Just brilliant Merlot. Hard to believe it’s almost 20. Gobs of tertiary in the nose, but the mouth is all young fruit and still-biting tannin. Considerable sediment and a bit of brick, but nothing else points at age. Savory leather and pitch in the nose, fruit a deep black cherry spectre, powerful and refined. Crazy cinnamon and nutmeg on the palate, with grimy, gritty berry nodding to all. Perfect balance and depth, the peppery grain of CF applauding all at once. I only have a few more of these and keep telling myself they need to be dranken, but bottles like this argue differently. Why would ANYBODY drink Caymus and Justin and Austin Hope after tasting this? The ABV scares and shocks–leading to certain failure of my oft-voiced “Hi-alc wines do not age”, but there it is.
2003 CHATEAU DE CANDALE ME/CF 80/20 St. Emilion Grand Cru Bordeaux 15.0