Opened around 11 am and decanted for 45 minutes. Put back in bottle and corked it up. Started consuming around 8:00pm at a CDP event. This one showed very well. The wines of the night were two 1995s and an 1989...just hard to compete with a good aged CDP. The 2003 is drinking well now.
Opened and decanted-drank about 4 hours later. Barnyard on nose, with dark fruits medium body and firm grip on opening good finish. After decanting the tannins had softened and more fruit to the body. some tar and leather notes with the dark fruit, definitely has a few more years, but not sure if it will evolve firther. Great match for the cassoulet.
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(Chateau Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape) This was a victim of this horrendously hot and dry vintage. Jammy, black and overripe fruit. Some heat showing and just tasted like liquid raisins. That's what happens when you harvest raisins, you get raisin juice. I love Beaucastel but not this year.
(Chateau de Beaucastel Châteauneuf du Pape) Very dark on inspection, and a touch glossy even. Very typical of 2003 on the nose, rather than of Beaucastel, emitting the same roasted confit cherry fruit I have also found in Tuscany and Bordeaux when tasting or drinking this vintage. Notes of black pepper too, perhaps the Syrah showing through? Rich and creamy, perhaps unsurprisingly, with lots of extract, texture and substance. Rather a touch of bitter cherry here, on the edge, but still a broad, mouthfilling, ripe and rich style. Loads of structure. Grippy finish. The palate is very typical of the vintage too, then! I am unsure as to how this one will develop.