle de la Mission Haut Brion, Pessac-Léognan * 60% cabernet sauvignon, 30% merlot and10 cabernet franc. Nice black fruit aromas and black cherry on the palate. Fine mid weight and nice finish. Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan *** 56% merlot, 39 cabernet sauvignon and 5% cabernet franc. Very mineral aromas with black raspberry nuances. Regal palate entry. Sweet and lush. Very thick and broad on the palate. Mouth coating with layers of fruit. Great breed and tannins there but covered for now. 2005 La Tour Haut Brion, Pessac-Léognan *? Most of my crew loved this, while I had hard time tasting it. 41% cabernet franc, 32% merlot and 27% cabernet sauvignon. Tight and closed but great weight on the palate. La Mission Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan **+ 69% merlot, 30% cabernet sauvignon and 1% cabernet franc. Chocolate aromas that follow to the palate. Sexy, exotic wine. Blackberry and coffee on the palate. Very focused and elegant style. Pure and more delicate than Haut Brion. Latour Martillac, Pessac-Léognan Good entry-a bit dry on back end. La Tour Haut Brion, Pessac-Leognan Malartic Lagraviere, Pessac-Léognan *1/2 Sweet, fresh, liberal dashes of oak. Good mid-palate sweetness. Should be a value. Pape-Clément, Pessac-Léognan *1/2+ Toasty, bacony aromas and flavor. Pushed but in balance. Some people will love it. Smith-Haut-Lafitte Rouge, Pessac-Léognan Toned down oak-very good balance and structure. Tasted four times. This will be a very fine in a few years. Médoc, Haut-Médoc Arnauld, Haut-Médoc Light, elegant and soft on palate. Watch for it. Bernadotte, Haut-Médoc * 48% cabernet sauvignon, 48% merlot and 3% cabernet franc. Black fruit. Mid weight. Shows a lot of spice on the nose. Nice elegant wine. Beaumont, Haut-Médoc ½* Toasty oak aromas and red fruit flavors. Elegant style. Easy drinker. Value? Camensac, Haut-Médoc Sweet for the property. Should be a value. Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc Rough and tannic. Try again. Chasse Spleen, Moulis * Good sweetness on palate. Deep and broad on palate. Clement Pichon, Haut-Médoc Good blackberry fruit. A little dry. Citran, Haut-Médoc Very extracted and tannic. Goulee, Médoc La Lagune, Haut-Médoc *1/2 Very sweet fruit-long on palate. Little oaky. Lingering. Jammy. Lovely on palate. Latour Carnet, Haut-Médoc * Toasty, oaky flavors. Nice nose. Good, fresh style. Vibrant. Texture fine. Maucaillou, Moulis Good upfront fruit on palate. Dries out in back. Sample? Potensac, Médoc * 41% merlot, 40% cabernet sauvignon and 19% cabernet franc. Reserved nose. Big and rich with tannins evident. A little rustic but sweet overall. Tasted three times. Poujeaux, Moulis Swwet fruit, lively on palate. Not big, but great balance. Lingers on palate. Senejac, Haut-Médoc ½* Nice flavor. Has sweetness on palate. Buy on arrival. Sociando Mallet, Haut-Médoc *1/2 Substantial wine with tons of oak and fruit. Very fine quality. This is serious wine. St-Estèphe Calon Segur, St-Estèphe ** Meaty aromas, toasty, elegant. Broad on palate and very good elegance. Superb wine in mid-weight range. Enjoy young. Pagodes de Cos, St-Estèphe *+ 50% cabernet sauvignon and 50% merlot. Deep color. Wonderful toasty oak aromas. Sweet, forward fruit on palate. One of the best Pagodes if not the best. Cos d’Estournel, St-Estèphe **1/2+ 78% cabernet sauvignon, 19% merlot and 3% cabernet franc. More cabernet than usual-even more than 2003 or 2004. They went for elegance and finesse here this year and boy did it work. Concentrated nose of berries and currants and toasty oak. Fabulous palate entry-layers and layers of fruit. Very polished wine of great breed-is it better than 2003? It surely will outlive that vintage. Delicious. Haut Marbuzet, St-Estèphe Lafon Rochet, St-Estèphe Tough on palate. A little too tannic. les Ormes de Pez, St-Estèphe *1/2 58% cabernet sauvignon, 36% merlot and 6% cabernet franc. Black cherry on the nose. Expressive, vibrant, supper mid-palate with a sweet lovely texture. 