By way of background, opening thoughts: Here is a French red wine blend from the appelation called Cotes de Castillon. This edition is a mix of 70% merlot and 30% cabernet franc and already has eight years of age since vintage date. It also happens to hail from a property of Chantal and Gerard Perse, the pair best known for certain other chateaus: Pavie, Pavie Decesse and Monbousquet.
Inspired by this wine, August, 2015: Hiking slow, thickets and brambles everywhere; you can even taste them!
In the glass: Deep brick, not opaque anywhere in the glass.
On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, shows bold red fruit, surprisingly fresh and peppery for the age. A little hint of mature fruit seeps in around the edges. From the aroma, seems like this will be bright and tangy - but hard to tell if there will be fruit there or only taut tannins.
On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact a full and balanced red sip. Dry red currants are the primary note, with a touch of iron filings. Bright acids bring up the edges.
In summary: Overall, rates two stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale.
Following long decant, full day kept cool in partially filled bottle: Still a bright red and peppery nose. More balanced dry red berries. A plus added with the decant for its potential with food that will complement its sturdy red dryness. Not a stand-alone sipper, however.
Updated review, a year and a half later, now nine years from vintage date, October, 2013: Still deep brick red in the glass. Red pepper notes on the nose, less fresh than last year, but with the same elements. The palate is rounder and better balanced now, with the currants softer and the iron filings having disappeared. Still bright on the finish. Edges up to three stars.
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