Deep garnet. Slightly oxidative Grave style initialy, porty, spicy fruit with tobacco and a slight mineral edge. Firmed up to show good fruit balanced by sslightly grippy tannins. Certainly OK, but prefered it fresh from opening rather than with air. **
Opened in place of a corked 96 du Tertre. Good colour, quite an expressive Graves-like nose dominated by tobaccoey aromas. Good grip, crunchy acidity with ample fruit, tannins on thr way to being integrated. Well balanced, mellowing a little to tobacco, spicy fruit and hints of cedar. Good and no hurry.
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(Chateau de la Rivière Fronsac) Showing rather obvious maturity now, with a beefy, claretty nose with notes of smoky cherry. This has clearly moved on a lot since I last tasted it, which was surprisingly three years ago now. Rather lean presence on the palate now, taking some time to open out, showing a very reserved style through the midpalate, leaner than I recall, but certainly savoury and firm, in all a rather traditional style. It has a good flavour and is certainly fresh and food friendly. Rather short finish, but otherwise good.
(Chateau de la Rivière Fronsac) A good deep colour, displaying just a tinge of earthy mahogany. Smoky black fruits on the nose, with notes of liquorice and violets. On entry it is medium to full bodied, with firm, ripe tannins that still need to fully integrate. Quite good concentration, good, slightly cedary fruit and correct acidity. Nicely structured stuff which will do well in the cellar for another two to three years.
(Chateau de la Rivière Fronsac) This wine has a great depth of smoky, cedary blackcurrant fruit on the nose. There's a suggestion of fresh acidity to the fruit aromas, with an appealing charcoal edge. The palate bears rich and creamily textured fruit, with thankfully good acidity providing some backbone to this almost luscious character. The tannins play a role, providing lovely structure through the midpalate, but developing real grip on the finish. This is a classically styled wine with great potential.