2000 Domaine de Chevalier Rouge, Pessac-Léognan
This offers a complex nose of sweet tobacco and stones, with red fruits such as plums, as well as a smoky note on the nose. Full and juicy, with a tobacco and berry character that turns almost tea-like on the finish. This has medium tannins, and is just starting to come around. Drink now or hold.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(a blend of 65% cabernet sauvignon, 30% merlot and 5% cabernet franc; pH 3.78; 12.9% alcohol): Medium-deep ruby-red. Enticing aromas of redcurrant, plum, violet, minerals and graphite complemented by sexy oak spices. Broad, lush and sweet, with a pristine quality to the perfumed flavors of red berries, black cherry and spices. Harmonious acidity gives the wine shape and balance and a very clean, fresh mouthfeel. Finishes impressively broad and horizontal, with smooth, ripe tannins and lingering spicy perfume. This sophisticated, glossy wine is still remarkably young and lively.
50 ha on gravel and sandy clay. Quite acidic. 10,000 vines per ha. At the end of July, the vintage looked poor. But then there were several weeks of high pressure, dryness and sunshine which resulted in thick-skinned good-quality berries. Dry harvest. They didn’t pick until 5-15 October. No Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc. Picked by hand, vinified by parcel in small wooden barrels. Tasted in magnum. Mid ruby with a relatively pale rim. Very aromatic. Very lifted. Savoury and appetising although relatively light bodied. Lovely fragrance – much fresher than the 2003, also tasted recently. Clear and pure, but it needs careful food matching.
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "Huge, deep purple-black color, and aromas of rich, spicy fruit give a sense of great power to this superbly intense wine. Liquorice and rich tannins suggest complexity, while subtle acidity adds refinement." (6/1/2003) 92 points Wine Spectator: "Subtle and already delicious. This is a lovely DC. Loads of chocolate and berry character in this young red. Full-bodied, with soft tannins and a medium-long finish. Best after 2007." (01/03) 91 points Robert Parker: "Abundant notes of sandy, loamy soil, forest floor, black currants, cherries, and unsmoked high-class cigar tobacco jump from the glass of this complex, perfumed Pessac-Leognan. Medium-bodied and lighter than many 2000s, it has resolved all of its tannin, and appears to have reached full maturity. This wine has such superb balance that I suspect it will last another 8-10 years." (06/10) K&L's notes - Oaky, black fruit aromas. Lots of toasty, vanilla oak and black fruit flavors. Excellent length on the palate.