Merlot 78%, Cabernet Sauvignon 1%, Cabernet Franc 21%. In perfect condition now with the qualities of the vintage and cepage. Not a great wine but a reminder of the value in mature claret away from big names and trophy wines.
Medium/deep garnet core, pale garnet rim. Nose shows ripe plum, strawberry, plenty of soil, touch of spice and a hint of tea. Not overly complex but showing a nice combination of ripe fruit and soily complexity. Medium/full bodied on the palate, plum, black cherry, soft tannins, soil, touch of tea, decent acidity carrying a good length finish with a slight tannic signature still showing on the tail end. Excellent, mature, should hold for a few years but not sure it will get much better.
Drinking quite well. The oak of youth has faded, leaving only a light mocha note. Cassis, that mocha, and a bit of leather, nice texture/mouthfeel. Medium-bodied, ready. I don't think anything to be gained by further cellaring here, unlike the more traditional '98s. B+
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(Chateau Grand Corbin-Despagne St Emilion) Lovely crisp and explosive fruit when the cork is pulled here, and in the glass plenty of plum-skin and peppered wood-spice character which has, for me, plenty of appeal. The palate offers a fresh although gently textured wine, with a substance that covers the ripe tannins that persist at the end very nicely. This has come around very nicely since my first assessment, and although it still shows some tannic grip it is very approachable now and has plenty to give. This is very good.
(Chateau Grand Corbin-Despagne St Emilion) Merlot 78%, Cabernet Sauvignon 1%, Cabernet Franc 21%. Dark fruits, spice and nuts on the nose. Rich, almost creamy fruits, with a lovely balanced palate. Delicious nut edge to the fruit. Still some tannin there - needs three to four years.