53 hectoliters per hectare and 13.3% alcohol, but the wine does not show the alcohol. More vibrant on palate. Good core of sweet fruit. Good value wine. Meyney, St-Estèphe *1/2+ 52% Cabernet, 28% Merlot, 29% Petit Verdot. Sweet and lush-delicious. Elegant style. We love this wine. Ready sooner than most. Mouth-coating wine. Elegance personified. New school Meyney-buy it. Tasted three times with consistent notes. Montrose, St-Estèphe ** 65% cabernet sauvignon, 31% merlot, 3.5% cabernet franc and 1% petit verdot. Huge wine! Closed on the nose. Huge on the palate. Very concentrated with peppery spice-almost syrah-like. Masculine style wine, mouth-coating. Not very subtle. Age this for a long time. 20-year wine. Phelan Segur, St-Estèphe *+ 50% cabernet sauvignon and 50% merlot. Fabulous nose of boysenberries and toasty oak and chocolate. Sweet, lush, and very spicy. Quite concentrated. They are doing good things at this property these days. Tasted four times. Pauillac We went to Lafite on Tuesday April 4th: Carruades de Lafite, Pauillac *1/2 49% cabernet sauvignon, 45% merlot and 6% other. Elegant nose with sweet fruit palate entry. Black cherry flavors. Good grip on the palate. Could be a winner. Duhart Milon, Pauillac *1/2 71% cabernet sauvignon and 29% merlot. More closed on the nose-bigger wine than Carruades. Focused and no weediness here this year. Ralph and Steve loved it. Could be a value. Lafite-Rothschild, Pauillac **1/2+ 88% cabernet sauvignon, 11% merlot and .5% petit verdot. Concentrated nose of cassis, tobacco, and mineral aromas explode from the glass. Creamy texture. Layers of sweet, ripe fruit. Seductive upfront and broad on the mid-palate. Regal wine. Clerc-Milon, Pauillac *+ 48% cabernet sauvignon, 40% merlot, 10% cabernet franc and 1% petit verdot. Lighter nose, with a lot of red fruit and crushed berries. Sweet mid palate. A little short. Pretty good wine. d'Armailhac, Pauillac * 60% cabernet sauvignon, 29 merlot, 10% cabernet franc and 1% petit verdot. Lots of red fruit. A little closed. Good entry on the palate, with a little orange zest. Nice mouthfeel. Holding back a little bit. Nice wine. Grand Puy Ducasse, Pauillac * 62% cabernet sauvignon and 38% merlot. Closed on nose. Big wine. Tannic but could be good. After being opened an hour, the fruit really comes through here. Sweet core of fruit emerges. Lingers on the palate. Grand Puy Lacoste, Pauillac *1/2? Lots of mineral on nose, but holding back. Reserved right now. Should be great, hard to taste. Haut Batailley, Pauillac Soft and elegant-little orange zest. Lighter style. Haut Bages Liberal, Pauillac Latour 5:10 PM on April 4th. As we walked into the Latour tasting room, little did we know that we would have saved the best for last on this day. We tasted 3 wines with Frederic Engerer, Latour’s director and he explained that they went for the gentle approach this year with their wines and not the extracted knock you over the head style. We walked away at 6:10 knowing we had tasted maybe the best wine of the vintage Pauillac, Pauillac *1/2 This third wine was so good we would have been happy if it were Les Forts-Black cherry aromas and black fruit flavors-tremendous sweetness on palate entry and the fruit masks the ripe tannins. Sexy and delicious Les Forts de Latour, Pauillac **+ This second wine is better than many of the first wines of its neighbors in the Médoc. Super intense aromas of crushed currants and berries-silky texture on the palate. Great structure and still on the open, forward elegant style. Latour, Pauillac *** 87% Cab Sauvignon, 13% Merlot. 