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2003 Château Troplong Mondot

St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend more

8/27/2013 - Brmaso Likes this wine: 93 points

Secondary aromatics spew from the glass of truffle, eucolyptis, mentholly mint, leather, tobacco, wet creekbed, ink, pencil lead, baked blueberry, baked cherry, honey-dipped-cassis and a tad of kirsch liquor culminating in a glorious display of new world/high-alcohol/in your face awesomeness. Not for the faint of heart, the 03 Troplong is made in a blockbuster, low acid style with amped alcohol..but it still somehow retains its freshness. The tannin is still not 100% fully integrated and dusty, and there is still a bit of oak behind the cedar on the nose and palate. But this is still a silky wine. The finish is long, glycerin tinged and very coating. Still, I would like to see a little more fresh 'pizaz' and less muddled flavors (they were a pain to differentiate until well into my buzz). Very well made, this hot vintaged wine from one of the superstars from Saint-Emilions best terroirs should hold up well for at least 10 more years. I hope to have some to check in on in 2023 to see if it has the stuffing to last 10 more. On a different note, I will never understand why well made, big 03 BDX will be so controversial. If you are a purist who says Bordeaux has to be super classical and Bordeauxy..well..fine..but I'm not an aristocrat who drinks with my pinky pointed to the sky when I slurp (I make sure to point it downwards for that)- just tell me this, if this was from California, would it not kick ass?? Best from 2016-2022 if I had to guess, but I'm hesitant creating a drinking window for 03, especially on the right bank..

  • Comment posted by Brmaso:

    9/9/2013 9:36:00 AM - Thank you so much for the kind comment!

    I am glad (and jealous haha) that you were able to taste it. Its some really good juice for the money, and IMO that and Pichon Lalande are the best wines for the money in the vintage. The top few 03's (La Miss, Latour, etc) will probably achieve the highest degrees of legendary status 40 years + down the road (kind of like the 1900's, 28's, and 47's stylistically).

    Cheers bud!


2003 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande

Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend more

5/18/2013 - Cheungtp wrote: 88 points

Birthday dinner gathering with 2003 wines (Hong Kong): Its unfortunate that this great wine didn't show its true form tonight, seems like its not ready for business. Tight, green notes and muted fruits and smoke. On the palate, not much fruit or secondary nuances, yet rather spicy. Hope this is just an off bottle, and will have better showing next time.

  • Comment posted by Brmaso:

    8/25/2013 10:25:00 PM - There is a decent amount of bottle variation in this wine. Green-ness has long been a part of this property. I hope your next bottle shows well. I was lucky with my one tasting of this wine, and I hope your next bottle is just as good or better.


2005 Le Clementin du Pape Clément

Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend more

3/3/2013 - willmark wrote: 80 points

3rd March 2013
The last bottle I tasted was in 2010. Based on the tasting notes of that bottle, it would appear thar I left it late to taste the second bottle.
The nose is not intense with any specific bouquet. There are some legs though not significant. The first mouthful tasted a little sweet and further mouthfuls brought out some chocolate. The finish was not especially long. As such, I would prefer this wine in its youth rather than after a longer cellaring period.
Still, it is a medium bodied wine that can be enjoyed.

  • Comment posted by Brmaso:

    5/7/2013 11:48:00 PM - Could've sat on a store shelf for a while, been shipped hot or been a bad bottle. You didn't keep that last bottle above 70 degrees for the past 3 years did you? The bottle we just finished actually shut down (super suddenly) on my last glass revealing only pen ink in the nose and palate.. and based on this tasting it has a way to go in its plateau. I hope you find another bottle somewhere soon and I would urge you to retry it (although mine has been kept at 55 degrees since it left the negociant's.. Salin.. warehouse in france, so I had an excellent chance of having a supreme bottle).

  • Comment posted by Brmaso:

    8/24/2013 10:50:00 PM - I hope your next one rocks WM. I really hope it wasn't imported or distributed dry. Bad bottles are annoying, and I hope you have better experiences with the rest. There should be some of this left at the wholesale level (for some reason this seems to be a super under the radar name for the quality/price..).

    I had some last night from the same case that tasted super young so I feel there might be a bit of bottle variation going on..


2005 Château Pontet-Canet

Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend more

4/9/2013 - Brmaso Likes this wine: 97 points

It is almost appalling to read the lesser reviews of this iconic wine. There comes a point where subjectivity becomes just plain wrong...

This is a blockbuster powerhouse that will re-define your definition of tannin. The 05 Pontet is built to last the long haul for sure, and should easily turn out to be a 40+ year wine. Still young and inky, the wine possesses globs of rich fruit - creme de cassis, red currant, blackberry, blueberry and wild cherry - vibrant mineral notes, and everything else that screams Pauillac in a classic wine from a ripe vintage. The balance is impeccable, and the acidity keeps it fresh. All and all, this is a wine for your children..but please pop open a bottle or two before you pass it off to see what great, fresh young bordeaux is supposed to taste like.

