Still some oak on the nose.
Palate has some oak.
Into the decanter
Ok this is going to be spectacular. The fruit on the palate is so dense and rich. Spice. Expansive, dense internal aromatics. A hint of licorice.
Wow. May be better than a 9.5.
Wait at least 3 years. Likely 5.
Bought from fass Selections — 9 months ago
Excellent pour. Thanks Conor! DBX rosè tasting! — 3 years ago
I have mentally thought about doing this post for quite awhile. Opening this 2003 Verdignan brought on the appropriate moment. I am a believer in paying respects and it’s the basis of this post.
We learn to drink certain wines from the regions we live near or from the people we learn & enjoy wine with as we walk the road to understanding what we really enjoy. I started as an exclusive CA Chardonnay drinker for many years before moving on to nearly every varietal and regions offer. Next was Napa Cabernets which, led me to my true love, red Bordeaux. It was a bit of curve getting there but, once I had them with proper aging, I was hooked for life.
While my curiosity got me to Bordeaux wines, there one person that helped shape my Bordeaux palate and I agreed with more than anyone else’s, including every well known wine critics at that time and even today after spending 10 weeks learning from several Master Sommeliers on my way to passing the Court of Master Sommeliers exam and becoming a Sommelier myself. This person is Clyde Beffa Jr., Owner of K&L Wine Merchants.
Clyde has been traveling to Bordeaux for over 40 years and sometimes multiple times in a year. His palate and experience are second to none. Especially, when it comes to Bordeaux.
I owe him a lot. He taught me the importance of letting good Bordeaux’s age 20 years plus. What were the jewel value producers. Brought in Bordeaux wines direct from the Chateaus that had 10 years of bottle age and older. Bordeaux’s that critics did not like young but, he knew something special had taken place over time as he was tasting them much later in their lives and often. I bought and drank a lot of these wines. They also kept temptation at bay in me reaching for my too young and more expensive wines.
He is very kind and kind enough to allow me to travel with him & key staffers to the 2014 En Premier to taste what was a very difficult 2013 Bordeaux vintage. You can go to En Premier and then there is going with Clyde. You have all the key appointments, Chateau accommodations/dinners and taste somewhere around 1500 plus wines in 6 days. He is loved by the Bordelais and for good reason.
So, I dedicate this post to him. He is the one who told me to buy this little known 2003 Verdignan at the same “Affordable Bordeaux Tasting” I mentioned in my Chateau de Candale post on Friday. As of Friday, that was the wine of the tasting. Well…until I coravined this slowly over the weekend. This 2003 was under $25 and it is one of the very best Bordeaux’s I had in some time. As well, perhaps the best QPR in my over 20 years collecting wine. Clyde knew that day just how good it would become. He said, forget about this for 20 years. So, I am a little early here.
Clyde has recommended more great Bordeaux’s to me that most people don’t hear about, let alone try. He told me to buy the poorly reviewed 91 Pichon Lalande when he brought more into the store seven years ago Chateau direct. It was a very difficult vintage with spring frost, hail storm and a difficult growing season. He described as “Heaven in a Bottle” and It most certainly the case. To this day, Pichon Lalande is my favorite steak wine and the 91 is still my favorite vintage. I purchased a 3L from him recently that he brought in direct from the Chateau for my 60th next year. Can’t wait to open that with our good friends and celebrate.
As for the Verignan, the nose reveals; dark brooding & slightly bake fruits of; blackberries, black raspberries, dark cherries, black plum, some poached strawberries & haunting blue fruits. Black tea, forest floor with leaves, anise, limestone, moist clay, dry crushed rocks, dry stones, beautiful, mid intensity dark spice, dry tobacco, graphite, mixed dark berry cola, understated, well layered baking spices; clove, nutmeg, cinnamon & vanilla, dry herbs, mint with candied; dark, red, blue and purple florals.
