Pristine bottle. Rich and mature, lively and Cabernet-fresh, plummy fruit and earth, lead pencil, fleshy but transparent, well-balanced, no noticeable oak, firm but ripe tannins, medium weight and concentration but no over-extraction, spicy depth, still primary, bright juicy fruit, clean and pure flavours, good length. A very successful 2003, avoids the vicissitudes of the vintage but not for the very long term, drink now-2020.
I remember some exotic oak and over-ripe fruit scents when this wine was young; those have really subsided now. Rich in flavour but a bit too dark and hard to enjoy. For purists of classic St Estephe today. If it developed more aromatic complexity without drying out too much it could still go places.
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(Chateau Lafon-Rochet (St Estèphe)) A very dark and indeed rather opaque wine here, near black at its core, with a dusty claretty rim. The fruit character on the nose has a rather deep and roasted feel, with nuances of cherry, cedar and tar. On the palate it has a rather dry, austere feel, although this feeling comes mainly from the firm backbone of ripe, rich tannins. Around it there is a nice presence of texture and fruit, but none of the soft sweetness that you might expect from the vintage. Which is good, but it also feels a little withdrawn and inexpressive. The low level acidity also contributes to the rather dull feel of the wine, lacking definition through the midpalate and finish. There is hope here as the wine has a closed down feel, but I hope time helps this evolve into something brighter and better defined.
(Chateau Lafon-Rochet St Estèphe) Another chance to try this wine. An impressive nose, with a lovely, deep presence of fruit. Ripe and deep and concentrated on the palate, yet still very firm, with a slightly hard, core of tannin. But there is a great presence of fruit which is more than a match for it, it seems. This has fine potential indeed.
(Chateau Lafon-Rochet St Estèphe) A really deep, glossy colour here. Rich and intense on the nose, with ripe fruit in abundance, with a floral, slightly exotic, pickling spice note. Ripe, supple entry, although this favourable impression fades a little through the midpalate, although it maintains a healthy presence of super-ripe fruit and succulent texture. Piles of tannins, quite an exposed unknit structure, but I think there is the fruit and substance to cope with this in the cellar. Very good potential.
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