13.35 degrees alcohol and almost all cabernet-and you can not taste any hotness in the wine. Toasted oak aromas mixed with spices and red berry. Complex, layers of fruit and silky, velvety mouthfeel. So rich and structured yet on the elegant side. Here is your Iron fist in a velvet glove. Vibrant, fresh wine with everything in perfect balance. Can’t get better than this. Lynch-Bages, Pauillac ** 72% cabernet sauvignon, 15% merlot and 13% cabernet franc, 40 hectoliters per hectare. 13.3% alcohol. Shows high acidity and high tannins, but the fruit is so strong, the tannins don’t show. Strong mineral notes and blackberry aromas on the nose. An explosive palate that is sweet and fruity. Holding back on the mi palate. Powerful, bright, long-lingering finish, with some dryness at the end. This wine needs a little time. Mouton-Rothschild, Pauillac ** 60% of the crop made it into this wine. 100% new oak. 85% cabernet sauvignon, 14% merlot and 1% cabernet franc. Very perfumey nose. Red fruit, cranberry (cranberry flavors, too). This is a rather delicate wine. Mid weight. Nice texture. Lighter colored, with a creamy, silky, velvety mouthfeel. Not huge. Good wine. Pedesclaux, Pauillac Solid wine. Not fancy. Pure and well done wine. Easy drinker. Pichon-Lalande, Pauillac ** Very expressive nose. Sweet cedar oak aromas. Very broad. Round and soft on the palate. Elegant and smooth. Not a huge wine, but very nice. Pichon Baron, Pauillac ** 64% cabernet sauvignon, 3% cabernet franc, 33% merlot. 13.6 alcohol and low pH of 3.7-means high acid. You do not taste the alcohol because of massive fruit, acid and tannin content. Very spicy aromas of red fruits and cassis-some cranberry notes. Deep color and very sweet entry to palate. Some dry tannins at back but they are integrated. Tobacco notes. Rich, lingering finish. Pibran, Pauillac * 65% cabernet sauvignon and 35% merlot. Cabernet did better here, and they used a lot in the final blend. Very expressive nose of black raspberry with cranberry undertones some orange zest on palate. A touch rustic, but should be a value. Pontet-Canet, Pauillac **+ Wonderful wine. 70% cabernet sauvignon, 5% cabernet franc, 1% petit verdot and the rest merlot. 35 hectoliters per hectare. Deep blackish color. Irresistible nose with blackberry and black cherry aromas and some raspberry. Very concentrated wine. Tons of fruit, which mask all the tannins. Great concentration, precise and focused. This is going to be an absolute killer. Réserve de la Comtesse, Pauillac * 40% merlot, 27% cabernet sauvignon, 13% cabernet franc and 11% petit verdot. Lighter style wine. Up-front red fruit. A little short. Tasted once. St-Julien Beychevelle, St-Julien ½* Very spicy aroma-peppery, beefy aromas. Tastes good but not exciting. Branaire Ducru, St-Julien *1/2 Lovely sweet cranberry aromas that follow to the palate. Great upfront palate impression. Good richness. Could be a value. Ducru-Beaucaillou, St-Julien ** 67% cabernet sauvignon and 33% merlot. Very spicy, with Asian spices and currant on the nose. Very expressive. Very pure and vibrant. Boysenberry aromas and flavors. This is a big wine, but with good balance. Not a massive wine. We like this one very much. Gloria, St-Julien *1/2 Deep blackberry fruit aromas that follow to the palate. A serious wine. Very good on palate-lingering finish. Gruaud-Larose, St-Julien La Croix de Beaucaillou, St-Julien ** 60% cabernet sauvignon and 40% merlot. More black fruit here. And more structure. Sweet entry on the palate. Firm backbone. This is serious second wine. Lalande Borie, St-Julien * 45% merlot, 45% cabernet sauvignon and 10% cabernet franc. This is from the