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2003: Pichon Lalande, Lafite Rothschild, Cos D’Estournel, Château de Beaucastel, Leoville Poyferre, La Conseillante…

March 13, 2020

This horizontal of anything 2003 was inspired by memories of our fight at the frontline against SARS back then, a situation as difficult as the current Covid-19. Jade Palace was the venue on 03 March 2020 with all the usual suspects. Surprisingly, the intense heat wave of that vintage didn’t seem to have had any negative impact on the wines tasted, apart from one or two that were betrayed by a tad of shortness at the finish.

20200303_204058.jpgChampagne Larmandier-Bernier Longitude NV, courtesy of LF. This wine opens with a gentle yeasty pungency, almost shy, with overtones of malt. Rounded with full presence, developing a lovely burnished tone that led to a dry gleaming finish though, essentially, it is still wound with tight intensity.

2003 Champagne Dom Pérignon, courtesy of CHS. Poured from a pair. Light clear golden. Bit more fruit forward on the nose, displaying green fruits and pomelo while distinct graphite and ferrous elements dominate on the palate, imparting a stern demeanor. Became more open over time, developing more toasty presence with a mild yeasty pungency amid chalky undertones. Good balance, finishing with dry intensity.

2003 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande. Deep purple. Good lift of dark fruits and currants that dominate on the nose with a hint of capsicum, displaying excellent concentration and suppleness. Fleshed out with more soy and mint amid darkish undertones before opening up with other notes of mulberries tinged with forest green (from the petit verdot, no doubt), considerably softer and rounder. Quiet finish. Delicious. Drinking well.

2003 Domaine Jean Griviot Clos Vougeot Grand Cru, courtesy of Dr Ngoi. Poured from magnum. Much darker than usual, proffering sweet currants and dark cherries, displaying excellent fullness with very fine tension and acidity, finishing with dry tannins.

2003 J Rochioli East Block, courtesy of LF. This Russian River pinot noir is equally dark in colour with a bolder tone of haw, cedar and licorice, rather bright with a full concentration of ripe dark fruits and currants, forwardly balanced, structured with sweet rounded tannins.

2003 Château Léoville Poyferré, courtesy of John. Deep garnet red. Gentle lift of dark currants and black fruits, displaying excellent concentration and ripeness with a lovely suppleness and open glowing intensity though it turned more placid over time. Darkly delicious. Drinking superbly.

2003 Château La Conseillante, courtesy of Vic. Deep garnet red. Lifted savoury characters. Rather open on the medium-full palate, revealing good definition with subtle acidity that is very well integrated. Very genial in character, imbued with superb balance and freshness. Excellent.

2003 Château de Beaucastel, courtesy of LHF. Wild berries and dense forest characters dominate. Fleshy and concentrated with taut intensity. Gently delicious.

2003 Alain Brumont Château Montus “La Tyre”, courtesy of LF. This interesting wine comes from Madiran in southwest France, comprising mainly of the grape tannat with some other red varietals. Displaying a deep impenetrable black, this wine exudes black pepper, spice and capsicum with a massive presence of dense dark fruits, though supple enough as it opened up with good detail and sweet tannins. Not for the faint-hearted.

2003 Château Cos D’Estournel, courtesy of MH & JL. Poured from magnum Deep garnet red, exuding an gentle hallowed glow with warm smoky tones. Fleshy and open with very fine detail and intensity, developing some early complexity. Highly harmonious. Excellent.

2003 Château Lafite Rothschild, courtesy of Grace Ngoi. Deep garnet red. Very deep intense bouquet of black fruits and dark currants. Superbly ripe. Darkly delicious. Open with lovely suppleness, exuding a youthful intensity that carried a certain feminine fullness and warmth with some early secondary characters coming on over time. Highly harmonious, just a tad short which is probably a result of the very hot vintage.

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