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Monday, November 17, 2008

This guy absolutely nailed the '03 Vintage in Chateauneuf

Next to Pegau, Laurent Charvin hit a complete grand slam in the erratic 2003 vintage, capturing all its benefits of added ripeness while harnessing the power w/ deft touch and flat out artistry. It is not a pruney, acid-deficient Amarone imitation by any stretch of the imagination, yet it has a bit more intensity and opulence than most any ripe vintage from the domaine; making longevity its only questionable characteristic. That said, I still find the '01 to be his best ever, w/ the '98 and '00 knocking at their heels (watch out for the '07)....but the '03 continues to go from strength to strength, and this last showing happened to be the most impressive yet.

Laurent was particularly proud of this vintage, and for good reason. His '03 has a darker, denser ruby shade than most Charvins, paving the way for a dazzling nose of black forest cake, lavender, seaweed and oodles of liqueur-like fruit notes. The attack of this wine is explosive, revealing tremendous opulence in the mouth amidst a savory, rich and fantastically delicious backdrop of flavors. In spite of the wine's headiness the profile never becomes soft, w/ a sharp as a tack backbone keeping everything in check, setting the stage for a dynamite finish, 96 points.


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