western region of St-Julien. Elegant red raspberry aromas. Very nice mouthfeel. Very elegant. Quite forward and sweet with good texture. Lagrange, St-Julien Lots of oak-dry finish. Hard to taste. Langoa Barton, St-Julien ** Absolutely stunning wine. Deep color. Sweet red licorice and cranberry nose. Very very elegant. A lot of merlot. More feminine style. Léoville-Barton, St-Julien **1/2+ One of the best wines of the vintage. Monster wine. Went on and on forever. Black color. Tannic. Big, powerful red fruit. Broad and deep in the glass. Put away for a very long time. Super concentrated wine. High on everything-fruit and tannin and acid. Wet stones. Unbelievable concentration. Fabulous. Tasted four times. Clos du Marquis, St-Julien ** 50% cabernet sauvignon, 37% merlot, 11% cabernet franc and 2% petit verdot. This is an outstanding Clos du Marquis. Sweet red berry aromas with currant undertones. Some black cherry and cranberry flavors. Toasty oak. Powerful but perfectly balanced with fruit masking the tannins. Long finish. Léoville-Las-Cases, St-Julien *** One of the stars of the vintage. 87.5% cabernet sauvignon, 7% merlot, 5.5% cabernet franc. Cassis, toasty earth and minerals on the nose. Super sweet wine-not pushed. Pure fruit with tannins covered by layers of fruit. The gentle approach worked great here. Lingering finish. Superb. Léoville-Poyferre, St-Julien ** Very spicy, peppery aromas. Nice mouth-feel. Long and balanced-Superb! St Pierre, St-Julien * Very elegant wine with very ripe. Port-like flavors. Excellent wine that pushes the envelope. Not my style-too toasty. Talbot, St-Julien ** Lots of spice and tons of fruit. Elegant, but fine mouthful of wine. Very nice. Margaux Brane Cantenac, Margaux *+ Elegant style and fruity upfront with violet undertones. Mid weight on palate. In balance and could be ready early. Cantenac Brown, Margaux ½* Quite nice with cinnamon nuances. A little rustic at the end. Depends on price. Dauzac, Margaux ** Very fine wine here and could be a superb value. Smoky, toasty oak aromas with black cherry tones and Asian spices. Slightly new wave style. Tons of fruit on the palate. Soft and seductive. d’Issan, Margaux *1/2 Lovely, elegant, soft, forward. Easy drink. Little short in back. At Barriere it was very fine and richer on palate. du Tertre, Margaux *+ Very elegant and feminine style wine. Forward and fruity. Lovely entry-tastes good-toasty oak. Refined and balanced. Tannins masked by fruit. Dufort Vivens, Margaux Anise and orange zest. Sample is hard to taste. Judgment reserved. Tropical and topical. d'Angludet, Margaux *1/2 47% merlot, 48% cabernet sauvignon and 5% petit verdot. Black licorice aromas and blackberry flavors. Very pure and focused fruit. Long finish. Excellent value? La Gurgue, Margaux ½* Very spicy wine with up front fruit. Good balance. Racy-value! Ferriere, Margaux *+ Sweet, ripe blackberry fruit. Good weight. Some minerality on palate. Not overdone. Nice texture. Giscours, Margaux ** Vibrant, deep purple. Tastes great at Joanne. Big wine and finely balanced. Tasted three times. This could be a super winner. Has balance and great structure. Kirwan, Margaux *+ Reserved nose but some mineral notes. Starting to express itself. Should be very good. Lascombes, Margaux *1/2 New wave, but in good balance. Touch extracted but flavor is fine. This will sell well. Not Clyde’s style. Malescot St Exupery, Margaux **1/2 60% cabernet sauvignon, 30% merlot and 10% petit verdot. 50% of the crop compared to 2004. One of the great wines of the vintage. Very deep and concentrated. A little clove and cinnamon on the nose and on the palate. Very mouth-coating. An older school wine with great balance. Broad, fantastic wine. Will last a long time. Fabulous buy. Pavillon Rouge, Margaux ** 48% cabernet sauvignon, 48% merlot and 4% petit verdot. Another great second wine. Vibrant purple color and licorice aromas. Blackberry and black raspberry fruits on the palate. Sweet throughout. 