St Julien 2GCC. The flag bearer of traditional left bank Bordeaux. Simply amazing. Decanted 2 hours but barely enough - just at the start of its long drinking window. Cool, minty black fruit and oak dominated nose. Assertive masculine entry that transitions to an approachable, creamy middle core. Powerful blackcurrants at play with secondary Asian spices and mint. Still dark, brooding and serious. 10 second finish. All components are in place for a great wine, with no part overpowering the others - great symphony. Solid but not outlandish. The perfect left banker? Close enough (9.8/10)
Margaux 3GCC. It takes a ripe vintage like 2000 for me to like Margaux. Pitch dark purple hue betraying its age. Ripe blackcurrants w nice vanilla and violets undertones - great nose as expected. The palate is v masculine for Margaux, brooding, mid-bodied. Dark fruits, good roundness, well-judged tannins and classy grip. Some elegance peeking thru. V well balanced wine overall. Can still improve for a few years. Would be less impressive in a lighter vintage I reckon (8.7/10).
Tempranillo, Ribera del Duoro Spain. Off-shoot of the famed Vega Sicilia. This wine impresses me time and time again (this is my 3rd tasting). Nose is q shy and green, perhaps the only downside. In the mouth it's all fantastic. Round, weighty and great lusciousness. V creamy w milk chocolate and Asian spices thrown in to attain great interplay of flavours.. Good weight and nice grip. New world in style no doubt but w superb complexity that only good winemakers can conjure and intellectual wine lovers will appreciate. Long, caressing, warm finish (9.3/10).
Margaux 2GCC. Funnily, this wine impressed much more 2 years ago than now. It was dark, heavy, extracted and v red fruit-driven then, v 'new world' and lush in a good way. These days, it has thinned out and acquired the quintessential typical Margaux characteristics. Floral nose, developing but not q near its potential. Palate has lost q a bit of weight, now elegant and I feel q hollow compared to the last tasting. A bit more weight and complexity will be nice. Fruit seem to have gone into hiding. Seem to be in a dumb phase now, not q sure how it'd turn out in a few years (8.6/10).
Cru Bourgeois, Medoc. A perennial over-performer in its class. In the glass, shows a pitch dark, inky purple colour indicative of its youth. Nose is quite closed still - cool blackcurrants and oak, typical cab sauv nose. Still painfully tannic on the palate, too young and over-powering. Splash decanted and sat it for 30 mins to at least make it drinkable. Lots of swirling and coaxing brings out good weight, finesse and roundeness later in the evening. Plenty of dark fruits and tobacco. Tannins are still v stubborn and q rough. By the last glass, softened sufficiently to a balanced, substantial and black-fruit dominated wine. Lots of potential here, but still needs lots of cellar time to be ready (8.8/10).
Nebbiolo, Piedmont, Italy. The colour is deceivingly light, concealing the power beneath. Fresh bouquet, floral and vanilla. The palate packed a powerful punch. Intense, v extracted and great structure. Still young - lush but still v tannic. Black fruits all around, almost overwhelmingly so but pulls back just in time. V well-made wine. Good pedigree shows thru beautifully. Enjoyable but needs food (9.0/ 10).
Sangiovese, Tuscany Italy. A nice ruby hue, easy on the eyes. Complex nose of greens intermixed w warm caramel, excellent. Entry is smooth, rounded and builds up to an impressive mid-palate of spice, marshmallows and black fruits. Good complexity at the core. Lightish to medium bodied. Became bolder w more time spent in the glass. A longer finish would've made it close to perfect (9.2/10). Althought Banfi is a mass-market producer, this specimen certainly has a great 'hand-crafted' feel to it. Exceeded expectations.