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Textbook traditional right bank Merlot nose - all dried blood, iron and rust, with black plums lurking underneath. Flavours of black plum skins and blackberries, drying tannins, but finish is strangely soft. Time?
Shafer - Merlot Napa Valley
Meaty, plum jam and cinnamon stick nose. Juicy on the palate, soft red fruits framed by allspice, slightly hot on the finish. Good density of fruit, enjoy now.
Emmanuel Rouget - Echezeaux
A young wine, but not at all closed. The 2002's were predicted by Rouget to be a pleasure to drink at any point in their long lives, and this one fit that description perfectly. Quite a powerful wine, the nose showing concentrated sweet cherries and maple cured meats, with some briary juniper berries and coffee beans rolling around. The palate expansive, with ripe fruit still coating long, fine tannins; the meaty note more savoury and salty than on the nose and the fruit a little more brambly. A charming wine, poised and good company all by itself.
Robert Mondavi - Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve
Best wine (for me) in a vertical tasting from 99-08. This was the first vintage they did not include any Merlot or Malbec; and the last vintage before Constellation bought Mondavi in Nov 2004. Nose like fresh pressed blackcurrant juice with a dusting of cocoa and vanilla at first, deepened into crushed blackberries and cassis with a hint of thyme. Palate is just gorgeous - pure black fruits, flavors still primary but everything in perfect balance, polished tannins, expansive and powerful, long and promising. Puts many more expensive Napa Cabs to shame.
Dujac - Morey St-Denis
A little stinky on being opened, blows off after a while and shows wild strawberries, black cherry, rose petal jelly, autumn smoke. Mouth filling on the palate: good juicy black fruits, fine, gently persistent acidity; noticeable tannins that are quite stalky at the moment. Slightly green note on the medium length finish, but on the whole this is typical, lovely villages Morey that will reward decanting or a couple more years in the cellar.