14% alcohol and you can’t tell it. Margaux, Margaux *** One of the best of the vintage. 85% cabernet sauvignon. This wine is very masculine style for the Margaux appellation. Super concentrated with violets, currants, and raspberries. The most dense Margaux since 1982. Velvet on the finish. Not as sexy as Latour. Monbrison, Margaux Big wine-tons of fruit and tannin and oak. Very powerful-mouth coating wine. Palmer I can’t remember tasting a better Palmer on any of my previous 21 trips to taste the young wines of the vintage. The estates production of 10,000 cases of first wine-is quite low with only 32 hectoliters per hectare produced. Alter Ego de Palmer, Margaux *1/2+ The second wine is 43% cabernet sauvignon and 57% merlot-more merlot than usual.-It has bittersweet chocolate aromas that follow to the palate. Blackberries covered with chocolate-silky texture. Elegant sweet entry with spices and ripe fruit flavors –long finish. Outstanding. Palmer, Margaux *** Otherworldly wine. 53% cabernet sauvignon, 40% merlot and 7% petit verdot. A bit more cab than is in the vineyard. Black purple color. Deep concentrated nose of toasted oak, black cherry and chocolate. Very sweet, forward ripe fruit entry with hints of framboise underneath. Fabulous structure and silky, velvety mouthfeel-you want to drink it right now. Tannins are round and covered by the massive fruit content. The finish lingers on the palate. Prieure Lichine, Margaux Tasted twice with conflicting notes. Reserve judgment. Rausan Segla, Margaux *1/2 Very perfumey nose and delicious entry. Long and lingering finish. Super wine. Siran, Margaux St-Emilion Angélus, St-Emilion **1/2 63% merlot and 37% cabernet franc. 14.5% alcohol, but you can’t taste it in this wine. Blackish color. Pure, sweet aromas of blackberries. Chocolate-covered blackberries on the nose. Very creamy on the palate. Not overdone. Not over-extracted. Tannins are sweet and round. Outstanding. This shows the ripeness of 1990 and the structure of 2000. 30% less than average crop means this wine will be highly allocated. Superb wine. Barde-Haut, St-Emilion * Quite a bit of oak evident. Very good mid palate. Really nice wine. Beausejour Becot, St-Emilion Canon-La-Gaffelière, St-Emilion *1/2+ 55% merlot, 35% cabernet franc and 10% cabernet sauvignon. Slightly closed nose. Some extraction. Big red fruit. Mouth-coating wine with a little oakiness in the finish. Will age very well. Chauvin, St-Emilion Blackberry fruit and cherry on nose and follows to palate. Toasty. Good richness. Clos de l’Oratoire, St-Emilion * 90% merlot, 10% cabernet sauvignon, with a little cabernet franc. A lot more earth. Very much more spice. Red fruit. Brown and sweet and a bit short. Great texture in the mouth. A little dry and tannic on the finish. Destieux, St-Emilion Bright cherry aromas and flavors. A bit over-extracted. Faugeres, St-Emilion * Extremely ripe aromas. Very extracted. Big wine. Very much a crowd pleaser. Tasted three times with consistent notes. Sweet upfront and very tannic and dry on the back end. Extracted. Figeac, St-Emilion Pretty tough wine to taste. Retry later. Fombrauge, St-Emilion * Well balanced, fruity, spicy. Feels good on palate. Nice wine. Fleur Cardinale, St-Emilion Jammy, ripe and creamy. Blackberry jam. Good structure and finish. L’Arrosee, St-Emilion *1/2 60% merlot, 20% cabernet sauvignon and 20% cabernet franc. 