This saturated bluish-black/purple-colored wine seems at first closed and broodingly backward. In the mouth, it is dense, textured, full-bodied, pure, yet, at the same time, closed. This wine is large-sized, with high tannin but equally high extract and richness. The wine will require patience, and seems to me to be the best effort Gruaud Larose has put forth since their sumptuous 1990. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2030.
Now 10 years old, the 2002 Château Canon has reached an exquisite maturity. Silky smooth and vibrant in the mouth, the graceful fruit quite literally glides over the palate, displaying notes of plums, raspberries berries, crème de cassis, with notes of freshplowed new earth and vanilla rising towards the finish. Drinking beautifully now, this wine has reached the plateau of maturity, where it will easily hold for an additional 7 to 10 years.--Ben Giliberti, CW (June 2012)
The prodigious, fantastic 2003 Cos d?Estournel is a candidate for ?wine of the vintage.? A blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon (unusually high for this chateau), 30% Merlot, and 2% Cabernet Franc, 17,500 cases were produced from low yields. An inky/blue/purple color is accompanied by a compelling perfume of black fruits, subtle smoke, pain grille, incense, and flowers. With extraordinary richness, full body, and remarkable freshness, elegance, and persistence, this is one of the finest wines ever made by this estate. The good news is that it will be drinkable at a young age yet evolve for three decades or more. Kudos to winemaker Jean-Guillaume Prats and owner Michel Reybier.
The solidly made 2003 Leoville Las-Cases (13.2% alcohol) is a blend of 70.2% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17.2% Merlot, and 12.6% Cabernet Franc. In this incredibly hot vintage, the alcohol is slightly lower than achieved in 2002, a cool-climate year. While not a profound example of Las-Cases, the 2003 is muscular, deep, and full-bodied with an impressive ruby/purple color, a tight but juicy bouquet of vanilla, black cherries, crushed rocks, and flowers, a sweet attack, and moderately high tannin. Backward and fresh, displaying impeccable delineation and purity, it can be enjoyed between 2012-2023. 93+
The 2005 Mouton Rothschild will have to take a back seat to the prodigious 2006, but administrator Philippe Dalhuin deserves considerable credit for pushing Mouton to higher quality levels over recent years. A blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest mostly Merlot, the dark purple-hued 2005 exhibits a restrained but promising nose of cedar, tobacco leaf, creme de cassis, and toasty oak. Full-bodied, tannic, and extremely backward, with the vintage's tell-tale acidity, it appears to be even more closed in the bottle than it was from barrel. It does possess a long finish and multilayered mouthfeel. This is an undeniably outstanding, yet restrained, shy wine for a Mouton Rothschild. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2040+
A blend of 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, and 1% Petit Verdot, the 2006 Calon Segur is an elegant, classic effort that represents about 60% of their total production. Deep ruby, with forest floor, cassis, black cherry, and soil undertones in both the aromas and flavors, this is a medium to full-bodied wine. A success for the vintage, it exhibits fine density, moderately high but sweet tannins, and alluring texture, and fine purity. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2035.
Not surprisingly, this wine is closed, masculine, but super-rich, with a denser, more complete and full-bodied style than its sibling, Langoa Barton. Some toasty vanillin is apparent in the black currant aromas intermixed with tobacco leaf, cedar, and spice box. The wine is full-bodied and has a boatload of tannin, not unusual for this estate, as well as an impressively pure, long finish. Everything is here, but this wine, made with uncompromising vision, is meant to be cellared for an exceptionally long period of time. Anticipated maturity: 2020-2035. 91+
From a superbly situated on St.-Emilion's plateau, 38-acre vineyard planted on primarily limestone and clay, this 2006 is meant for long-term aging. A combination of 80% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, it is a backward, brawny, muscular, long distance runner. Consumers lacking patience are advised to steer clear of this wine. Its dense purple color is followed by aromas of graphite, sweet cassis, pen ink, and charcoal. This powerful, dense, concentrated wine possesses high tannins and lots of structure. One of the more backward offerings from the right bank in 2006, it will not be close to drinkability for 8-10 years. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2030. 92+