2003 Chat Clos De Sarpe
"Production is less than 1,000 cases at this 9-acre garagiste estate whose consultant is Michel Rollandâ€™s foremost assistant, Jean-Philippe Fort. Situated on St.-Emilionâ€™s limestone plateau, the vineyard is planted with 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc. This offering is meant for those with 19th-century tastes as the proprietor believes in full extraction, huge tannin, and wines meant to be drunk decades after their release. Most vintages experience 40- to 50-day macerations, and tiny yields of 13-25 hectoliters per hectare result in extremely concentrated wines. Made from extremely tiny yields (only 400 cases produced), the 2003 offers up aromas of chocolate-covered cherries and espresso roast followed by a wine with good freshness, medium body, but not the power, density, or enormous extract of other vintages. No doubt the summerâ€™s heat and drought forced the proprietorâ€™s hand. Although it does not possess the power of the finest Clos des Sarpes, if the wine adds weight in the bottle, it may turn out to be an outstanding effort. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2020?"