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The joy of Brane-Cantenac is not its power but its restrained, refined fruit characters. It is a great credit to proprietor Henri Lurton that he has managed to retain the discreet soul of Brane in 2003, the hottest of summers. Brilliant dark ruby colour; a pure stylish wine, where the initial impression is of harmonious fruit, a palate of soft succulence, leading to a long rounded finish. Delicious.
One of the few wines in the commune to use a blend of the five major grape varieties from the region with both Petit Verdot and, unusually, Malbec incorporated. This reflects the warmer vineyard location of Gruaud-Larose, with its beautifully opulent character, sweet and succulent, and with no hint of oak dominance at this stage. A sophisticated wine with masses of fruit, suppleness and appeal.
An equal blend of Merlot and Cabernets, this wine shows what could be done with fine quality Merlot in 2003. Lovely deep dark colour with hints of blackberries on the nose and very plump fruit in the palate, this is dense and structured with an appealing finesse on the finish. A long classicaly-structured wine.
Deep, black cassis in colour, this has a warmer vineyard feel with sweet, juicy, concentrated black fruit aromas and flavours. Mouton focuses on ripeness and naturally-weighted tannins, with a solid core in the mid-palate. A big wine exemplifying the very expansive style for which this great property has become famous.
With over 60% Cabernet Sauvignon in the assemblage, the impressive 2003 Domaine de Chevalier stood out in the Pessac-Léognan tastings. Pure aromatic notes of red fruits intermingled with cinnamon and spice. The palate exudes a ripe berry core with swirls of cream – reminiscent of a summer fruit coulis with a drizzle of crème anglaise running through it. Typically elegant, indeed a model of balance, and a wine for the mid-term.
The secret to this vintage, as Rauzan's John Kolasa took care to explain, was not solely to take care in the vineyard but also to manage the handling and extraction of the fruit in the winery in a gentle manner. This wine is a lovely example of this philosophy, structured and yet refined, with a delicious sweetness of fruit. An absolutely glorious wine from a château which is performing at a high level.
Deep brilliant purple colour with a strikingly rich herbaceous and cinnamon essenced aroma. In the mouth there is a wonderfully enticing, almost gamy character supported by sweet black fruit flavours. This is a tremendously concentrated wine with an incredible weight of fruit which truly expresses the wine's origins. Full and flavoursome.
Olivier Sèze runs this jewel of an estate, which is situated just north of the St-Estèphe border, with great flair. Generous, fresh currant scent which follows through on the palate with a good structure and plenty of fleshy fruit.
Floral, exotic and revealing an abundance of fruit. A wine with grip and a sultry brooding character – surely the team at Château Margaux have not previously produced as weighty and intense a Pavillon. Ultra stylish and with the verve and excitement reserved only for truly outstanding wines of the 2003 vintage. A purchase of Pavillon Rouge will provide wonderful drinking eight or so years from now.
At yields of just 25hl/ha Ben Sichel could be excused for thinking he possibly had the lowest yields in the district. This is an incredible example revealing the depth of the 2003 vintage – that a non-classified property can produce such a wine, infinitely above its rank stands testament to this. Deep, brilliant purple colour, again a lovely violet aroma, with sweet blackcurrant nuances too. There is a simply glorious sense of volume, long and rich with a sweet length at the end. A fine d’Angludet.
Established in 1854, Lay & wheeler is an international fine wine merchant specialising in en primeur, in bond and fine wine sales, cellerage and broking.
Lay & Wheeler Limited,
Holton St Mary,
Suffolk CO7 6NN.
Tel: 01473 313 300
+44 (0)1473 313 300 (Monday to Friday 8:30am - 5:30pm) | firstname.lastname@example.org
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Contact Address: Lay & Wheeler Limited, Holton Park, Holton St Mary, Suffolk CO7 6NN
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