Birthday lunch for KG, Alex and William (Hua Ting, Orchard Hotel): From magnum, this was a decent wine, but not a great Clos St Denis. It had a lovely nose that flattered to deceive – it was extremely floral and perfumed, with lots of dried roses, wood spice and menthol notes drifting through a dark core of ripe blueberry and, blackberry aromas. Really quite lovely nose; rather ripe and thick aromas for Burgundy, but very pretty nonetheless. The palate was unexpectedly rough after that though. This was marked by some of the less pleasing aspects of the 2003 vintage for me – a thick, muscular structure full of powdery tannins; very advanced, almost stewed flavours of prunes and dried cherries and haw flakes; and even though the balance was decent enough with okay acidity, there was also quite a bit of alcohol on this, especially as it powered into a slightly drying finish, where the fruit ceded way to a blast of roasted spices. What this wine had going for it was a real sense of depth and power, but I thought this lacked the elegance and finesse one would expect from a CSD. Overall, a decent wine, but disappointing for what it is.
Nice clear dark red color with earth, spice and dark fruits on the nose. Initially seemed a bit disjointed on the palate so into the decanter it went. After about 3 hours, the wine went through an absolutely amazing transformation into a wonderfully balanced, complex and utterly delicious treat. An expression of terrior mixed with fruit, length and complexity that I haven't had for some time. If you have this wine and want to drink it now, taste a bit right out of the bottle and give the rest 3-4 hours at least in a wide bottom decanter and you'll be amazed at the transformation.
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