2003 d'Aiguilhe, Côtes de Castillon
*Smart Buys* Aromas of blackberry, spices, chocolate and meat follow through to a full-bodied palate, with lots of juicy fruit. Luscious finish. Gorgeous. This has a new winery, but the clay soil of the vineyards really helped.
This was the wine used by coopers Taransaud for the various experimental lots fermented in wooden and stainless steel fermenters shown at a recent Masters of Wine symposium on which I wrote recently in wine news. This wine has always seemed dramatically superior to its appellation and in 2003, grown on limestone, it is a powerful wine: Merlot with 20 per cent Cabernet Franc. Superripe mulberry notes with fine tannins underneath. Opulent.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Here is another example of why some of the best value picks, especially from limestone soils in 2003, can offer not only longevity, but delicious drinking. Owned by Stephan von Neipperg, yields in 2003 were 28 hectoliters per hectare, and the final blend was 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. Copious notes of white chocolate, espresso roast, black currants and sweet kirsch jump from the glass of this exotic, spicy, fully mature, delicious, round, complex Cotes de Castillon. Consultant Stephane Derenoncourt said that the natural alcohol was 14%. Drink this beauty over the next several years. (RP)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Good dark red. Wild, meaty aromas of currant and leather. The sweetest and fattest of these three vintages, with a smooth, round texture and an exotic suggestion of truffle. But good minerally lift gives firmness to the finish. A very successful 2003 from limestone and clay soil-like owner Stephan von Neipperg's La Mondotte. (ST)