2003 Clarke, Listrac

SKU #1025184 Jancis Robinson

 Deep deep crimson, verging on purple. Great sweet charm and intensity on the nose. Actually some sweet chocolate notes. (If this were Margaux I'd take it for Cantenac Brown!) Silky, sumptuous, very beautifully made. Lots of acidity to keep it fresh on the palate and ripe tannins. Dense and youthful but not awkward. Attractive sweetness rather than overripe jamminess. A definite over-performer - though, as usual, slightly green tannins intrude a little at the end. (17/20 points) (JR)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Clarke’s 2003 may be a sleeper of the vintage. Aromas of black currants, minerals, smoke, and damp earth emerge from this dark ruby/purple-tinged, medium-bodied, pure effort. It is reasonably generous for a wine from this backwater appellation. Drink it over the next decade. (RP)  (4/2006)

Wine Spectator

 Good berry with hints of espresso and tobacco. Medium-bodied, with firm tannins and a medium finish. Smoky aftertaste. (JS)  (3/2006)

K&L Notes

This 2003 shows a very dense inky/purple color and charming aromas of intense ripe fruit with pure black currant, cherry and plum jam. The nose wraps up with subtle wood and mocha notes, espresso roast, toasted white bread, licorice and hints of chocolate and spices. On the palate there is a pure attack of powerful fruit followed by a deep mid palate with low acidity, ripe tannins and a textured and fleshy finish. This wine shows beautiful harmony, with impressive concentration and balance. This outstanding red Bordeaux is already extremely enjoyable and drinkable despite its youth. It will continue to evolve and mature, with potential to improve aver the next ten years.

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Price: $36.99

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Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.


- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them.