By Aline Conus
Clerc Milon (16)
Attractive Cabernet nose, lots of character and a nice weight, with ripeness, yet good balance.
Duhart Milon (16.5)
Intense center, with lovely structure, ripe fruit, yet still elegant, this is long and very attractive.
Grand Puy Lacoste (17)
A favourite for its lovely balance – a claret lover’s wine, delicious, sweet, elegant with bags of character and a long finish. Excellent.
Haut Bages Liberal (16)
Rich, ripe fruit, balanced with fine tannin and bright acidity, a perfect example if not the greatest class in town; certainly one of my favourites of the vintage.
Lafite Rothschild (19.5-20)
One of the most profound Lafites I have tasted. Normally young Lafite has a character from the vineyard of elegant restraint. This is for me a wine totally out of character, and even better for it. It has such power and intensity, such structure, yet rapier like ‘Lafite’ elegance, singing through all this youthful vigor. An amazing wine which, along with Lafite ’59, will, I think, go down as one of the great classics. I believe a wine of this structure will not be at its best for at least 30 years, and Lafite of all wines has its moment.
Frederic’s team kindly gave me the 2000 to compare; I argued with him over which is the better wine; a waste of time as they are both greats. But I think 2003 is a triumph for Latour. Power, intensity, with silky, firm tannic structure, and a brightness, which only great terroir can produce in a hot vintage. This is sensational, and like Lafite, I hope I am around when it reaches maturity.
Les Forts de Latour (16.5)
Very open, ripe, sweet round and wonderfully appealing, an exceptionally good wine, so beautifully balanced, silky, ripe, first rate.
Pauillac de Latour (15)
I do not know if we will be able to get any of this wine, as they produced very little, but it was so good, we have to include in our offering – ripe, round and balanced claret, great to drink young in a few years.
Lynch Bages (17)
This is good, lots of character as ever, sweet, tight-knit, concentrated wine, another crowd pleaser, delicious.
Mouton Rothschild (18.5-19)
Great wine, Mouton right back on form. Intense, ripe. “Mouton-like” black, cassis fruit, very round tannins, lovely and for Mouton very elegant and charming. Bravo.
Pichon Lalande (18)
Very open, ripe fruit, classy elegance with a firm, intense backbone. Wonderfully complex and open already, the best example of power without weight; delicious.
Pichon Longueville (17.5-18)
Tasted twice, both notes agree, this is a class act. Everything a top claret should be, ripe, bright, structured, and interesting, full of character beyond just fruit, of which there is plenty – very good indeed, top class.
Tourelles de Longeville (15)
Another exceptional second wine, which will offer great value. Ripe, attractive with lovely balance.
Pontet Canet (17)
Good to see the revival of this estate continuing. Good wine with bags of masculine, firm character, some deliciously ripe fruit, nice weight and intensity and good length.
By Aline Conus