Chateau Croix de Labrie, 2004, St Emilion, France.
Close to 100% merlot; natural, long cork closure, 13% abv. Direct from the producer, €80 in 2006/7.
A garagiste producer, with a 2.3ha estate planted with almost 100% merlot, old vines, low yield and strict selection, and use of new French oak. I bought just one bottle of this wine, and cellared it as an experiment (I see that it’s about £240 today), opened today, with 6 hours decanting.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance – deep intensity ruby, showing tears.
Nose – clean on the nose, with a pronounced intensity, developing, with aromas of ripe black berry, preserved black cherries, violets, menthol, tobacco and a savoury note.
Palate – a dry wine, with medium (+) acidity, ripe medium (+) tannins, medium (+) alcohol with a full body, and with a medium (+) intensity, with flavours of black cherry, black berry and black olive, again with a savoury note, with a long length, and residual tannic grip.
Quality – a very good quality wine, with currently a balance between all elements – acidity, tannin, alcohol and aroma/flavour intensity, with a good level of extract, and concentration and complexity of flavour. The finish is very long, with a pleasant tannic grip – a food wine. I, or rather my wife, found it difficult to justify the €80, let alone over £200 for this wine today. Decanting for some hours at room temperature is mandatory.