Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Ch. Duhart-Milon 2003, Ch. d'Armailhac 2003, and Ch. d'Issan 2003

Sadly today marks the end of our Bordeaux 2003 tasting. Of course, we'll be sampling many more in the future (at least if we don't buy a house), but this will have been our most systematic endeavour. We finished with a meal of grilled Italian sausage with peppers and onions and a side of Stephanie's indescribably delicious cole slaw.

The Duhart-Milon was the first of two wines from the Paulliac region on Bordeaux's left bank, home of some of Bordeaux's greatest chateaux (Latour, Mouton Rothschild, and Lafitte Rothschild - the last of which is responsible for this wine). It was a pleasure to drink, with bold fruit and very fine tannins. The mid-palate was expansive, spreading through the mouth softly but with a purpose. It gave off a hint of alcohol (not surprising from such a warm vintage), but it only served to highlight the character of the fruit and wood. I only wonder if a wine as supple as this will fair well over the long haul.

Chateau d'Armailhac is associated with the other great family of Bordeaux Rothschilds, the Moutons. Like the Duhart-Milon, it is not a second wine of the "grand vin" but rather an independent estate bottled under the auspices of its more famous uncle. Oak and dark fruit predominate on the nose, with a candied cherry burst through the mid-palate. The tannins here are firmer, but the finish in decidedly shorter.

The Chateau d'Issan is a delightful wine with an unfortunate label. Although a 3rd Growth in the 1855 classification, this chateau was not performing well in the wine press. The 03 is, as I said, delightful, and as the only Margaux in the tasting, it proved an excellent representative of its appellation. Soft in texture and fruit, the wine was silky on the palate with round raspberry and dark cherry notes. Stephanie compared the aroma to the ocean. Tasted blind I would have thought that it came from one of the predominantly merlot growing regions like St. Emilion or Pomerol.

After a week of new vintage Bordeaux, I think it's time to drink some light white wines and hope my tooth enamel will regrow.

1 comment:

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