WTN: Cambon la Pelouse 2003 18,74 euros, 13% abv
I had tried this before at a tasting where I noted that it was nice and though obviously modern, it didn't have the faults I have noted in many 2003s (i.e. harsh tannins, much too low acidity, over-ripe fruit). But a 5cl tasting glass hurriedly imbibed at a trade fair doesn't really give a proper assessment, so I wanted to try it out when not hurried.
A vibrant, dark red; nb! not purple. The nose is actually quite lovely. It does have quite a bit of oak/vanilla, but there is also a prominent note of a humid cigar box (dry ones never smell the same!!!), chocolatey Merlot and cassis. The palate is juicy, not as badly overoaked as one would presume, with some lovely savoury elements, surprisingly good acid for the year, quite a bit of lovely bitterness reminding me of hops in good English ales, but the tannins aren't at all harsh as they are in so many 2003s. Long aftertaste.
But my overall impression is not a favourable one despite the lovely, savoury nose and some fine elements on the palate. First of all, I find that oak obliterates so much nuance and here the oak was a trifle heavy handed - though not as bad as in some cooler vintages where the quality of fruit simply did not stand the oak. Here it does, but I'm being my oversensitive self on this matter. Secondly, the palate is much too extracted/full on: I want my wine to be liquid; this was almost solid. Thirdly the aftertaste, though long and with some notes of cassis, was just not as fresh as I would like it to be.
Verdict: A truly great modern style Bordeaux! This has so many elements of Bx that I flatter myself by saying that I probably would end up there if given this blind. But still, I do not like the modern style there. So though a fantastic QPR Bordeaux, my personal verdict is that this sucks. The grapes' great potential was spoiled by spoofulation.
I don't drink wine because of religious reasons ... only for other reasons.