The aromas have much more in common with the premier cru (unsurprisingly) with a mix of mineral and musk together with a subtle rose perfume, eventually a white pepper accent too. Once more there is a wealth of very fine tannin which is slowly overtaken by a beam of gorgeous pure fruit that then becomes rounder. A long fruit-dominated finish that even has a dash of orange. Clearly ‘special’.
Do you ever find yourself trying to find an excuse to drink a corked wine? Initial cost of purchase may have had something to do with it, I have to say that for about 3 or 4 minutes I’d convinced myself that if I swirled the glass I could hardly smell it, and the taste wasn’t so bad, indeed it was very long for a corked bottle. I passed the glass to my wife who muttered something about me trying to poison her and she needed a beer to take the taste away – I was back, grounded. Very corked and very yuk.
The nose offers an obvious first impression of flora, yet seems underpinned almost by ‘texture’ and a background hint of anise. In the mouth this is clearly cut from thicker cloth, yet manages to find all the hiding spaces in your mouth in order to attach its lingering flavours. The tannin has some grain to it, but that grain seems ‘loaded’ with flavour. Very, very complex despite my poor attempts to warm the glass. A wine that always impresses in this situation – bravo!
Medium, medium-plus colour. Initially not quite the intensity of aroma as the previous wines, but certainly it’s very complex – remains fine, but it becomes ever-more precise in the glass. This wine really delivers. Your mouth is filled with so many dimensions. There’s a slight rasp to the tannin, but it’s just part of the experience. Super, and no spitting.
The first few sniffs disappoint, a little undergrowth but little else. Slowly a dense red note builds at the core with a slightly herbal, menthol note above, with time some extra width of high-toned fruit and occasional glimpses of coffee – the herbal element is now much more in the background, just as the nose was almost coming together, but then a little cedar thing started to develop. The palate is dense, plush and very well textured – contrasting to the minerality of Bouchard Père’s Chambertin. The tannins come through on the mid-palate onwards and finish slightly bitter but there’s a real creamy base and this is probably the longest finishing. With time in the glass the palate remains dense, plenty of silky tannin and exquisitely long if not particularly involving.
Medium, medium-plus cherry-red colour but just starting to transition to ruby. Initially it’s a narrow and high-toned nose that hints at a red fruit depth, eventually some pretty red fruit comes through. Good concentration, the tannin seems to have some grain at the first encounter but they seem to smooth out with the very good acidity. This wine is long, very long. I had a reasonably good score coming through – perhaps 18+/20 – but if you taste this after a 2003 it seems quite unripe and the tannin becomes very astringent.
Deep, saturated cherry-red. Wow, what a nose, the glass doesn’t even need a swirl to give up chocolate and creme brulee covered red cherry-fruit – super complexity. The nose is well matched to a beautifully textured palate, incredibly complex flavours that cling to your gums, fine tannins that are completely covered by the fruit. Magnificent now, I’m drooling at the prospect of its 20th birthday!
Medium, medium-plus cherry-red. Softer, lighter, more floral nose than the 2000 Bonnes-Mares more complex with the scent of roses. Fantastic mouthfeel, elegance allied to power – wave after wave of different, sometimes spicy elements. Fine tannins and an extra little burst on the finish. The real excitement is on the mid-palate. Young and fresh. How great? I guess we’ll find out around 2020…