The body is full, rich, lush, satiny with plenty of well rounded, soften tannins. The tension, structure, length and balance are excellent and will continue to improve. This will last another 15 years and beyond with proper storage. This is a very classic Bordeaux well balance in fruit and earth. It is sheer elegance on the palate. It’s why I love Bordeaux more than Napa and I love Napa Valley Cabernet. Dark brooding & slightly bake, ripe fruits of; blackberries, black raspberries, dark cherries, black plum, boysenberries, some poached strawberries & haunting blue fruits. Black tea, dark chocolate bar, touch of mocha powder, light caramel notes, Expresso notes, forest floor with leaves, anise, limestone, moist clay, dry crushed rocks, dry stones, beautiful, mid intensity dark Asian & Indian spices with just right amount of palate heat, dry tobacco, graphite, dry twigs with a little sap, mixed dark berry cola, understated, well layered baking spices; clove, nutmeg, cinnamon & vanilla, dry herbs/sage, mint with candied; dark, red, blue and purple florals. The acidity is round and nearly perfect. The long finish is, classic, elegant, well balance fruit and earthy Bordeaux that persists softly on the palate for minutes with just the right amount of spice.
This is a heady wine that you really think about as you slowly sip and it affects your whole body. Can’t wait to have another in five years.
Photos of; Chateau Vergignan in Medoc near St. Estephe, their vineyard that reveals where Bordeaux gets its earthiness, Owner Jean Miaihle who acquired the property in 1972 and a wide shot of their vines. — 2 years ago
Estate was founded in the late 17th Century. This period was known as the Grand Siecle, or "great century", in reference to Louis XIV's 1661 accession to the French throne. This second label from Pichon Baron is deep Ruby with aromas of black fruits, cacao and sweet spice. On the palate flavors of blackberry and black cherry with espresso, cacao and licorice. Fine tannins, long finish, ending with fruit, cedar and spice. — 23 days ago
Been awhile since I pulled out an Insigna.
The 03 Pichon Lalande is the better wine and steak pairing. However, Napa Cabernet is the choice to finish steak and enjoy on its own after. You never want to do Napa before Bordeaux IMHO. It’s much harder to adjust from sweeter to something more earthy.
Enjoyed the 05 as my score reflects. I don’t remember it being as sweet as it was in previous tastings. Still quite good. It just tipped my sweet scale a little too much.
The body is, rich, lush & round. It’s achieved good evolution after 13 years in bottle and will continue to improve over the next 6-8 years and last another 15 years. As I mentioned, the fruit was ripe & sweet. Blackberries, black plum, black raspberries, plums, hints of blueberries and strawberries haunting the backend. Rich, dark earth, Rutherford dusty tannins and dry soils, purple cola, touch of fresh tobacco & graphite, light baking spices of; cinnamon, dash of clove, nutmeg and vanillin, anise to black licorice, saddle-wood, used leather, dry stems, some dry, crushed rocks/limestone with red, dark, purple and blue florals. The acidity round and nicely executed. The finish was similar wire to wire. It’s, lush, rich, elegant, touch too sweet, polished, well balanced & knitted with a soft, persistent, dark spice on the long set. Very enjoyable second bottle.
Photos of; Joseph Phelps Winery & sloping estate vines, inside lounge are with views of the back side, tasting terrace and front lobby/salon area upon entering past check in. — 2 years ago
The 2011 vintage was less challenging in Santa Cruz than it was in Napa. This is a nice wine from a lean producer and opens up to pure cassis, like a blackcurrant pastille, a little vanilla that hasn’t quite integrated, and a nice overall mouthfeel that expands with a few hours of decanting. This was noticeably reduced on opening and that blew off over two hours. This reminds me of Corison. Also reminds me of an 88 Pichon Baron - what a good producer can do in a not-so-ripe year - good but definitely not epic.
Hanging out in Vero Beach with the in-laws and picked this bottle up locally for $60. — 3 years ago