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A highly-regarded 2004, a vintage which is being up-rated. And just look at the drinking window! Deep, near opaque in the glass, with forest fruit aromas and a sweet scent of ripeness. There is real intensity here.
Clos du Marquis, the second wine of Château Léoville-Las-Cases, enjoys a great following. Good intensity of colour in the glass, the 2004 is, like the grand vin, quite closed as far as aromas are concerned. The palate shows good solid blackcurrant and plum fruit. Some grainy tannins add austerity to the finish but cannot detract from this vibrant, berry-orientated Clos du Marquis. Very well proportioned and remarkably fresh for a wine of this level.
There have been many changes in the Bordeaux market place in recent years but perhaps one of the most significant changes has been the emergence of the second wine as a brand in its own right. Many Chateaux in Bordeaux now adopt a rigorous selection policy to ensure that only the very best fruit goes into the Grand Vin. However, La Croix de Beaucaillou is not only a blend of the fruit not deemed quite good enough for the Grand Vin, it also comprises fruit from its own specially designated vineyards. However the wines were what we were there for and they did not disappoint. La Croix is intended to offer an insight into the Grand Vin, which it undoubtedly does. The problem is that it does it so well that one could be forgiven for thinking, that at nearly four times the price, the Grand Vin cannot be five times better. At this early stage the wine was still wearing its mask of oak but one could still sense the lovely open cassis and sweet plum fruit beneath. A blend of 50 percent each of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon this had more flesh than many but beneath one got a sense of that typical Ducru structure with suave tannins and a lovely bite of mineral acidity.
The wines of Lagrange need time to reveal their full potential. The 2004 reveals a pure, natural, fresh quality. Never a powerful solid-structured st-julien, however a bordeaux with elegance and clarity of flavour which has a lovely, vibrant, fresh red berry and cherry character.
The 2004 Moulin-Riche is deep ruby/purple in colour with the fresh, vibrant red fruit scents that typify the wines of Saint-Julien.On the palate there is abundance of ripe, intense fruit backed by structure, tannins and a delicious freshness. An exceptional second wine which still has the ability to age.
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