Sunday, January 4, 2009 - my first glass stopper! a perfect specimen! I like it especially for a short to ~medium-term wine. My first bottle, opened earlier in the week and followed for 2 days, helped me to know exactly how to prep the New Year's bottle with the in-laws. Out of the bottle, it's somewhat herbal, slightly unbalanced and muted on nose and palate with limited finish...
The New Year's bottle was double-decanted at 4pm. Started drinking at 8pm.
Nose of red fruits and plums, with notes of light spicy earth (Champoux) and citrus (organic naval+clementine). Friendly and forward with very good balance, concentrated but not over-extracted, medium+ body, slight (in a good way) ripe green herbal component (not spice boxy) resulting in moderate- complexity. Well integrated and seamless, showing no heat despite the 15.1% alc. Very consistent flavors on palate and finish which followed the aromas on the nose. moderate-(minus) soft non-drying tannins with a moderate (20+ second) finish.
This was as enjoyable as the 2005 L'Ecole Apogee in its own way. It was easy for most people to say "I like the merlot" or the "blend" better, but my toughest customer/critic (my wife) liked them equally. The next morning, the last ounce in the bottle was fading, unlike the Apogee which was singing.