The first three wines were tasted as samples which were opened the day before we tried them, and yet still showed quite well.

2001 Château Courouneau Bordeaux Superieur Cuvée Pierre de Cartier, 13% alc.: This ruby dark garnet, composed of 100% organically grown merlot from 30 year old vines, shows a pretty nose of cherry vanilla and chocolate, with deeper, darker fruit on the palate, along with some tobacco leaf and cigar box. The mid - palate is somewhat creamy, and the tannins show themselves mostly on the finish, where more tobacco comes out as well. Very nice for around $19.99.

2000 Château Le Clos Daviaud Montagne Saint - Emilion Cuvée de la Trilogie, 60% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Franc, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12.5% alc.: The aromatics of this dark garnet claret don't exactly jump out of the glass, but with a little coaxing, they do show earthy black currant, cassis, cherry stick and hints of decaying vegetation. Flavors echo and expand, gaining a bit of woody cigar box and a hint of black olive. The tannins are very soft, and the mouth feel is smooth; I'm sure the extended aeration helped this, but let's not hold that against it. Very nice for around $16.99.

2000 Château Haut Bernat Puisseguin - Saint - Emilion, 13% alc.: A ruby dark garnet, with a rather shy, slightly meaty red and black fruit nose, this is not in the same league as the previous two selections. Made from 100% merlot, it shows fairly ordinary, dry earthy black currant and cassis flavors, with moderate tannins. Fans of traditional Bordeaux should like this, and it certainly works well with food, but at around $20.99, it's easily the most expensive of the three.

And, since we enjoyed the '01 Château Courouneau Cuvée Pierre de Cartier so well, I picked a bottle of the '00 a few days later, and liked that even better.

2000 Château Courouneau Bordeaux Superieur Cuvée Pierre de Cartier, $17.99, 12.5% alc.: Dark garnet, with a note of oak and hints of toast and coffee over black currant and blackberry on the nose, these impressions more or less follow through in the flavors in a very dry fashion (no surprise there, I suppose), with soft tannins and a smooth mouth feel. As it opens in the glass, it shows more and more fruit, becoming almost fat, and decidedly plum - y, with a little dark chocolate, wet earth and blueberry for good measure. Drinking well now with some extended air, it should only improve over the next two to five years.

Imported by Peerless Importing Co., Jackson, MI

(From Tasting Notes from the Underground - More Francophilia)

Reporting from Day-twah,

geo t.

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Give me a fast connection and a bottle of Geyserville and I'm out of here!
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