Finding an argument in Alfred Tesseron's biodynamic approach to wine making is literally impossible when you taste his modern day legends after taking the realm in '94. In the golden age for bdx (2000-present), he is one of the leaders year in and year out, and this aristocratic 2005 also offers hedonists the opportunity to get lost in the moment.

Do not look for a overblown california fruit bomb here. This is power and finesse to the highest degree. Impeccable in every way. If you do not like the style, you still would not be able to make the argument that this juice is anything but extraordinary.

As a footnote, somebody said something to the effect of 'beware, this wine may not age well' or something like that... what a rookie.

  • Comment posted by Brmaso:

    4/9/2013 9:07:00 PM - In reference to the last sentence..just read below a bit to find the rookie.

    I also forgot to mention the degree to which this wine is dilineated. It should not be so easy to pick apart every nuance so easily in such a young and closed-esque wine.. Bravo Alfred Tesseron, and may you get back to back 100 PT vintages again soon (2009 and 2010).

  • Comment posted by Brmaso:

    4/16/2013 10:06:00 AM - Thanks guys, I appreciate it. I'm very passionate about what is happening to the wine world in general, especially bordeaux… I just wish the prices were reasonable enough for people to enjoy without spending a dis-proportionate amount of their income on bottles - which I am definitely guilty of..

    If you like young wines as much as I do, and don't fear choking on tannins, then I would whole-heartedly recommend drinking this one young and then finding another bottle (stored perfectly) over the next 2 decades to see how this wine evolves. Just remember not to lose your notes on it if you do this!


  • Comment posted by Brmaso:

    5/14/2013 2:43:00 PM - Thanks bud, and I hope you do!!! Please let me know how it is as well!


2005 Château Léoville Poyferré

St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend more

1/20/2013 - Brmaso wrote: 94 points

I think the below note was from a bad bottle, as this juice has power, finesse, concentration, and weight while maintaining a harmonious balance. Light on its feet, it exhibits a fair amount of succulant dark fruits for a stacked wine at such an early stage of development, including cassis and blackberry, a fantastic limestone minerality for a wine of lower acid, sous bois, pepper and asian spices.

The Merlot is quintessential 2005 (as I find all of the high pedigree 2005 wines' Merlot has a earthtoned ripeness that is very hard to find in other wines) and at roughly 30% Merlot, it is seeming to allow the wine to open up considering its vast phenolic concentration. Well dilineated on the palate, it has a balance that will only allow this wine to get better as it gets closer and closer to maturity, which seems a good 7-15 years off (and should have a long plateau after that).

The tannin count is high, but they are so velvety and fine grained; the level of tannin integration is much higher than one would expect, although it is a tannic powerhouse (although not anywhere close to that of Troplong or Pontet, which in this vintage will redefine your definition of tannin). The tannins are sweet and round.

It just isn't as good as the 2003, which is my only complaint on this wine. While I personally prefer the style of 2005 to 2003 from a sensory view, there is just something profound about the 2003 that this wine does not possess to the same extent (perhaps considering the longevity of this wine, this will change with more time in the bottle under ideal conditions).

Great juice, and if you like classically styled ripe vintaged BDX, this wine wont dissappoint! Finesse and masculinity combined, and its better than the high residual sugar fruit bombs that seem to come from everyone in California that are just too smooth...I would highly recommend this for the price, although I would probably recommend 2005 Pontet more if you can find it for the same price..

At the end of the half of the bottle I drank, about 2-3 hours in, some subtle cedar, gaminess and smoke emerged (very subtle for the game and smoke). GORGEOUS!

  • Comment posted by Brmaso:

    1/21/2013 9:45:00 AM - Very true, especially about the 09- especially since they are so close to the 1982's stylistically. Catching them now is like a snapshot; unless you are an idiot-savant possessing complete sensory recall, comparing different vintages is guesswork at best because you are comparing wines of different ages. Different storage conditions (52-53-54-55-56 degrees and so on, if they are moved around a lot, dry or reefer container shipping across the distribution channels etc) also make comparisons quite difficult. Although I am not sure that a better way (more objective way) to give estimates of quality exist, as we do not know with any degree of certainty what the future holds for these wines.. We can only say whether or not they're rockin' now (speaking of rocking, go grab a bottle of 09 d'aurilhac, haut medic, or 09 lilian ladouys, st estephe if you can find it!!)

    That being said, I thoroughly enjoy big, bold BDX with great aging potential quite young. And if they're going to be sold to the public (most of which will be drinking them long before full maturity), we might as well give them some opinions to make an educated purpose, right?