3000 cases made. This wine is much better than past vintages. The chateau has been entirely re-done. The wine is very lovely and elegant. Will not knock your socks off. More subtle, feminine style. Sweet berry fruit. Well balanced with a long sweet finish. La Fleur, St-Emilion Grand Pontet, St-Emilion Good entry-dry at the back end. La Dominique, St-Emilion Pretty good and one of their better efforts. Still a bit short. La Mondotte, St-Emilion ** 80% merlot and 20% cabernet franc. Toasty aromas. Boysenberry in the nose and followed to the palate. Very lush, intense. Thick and deep. Huge wine, but easy to taste. Extracted but well balanced. Larcis Ducasse, St-Emilion Monbousquet, St-Emilion Pavie, St-Emilion Pavie Decesse, St-Emilion Pavie Macquin, St.-Emilion Peby Faugeres, St-Emilion Whisky like aromas and flavors. Way too much for all of us. Tasted twice. Quinault l’Enclos, St-Emilion A little rough at end and thin in middle. Rochebelle, St-Emilion ** Black color. Blueberry jam on the nose. Thick and rich. Exceptional palate with great sweetness and fantastic mid palate. Not a new wave wine. Old school. This property is contiguous with La Mondotte. In fact, what is today La Mondotte once belonged to Rochebelle. Very very good wine. Tertre Daugey, St-Emilion Too powerful and extracted. Troplong Mondot, St-Emilion Pomerol and Lalande de Pomerol Beau Soleil, Pomerol Decent wine. Good balance. Beauregard, Pomerol Bon Pasteur, Pomerol Clinet, Pomerol *+ Showed well. Red licorice on the nose. Good richness on the palate and a long finish. A wine to watch. Tasted three times. Clos l'Eglise, Pomerol *1/2+ Chocolate-covered berries on the nose and on the palate. Extremely concentrated. A little tough to taste at this stage, but this will be a great wine. Will last a long time. La Clemence, Pomerol Tough and tannic. Very concentrated, but too much for me. La Conseillante, Pomerol More elegant style. Quite light and soft. Could be expensive. La Gay, Pomerol Sweet wine upfront-tannic on the back end. Huge wine. l'Evangile, Pomerol ** Big, tannic and reserved, but underneath there is fantastic fruit lurking. Slightly extracted, but the wine can handle it. Well balanced. This will last a long time. La Pointe, Pomerol * Elegant style. Soft and earthy. East to drink. Steve and Ralph really liked this. Tasted three times. Nenin, Pomerol*+ 74% merlot and 26% cabernet franc. Reserved nose, but explosive sweet entry on the palate. Very ripe tannins and elegant style of wine. Jean Hubert Delon (My golf partner) thinks it is his best to date. Petit Village, Pomerol *1/2 Their best in long time. 75% merlot, 20% cabernet sauvignon and 5% cabernet franc, very high cabernet sauvignon content. Spicy, clove-like aromas with some allspice notes. A touch of chocolate on palate. Tons of fruit. Black fruit and black licorice flavors. Long, sweet and balanced. Very bright and lively. A touch tough at back. Tasted three times with consistent notes. Rouget, Pomerol Sweet and forward ripe fruit flavors. Lighter style-good balance. Easy drinker. Bright and fresh. La Fleur St Georges, Lalande de Pomerol Blackberry fruit. A little short. La Fleur de Bouard, Lalande de Pomerol *1/2 90% merlot, 8% cabernet franc and 2% cabernet sauvignon. Bittersweet chocolate and tobacco on the nose. Oak in the middle. Deep with blueberry finish. Le Plus de Fleur de Bouard, Lalande de Pomerol 100% merlot. 100% new oak. 14.6% alcohol. Very sweet nose, lots of oak. Good concentration. Slightly bitter. Vieux Chateau Certan, Pomerol **1/2 80% merlot and 20% cabernet franc. 