Decanted 2 1/2 hours. The tannins were fully resolved and the oak was prominent, but still had nice fruit. Followed for four hours and the wine evolved nicely. This probably has several years left but has begun its decline phase. It could last beyond 2020, but ideally drink up now.
Fun to drink after visiting there in St. Emilion a few weeks ago. This is a big ripe wine and goo to go from the cork pull. This is fully mature and delish right now but not fading any time soon. Purists likely wouldn't love this, but a very pleasant well balanced ripe wine
Fully mature, sexy and singing from the glass right from the start. Wow, this was a treat. Masses of chocolate coated dark fruit, but nothing is stewed (in fact you wouldn't guess this was a 2003 at all) and there is still a very welcome freshness too. Silky with absolutely no hard edges. It opens up a little more after an hour or so with some tertiary mint, liquorice and spice. This wine won't get any better - but it doesn't need to! The freshness suggests that it won't go downhill fast from here either, but I wouldn't wait for longer than another 5 years or so. Great value for the pleasure this wine offers.
My expectations were low to moderate based on recent experiences with Right Bank BDX from 2003. Sometimes you get a beautiful surprise. This bottle at least, was wonderful for me. Hope the rest are so nice.
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(Clos Fourtet (St Emilion)) Only a few months since my last bottle of this, so I'm not expecting significant development. A dusty, claretty hue at the rim. The nose starts off with a very evocative and rather sexy style, all toasty and with oaky, new barrel spice. There is some supple and seductive fruit here, but also as it interacts with the air there is a fresh element, more perfumed, and it is this element more than anything else that ties this wine to Bordeaux. There is a little seashell note, and even a touch of mint not previously noticed. The palate is gorgeous, supple and seductive, just as creamy this time but also with a certain polish and substantial character, with a really grainy, toasted, charred-tannin underbelly which really defines the feel to the wine through the midpalate. Peppery, raspberry and plum, mint and soot on the palate. This is very fine, grippy, lightly charcoaly, structured, with appealing acidity but also stacks of substance and texture, A delightful wine, modern and luscious, but with sufficient frame to keep me interested. As I noted last time, this vintage isn't for all, but I think there is a lot of pleasure and promise in this wine.
(Clos Fourtet (St Emilion)) This has a hint of maturity in terms of fading brightness, but no major development in terms of tone, and it still has a glossy suggestion. The nose is very evocative, with notes of roasted plum fruit with the sexy-spicy overtones that right-bank Merlot can be so good at. There is a spicy meat to the nose, along with a fresh brightness, like oyster shell, lifting it above what we might usually expect from 2003. Big, bold and creamy on entry, and against this opulent texture the midpalate hosts a battle between ripe, grainy, slightly sooty tannins on one side and vibrant acidity (where did that come from?) on the other. Full, nice spicy Merlot character, grippy and fairly direct, with vibrant raspberry and pepper tinged elements at the end. Long too. For the vintage, it is remarkable; not the over-the-top unbalanced concoction that might be expected. I like it very much, although it will not appeal to those looking for purity, elegance and the drily savoury style Bordeaux was once renowned for - this is very much 'modern' Bordeaux. Rich and extracted, but not overdone I think. And no rush to drink here. Looking at my note from 2005 it looks like I under-estimated this wine.
(Clos Fourtet St Emilion) A super ripe nose here, of exotic dark fruits. Full on fruit on the palate, although only moderate weight, a little creamy on entry, but then loses it through the midpalate. Seems attenuated. Over-extracted again? Piles of tannin here also.
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