Tuesday, August 29, 2006

2003 Bordeaux En Primeur

I got a call from Stewart Plant, from The Wine Emporium, the other day saying that my 2003 Bordeaux en-primeur wines had arrived and had been packed up.

I have been looking forward to this for some time and already can't wait for my 2004s to arrive this time next year. I must remember to place my 2005 order - it should have been in a month or two ago.

My order consisted of a number of Chateau Pontet-Canet (Pauillac), Chateau Grand-Puy-
Lacoste (Pauillac) and Chateau Branaire-Ducru (St Julien).

Imagine my disappointment when I went to the Wine Journal to look up my
Grand-Puy-Lacoste (5th growth) only to find they didn't review the 2003 vintage. However, I did find a review by Robert Parker, who said "Dark ruby/purple-tinged with notes of pure cassis, tobacco leaf, spice box, and some background minreal characteristics, the wine is medium bodied, revealing good ripeness, sweetness, and overall fine balance with relateively low acidity and ripe tannin. Anticipated maturity 2008-2017. Score - 89-91 points" (tasted April 2004). I note it is only 13.4% alcohol.

I have enjoyed my previous Pontet-Canets (5th growth), the 1995 and 2001. Robert Parker rated the 2003 at 92-94 in 2004 and dropped by one to 91-93 in 2005. Wine Spectator said "Very concentrated nose of blackberries, licorice and smole, turning to flowers. Full bodied, very rich and powerful with massive tannins, but it finishes sweet and ripe. This is muscular, but then it turns to crushed fruit. Superseductive. Best Pontet I have ever tasted. 95-100 points" Steve Tanzer reated it 91-94 and Quarin 90-91. I am really looking forward to this wine but with an expected maturity 2012-2030 I will have to wait a while.

I have never tried a Ch Branaire-Ducru and took some of these on faith. The Wine Journal had this to say:
"I thought this was a seriously good Brainaire. As with so many Saint Julien wines there was little on the nose. But the palate is lovely - very restrained, well-knit with a touch of black coffee intermingled with those black fruits. Good grip on the finish. Superb wine. Long aging potential. (21/25) Tasted again after bottling at the UGC in Oct-05. The nose is still very backward, with blackberry and tobacco. Good definition and freshness. The palate has crisp acdity with notes of black fruits and tar. Quite muscular and good persistency. This has medium/long-term potential. (20/25) "

Robert Park rated it 91-94, Steve Tanzer 90-93 whilst others had it 88-91. Quite a wide range of scores from the experts 88-94. It will be interesting to try this 4th Growth - expected maturity 2009-2020 - as it was significantly less expensive than the other two 5th growths but rated just as well.

I just love getting new wines and it is moderately disappointing/annoying to have to lay them down for a few years. Oh well, I will just have to by a few more guzzlers to make the time go faster.

Has anyone tasted any of these yet?


Anonymous The Wine Commonsewer said...

......and you call yourself an Amateur?

I don't think so.

2:08 AM  
Anonymous gw said...

As it happens mine arrived yesterday too (they must be sourcing through Domaine Wine Shippers..) and da da..I have a case of 03 GPL too (the other was Sociando Mallet).I'll be tasting one very shortly..well someone has to take one for the team!

7:53 AM  
Anonymous gw said...

oh and FWIW I bought in 2004
GPL (again)
Brainaire Ducru
Grand Ponter
Larcisse Ducasse

Passing on 2005..will wait and see how the prices are at auction.

7:56 AM  
Blogger Mal said...


An Amateur, to be sure, but with increasingly expensive tastes.

5:32 PM  
Blogger Mal said...


Glad to hear of your willingness to selflessly sacrifice for the team.

There could be a gong in it for you! Make sure you polish up C3PO and R2D2 and I'll send Leah over with a medal or two.

5:34 PM  

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