Chateau Charmail, Cru Bourgeois, AOC Haut-Medoc, Bordeaux, France, 2000
This wine: left bank blend of 50% merlot with 25% each of cabernets sauvignon and franc, natural cork closure, 12.5% abv, Vintage Wines, £56 (03/17)
Consumer tasting note: a highly complex nose of cedar, cigar box, dried berries, violets, liquorice, tobacco, smoke and more – becoming more liquorice-toast edged with time; not quite medium bodied, a disappointing almost monotonic palate of modest intensity of savoury dried black berries and liquorice, finishing with a bare medium-long length. Decant for an hour.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, deep intensity ruby, showing tears and a fair quantity of sediment and solid tartrate.
Nose: clean, medium (+) intensity, fully developed, with aromas as they come, of cedar, cigar box, merest hint of toast, warm raisins and dried currants, spicy lifted dried red berries, a bit waxy, touch of violets, hints of leather and menthol, warm black liquorice, whiffs of black berry and black cherry, sweet tobacco, touch of pine, a bit smoky, touch of sweet oak.
Palate: dry, medium (+) acidity, ripe medium slightly astringent tannins, medium alcohol and a medium (-) body, medium intensity, with a fairly monotonic profile of dried black berries, black liquorice, with savoury undertones. A bare medium (+) length with a moderately drying black berried-savoury-liquorice edged finish.
Quality: good, acidity and slightly drying tannins a foil to the alcohol, with a lighter than medium body; a high level of well-developed complexity on the nose, with evidence of wood and bottle age, but this is not reflected on the palate which is verging on monotonic with a modest intensity, length and similar concentration.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: drink now, unsuited to further ageing – pretty much fully-developed, nevertheless, whilst highly complex on the nose, the mid-palate interest and length are simply not there, and the tannins have a bitter edge.