I was invited to a wonderful tasting of 2003 Bordeaux by Mark Taylor and Yves Durand. 24 of us tried to sort out individual character traits of these youthful wines. Some of the local celebs here were in attendance. Todd French. Eric Levine. Bob Fleming. The Berserkers were well represented.
The single blind format is always a game. Trying to find something that will give you a clue as to the actual wine you are tasting. A difficult task with these very concentrated and youthful wines. I think I was able to get one out of twelve on day one. Not a great percentage.
The wines showed youthful and closed as a group on day one. They did open a little over an hour to give a peek. I didn’t detect any extremes of maturity with very few exceptions. The alcohol levels also were not intrusive or objectionable to me. That was a surprise.
Wine One- The nose is closed and takes some coaxing. There is darker fruit here. A beautifully constructed palate with a hint of spice. Lighter in color than many of the others. Some element of tobacco with an hour of aeration. Tannic finish.
Wine Two- This wine opens with hints of vinyl/acetone on a nose of dark spicy fruit. Very dark fruit and a silky type of presentation of the palate. The perceived acidity is higher here. ? VA? The tannins do come in on the finish and shorten it. This wine has not quite come together yet.
Wine Three- A nose that shows barnyard aromas that are quite strong on opening but blow off with an hour or so. Some element of overripe fruit that does go away. There is concentrated dark fruit. This wine just never takes off. There is plenty of fruit and tannin. Disjointed at this point.
Wine Four- Beautiful nose of focused darker fruit. Primary cabernet. The palate is structured and shows very focused beautiful darker fruit with elements of spice. The finish is extremely nice. Old school winemaking. Absolutely beautiful.
Wine Five - Redder fruit here on the nose. This one is a little more open. The palate is harmonious. Dark red fruit and spicy notes. Very nice finish.
Wine Six- This nose is very open and opulent for about 30 minutes then it shuts a little. Beautiful sexy darker fruit. Some element of truffle type notes. Integrated. This wine is quite harmonious and forward. Very good length. Some tannin on the finish. Extremely nice at this point.
2. Clos Fourtet
3. Leoville Porferre
4. Pontet Canet
Wine One- The nose is big and dark fruited. Very pure and powerful. The palate is loaded with dark fruit. Very clean. Very deep and structured. Long finish. Nice!
Wine Two- This wine has all of the characteristics of wine one but at a lower level of intensity and opulence. Here you can sense the element of earthiness that seems to be wanting to burst out. Very dark deep and structured. Long finish. This is also very nice!
Wine Three- More open knit. The nose is sweet sexy dark fruit. Vibrant. The mid palate shows some smoky tobacco elements. The concentration level is down a notch. Nice finish.
Wine Four- This nose is closed and takes a lot of coaxing. The palate is dark fruit and quite structured. The finish is long with some element of tobacco. This one just doesn’t seem to be together yet.
Wine Five- Darker fruit. There is an element of oak on the nose and palate that integrates in about 30 minutes. Spicy. This one has relatively fine tannins and support. Again, as good as this is, it is just not all together yet. Disjointed.
Wine Six - Very closed and brooding. Darker fruit. Disjointed. Difficult to assess.
1. Cos d’Estournel
4. Pichon Lalande
5. Leoville Las Cases
6. Pichon Baron
A fun day. So many really great people too. The wines are great but the discussions are fascinating. Thank you Mark and Yves for inviting me.