This bottle delivered far above expectations. Took a little time to open up, but when it did, it revealed great dark fruit, with notes of leather, tobacco, herbs, and pencil lead. Great structure of soft tannins and acidity. At least for certain bottles, this should have time left.
At P&P, color in glass did not reveal 10 years of age, other tasters thought it was 5-6 years max. Nose of black fruit, leather, a little cedar, & a little green pepper. Soft tannins and mouth feel. Not earth shattering, but a great QPR at $19 delivered. I'll hold my last bottle for a year or more.
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(PICHON-LALANDE Reserve de la Comtesse) Bordeaux Magnum SPECIAL
As a Friday send-off, we bid you adieu with two magnums at prices that are tough to pass up. Nearly all of us have party occasions where we want to open a high quality magnum of Bordeaux, leave it on the table for everyone to enjoy and not worry about the last drop of a precious classified growth being mistreated by a unworthy gullet - both of these fit the bill and they are quite excellent for what they are. I’ve had both several times in party and non-party settings and they are just what the doctor ordered when tasting notes are not the priority but the event itself is the star of the show. When I was offered this parcel for a price that was almost laughable (both nearly 50% off in this format), I knew it was something most of you would be very happy to stock up on. Both have been stored under ideal conditions (56 degrees) since release:
2003 Pichon Lalande “Reserve de la Comtesse 1.5lt (IWC/NR) STRICT LIMIT 6/person This is the second wine of Pichon Lalande and it is especially delightful, showing far more of the character that Parker saw in his original barrel review, which I’ve cut and pasted below - not sure what he tasted from 750ml when he gave this 88pts but it’s not what’s in the magnum (the magnums are bottled from the best stock on a separate bottling run so I find his bottle review curious. The magnums are also nearly three times the price of the 750s). I brought two of these to a party last month and both were quickly drained by knowledgeable palates that couldn’t believe how delicious the wine was. This is my new go-to magnum when I need something to satisfy a crowd:
2003 Chateau Valrose “Cuvee Alienor” (WA/NR)(IWC86-89) STRICT LIMIT 6/person The Cuvee Alienor is just a crazy buy on a 2003 Bordeaux, especially from St. Estephe (where the recently anointed 100pt Montrose and 99pt Cos d’ Estournel hail from). The magnums are also bottled from the Chateau’s best stock:
(Réserve de la Comtesse) Dark garnet red color; deep mocha, espresso and caramel oak nose; sweet plush mocha flavored cassis palate, with graphite showing toward medium finish 90+ pts. (46% Merlot, 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc)
(Réserve de la Comtesse Pauillac) A little glossy, not so deeply coloured as you might expect. It still shows rather a lot of oak, and it has a slightly meaty spice, but with a nice, plummy, confit cherry fruit complexity. On the palate it is moderately rich, a touch flashy, but not over the top. It has a quite supple and soft texture, although it is fairly well defined. A well composed, ripe, peppery style with a creamy midpalate. This is well knit together with a nice little grip on the finish. Approachable now, but will improve.
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