In a stunning lineup of Cayuse Syrahs, the En Chamberlin wins by a nose. It’s smooth and silky, with a tongue-bending blend of flavors that include blood and iron, umami and salt, at first overtaking the pure fruit, but adding tremendous depth and power. The endless finish unfolds into a wine with exotic spices and complex layering.
A spectacular Pinot Noir, but a very young one, and extremely dry. It’s a wine of great structure, with rich acids and tannins framing extraordinarily complex flavors of grilled cherries, strawberries and raspberries, with complicating notes of cola, pomegranates, orange zest, anise, dusty Asian spices and smoky sandalwood. A truly great Pinot Noir from a great…
This is nearly perfect, a massive, monumental wine whose sheer power is matched only by its grace and refinement. The flavors of blackberries, cassis, dark chocolate, buttered toast and cedar flood the mouth, tightly controlled by firm tannins and good acidity. Decant for several hours if you open it now, but better to give it 6–10 years in the bottle.
Perhaps of all the first growths in the totally un-classic 2000, this retains most of the classic Bordeaux. It is certainly almost black in color, while the new wood flavors are very present. But it shows an impressive restraint, leaving the power of the wine to be revealed over the years rather than immediately. This could well be the longest-lived of the Pauillac…
The aroma is deep and inviting, equal parts new oak, Cabernet fruit and dried herbs. Has tremendous weight, with red and black cherry, cola, chocolate, cassis and roasted coconut flavors. Brilliant now, virtually flawless and totally delicious, yet has the impeccable balance to age and even improve over the years. The listed price is its pre-release price. Drink…
98-100 Barrel Sample. This has to be the wine of the vintage. It sums up all the positives of a great year: glorious fruit, power, elegance and acidity to balance. The tannins are enormous but they are still brooding rather than extracted. 87% of Cabernet Sauvignon.
Dense and rich but also incredibly complex, long and elegant, this is a momumental Côte-Rôtie. It’s darkly fruited and superripe, yet doesn’t lose its essential sense of terroir, remaining marked by scents of pepper and espresso to go with the chocolate and cassis fruit. Velvety in texture, this is the one of Guigal’s 2003 Côte-Rôties that demands a few years of…
Initially dense, almost black enough to be attacked with a knife. But then it becomes apparent that this is a beautifully integrated, balanced wine, bringing together power, with the hallmark Lafite style and poise. In the end, you have a wine that promises an impressive aging potential along with delicious black currant fruits, acidity and a layer of striking…