40 hectoliters per hectare. Just 3800 cases made. Very sweet aromas of red licorice. The nose jumps from the glass. Black fruit on the mid palate. Very very sweet, broad, rich, mouth-filling wine. Pure. One of the better wines from the Right Bank. Cotes and Fronsac Vrai Canon Bouche, Canon Fronsac Smoky, bacon, toasty, cranberry fruit. Les Troix Croix, Fronsac Oak flavor. Check on arrival. de Birot, 1er Cotes de Bordeaux Fresh, elegant. Ripe berries. Buy on arrival. Value. Reynon 1er Cotes de Bordeaux Toasty flavors, not much nose. Rustic style. d’Aiguilhe, Cotes de Castillon Cap de Faugeres, Cotes de Castillon Gigault “Cuvee Viva,” Cotes de Blaye * Ripe blackberries. Deep color-blackish. Fairly extracted. Framboise. Sweet core. Les Grands Marechaux, Cotes de Blaye Sauternes Coutet, Sauternes Doisy Daene, Sauternes * Lighter style. More lemony. Good balance. Easy to drink. Doisy Vedrines, Sauternes *1/2 Lush mouthfeel and great balance. Not overdone. Very good. Guiraud, Sauternes *1/2 Nice entry. Good richness. In balance. Very nice. La Tour Blanche, Sauternes ** Great entry-fabulous richness. Balanced and complete. Honey and pineapple. Lafaurie Peyraguey, Sauternes Thicker style-very heavy and a bit ponderous. Too heavy for me. Raymond Lafon, Sauternes *1/2 Lots of honey and some coconut with fine acidity. Very rich and well-balanced. Good Rayne Vigneau, Sauternes Rieussec, Sauternes 2005 Suduiraut, Sauternes **+ Otherworldly and already delicious. 90% semillon and 10% sauvignon blanc. Coconut and honey and pineapple aromas-unctuous on the palate-tons of balancing acid to go with the fruit. creamy rich mid palate. a complete wine that is wonderful already.
Haut Bailly, Pessac-Léognan** 58% cabernet sauvignon, 36% merlot and 6% cabernet franc. Super sweet blackberry aromas. Tons of ripe fruit on the palate. Silky also and fruit covers ample tannins. Great balance and lingering finish. One of the best from an area that suffered from the lack of moisture. Buy this. Visit to Haut Brion: 10:30 am April 7th: In all of our years of going to Haut Brion (since 1985), we have never tasted such a fine range of wines. Every one was good and easy to taste, unlike most trips here. Some people think that Haut Brion may be best of vintage? 2005 Chapelle de la Mission Haut Brion, Pessac-Léognan * 60% cabernet sauvignon, 30% merlot and10 cabernet franc. Nice black fruit aromas and black cherry on the palate. Fine mid weight and nice finish. 2005 Bahans Haut Brion, Pessac-Léognan *1/2 45% merlot, 25% cabernet sauvignon and 30% cabernet franc. More mineral aromas and flavors but deeper core of fruit. Red fruits dominate. Very elegant and long finish. Delicious second wine. 2005 la Tour Haut Brion, Pessac-Léognan *? Most of my crew loved this, while I had hard time tasting it. 41% cabernet franc, 32% merlot and 27% cabernet sauvignon. Tight and closed but great weight on the palate. 2005 La Mission Haut Brion, Pessac-Léognan **+ 69% merlot, 30% cabernet sauvignon and 1% cabernet franc. Chocolate aromas that follow to the palate. Sexy, exotic wine. Blackberry and coffee on the palate. Very focused and elegant style. Pure and more delicate than Haut Brion. 2005 Haut Brion, Pessac-Léognan *** 56% merlot, 39 cabernet sauvignon and 5% cabernet franc. Very mineral aromas with black raspberry nuances. Regal palate entry. Sweet and lush. Very thick and broad on the palate. Mouth coating with layers of fruit. Great breed and tannins there but covered for now. 2005 Laville Haut Brion, Pessac-Léognan **1/2 78% semillon, 22% sauvignon blanc and 1% muscadelle. Toasty oak and pear aromas-extremely rich and powerful with nutty undertones. some grapefruit flavors and on finish. Very round and lush. 2005 Haut Brion Blanc, Pessac-Léognan *** 52% sauvignon blanc and 48% semillon. Wow! Classic white graves nose with minerals and some toasty notes. White flowers and touch of honey. Fills the mouth and stays there. Intense but in perfect harmony. The finish lasts a minute. Delicious. -Clyde Beffa
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