    I have half of that bottle in an almost airtight half bottle at 42 degrees for tonight, as well as an 05 Corton Grand Cru halver.. If you've never done that before to try these wines a day or two later, I highly recommend it. They open up beautifully without any whiff of oxidation - I'll post the follow up on this thread.


  • Comment posted by Brmaso:

    1/21/2013 10:30:00 AM - I was lucky enough to find some stock in half bottle, bottle, en mag and double mag at Total W. And surprisingly a very nominal mark-up as I didn't stock up en-primeur! I just hope I can wait 15 years before I pop open the double mag!

    Tried an 2010s from good producers yet? 10 Fleur Cardinal and Gloria both ROCK. Much more velvety than I would imagine than from barrel..although if you don't have a couple of people to share the bottle with the huge amount of tannin will essentially sand-paper your tongue raw.

  • Comment posted by Brmaso:

    3/28/2013 5:56:00 PM - The 2010s are just too expensive for the most part, and the fly-bys are all excited about burgundy due to their recent auction success..this mixed with the fact that 2012 burgundy crops are extremely miniscule will probably mean that the market will lift burg prices and leave BDX 2010 in the dust for a while imo (as money flows out of bdx and into burgs). So since the 10s are so expensive, it was probably super wise to stay out of the futures game, unless you bought some le dome (but we are still getting negoc offers low enough to sell it to my customers under $125 in the states..).

    The wines you're looking at are all pretty sick from what I've tasted. Please also consider Fleur Cardinale. It is really funky, the only way I can describe it is exotic, but in equal parts super rustic and new-world-hedonistic. Its a super value wine for what you pay that provides both sheer pleasure and also introspection. I put it at 94 when I tasted it in Jan and Parker has it at 95..but its just more fun than any other 94 pointers I can remember tasting recently.

    Popped a 2005 Goulee 20 mins ago, and on first sip it was so closed down i thought it was corked.. just took another sip and I would say its the most extracted 09 Pommard on the planet... Gotta be a weird bottle, but Im intrigued as to the direction it takes next. Cheers!


2009 Hauts de Pontet-Canet

Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend more

2/19/2013 - Brmaso Likes this wine: 92 points

Felt the need to post detailed tasting notes as the notes for this wine here and on the net were not a decent assessment of the wine at its present state of evolution.

Liquid vanilla. The oak interplay with the merlot gives this wine the unique signature of an 09 bdx with at least 40% Merlot (however I haven't looked at the tech sheet, so thats guesswork at best).

Its very ripe, very balanced and very new worldy. I can't stop thinking that it is a dead ringer for an 8 month younger 09 Rol Valentin (which seems to have shed a touch of its vanillin at present).

Touches of milky chocolate and a feeling of viscosity boost the palate's feeling a bit more than its medium+ body would normally imply. Given its phenolic complexity and low acid, it appears to be an early drinker (kind of implied by the vintage if you are familiar with 2009 bordeaux), but this little brother to the infamous 09 Pontet Canet is still a baby.

Great kirsch, currant and sweet red cherry play nicely with the slightly dusty tannin. In such a ripe vintage I would like a bit more underlying old world complexity and power, but the hedonistic side of me loves how luscious this baby is! It screams drink me now!! For an old world francophile like me, this is the perfect bridge to link old and new world. If you have ever had 03 Pichon Lalande, this is essentially a totally primary, although somewhat dusty-tannined, version of it.

I would give it a 91+ because of the lack of complexity and concentration, but I would recommend this much quicker than most 93-95 pt wines I have tasted just for sheer enjoyment factor. Its so easy to love.

Quick update: 5 hours in and the tannic grip has taken hold, the vanillin has shed its weight giving way to a violet coffee overtone that is seesawing with the black currant and cassisy flavors/aromatics. Very good harmony at this point..not backward, just young. walnutty/Cinnamon/curry/cumin-incense aroma is also pretty cool on the back end of the nose of a soft inhale..midpalate also picked back up. In the end I think this wine will merit a different judgment based on when you taste it is a true kaleidoscope wine (as are so many warm vintage bdx).. Best guess 92 (probably closer to a 91 if rated by parker), but the most delicious 92 pointer you'll taste.

  • Comment posted by Brmaso:

    2/19/2013 8:22:00 PM - A fantastic salinity just emerged at just before the 2 hour decant mark..So did some slight violet tinged florals as the tannins are starting to firm up slightly, which is very typical for such a youngin with stacked phenolics. Some indian curries (durban style) as well as some wasabi singed asian spices are unfolding, although every so slightly. Its also hinting at a bit of a graphite/tar mix (totally different type than graves though).

    probably an 89-91 at this stage as the mid palate kind of dipped a bit..still almost makes me feel I should be punished for the enjoyment factor this wine can bestow upon the unsuspecting (soon to be) drunkard!

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