Château Cantemerle, Cru Classé Haut Médoc 2000
Wow! What a star this wine is; 23 years from vintage and the colour in the glass is just incredible. I'd challenge anyone to visually identify this as a wine of such age. It's bright as a button, with a glorious, mahogany-coloured core and cherry-red rim, with little to no sign of fading.
The nose is so expressive I had to return again and again in an attempt to fully appreciate its splendour. The complexity and depth of aroma is mind-boggling. Such sweetness to the nose and so much fruit to enjoy, raspberry, mulberry spiced plum and delicate currant compose the fruit element. When you punch through to the next layer, intoxicating aromas of a spent log fire, polished saddle leather, elegant spice and a herb 'garnish'. There's an aromatic density to the nose which is hard to describe – you simply must experience if for yourself.
And on to the palate... stunning. Again, the initial fruit concentration is way beyond what you would expect of wine of such age, following the aromas as it does. But it is the majestic secondary flavours which I yearn for; they can never be replicated in a lesser wine and this has them in spades: wood smoke, deep spice, dried red berry fruit and a savoury meatiness which is just incredible. Flavours that hang on the finish for a seemingly endless amount of time with a delicate tannic grip. Perfectly structured and complex.
I've been fortunate enough to taste many fine wines over the years including a number of fine, mature clarets. But every once in a while something truly magical finds its was into my glass, and this is just such an occasion. Cantemerle 2000 is drinking perfectly now and will continue to do so for many more years do come. Drink now-2027+
James Russell-Grant, FromVineyardsDirect