2003 Château Lagrezette, AC Cahors
This is what I was waiting for all night. To drink with our last beef course, a rib steak. What looked like a chunk of dinosaur bone and meat, it was 2 pounds of mouthwatering awesomeness. And this wine was more than up to the task. This bottle meant a lot to me. I had bought it towards the latter end of my university career. It sat in our residence kitchen for a few months, enduring a lot of abuse. Not a particularly old wine, vintage-wise, but with the amount of heat, and light, and movement it was exposed to, I certainly had a few concerns about its well-being.
A dark wine, the bouquet was extraordinary. Minty, savoury, earthy - all the richness and complexity I had hoped for. Beautifully integrated in the mouth, linear structure, good length. So delicious, so round, yet retaining a focus that brought all the elements together. And what was most impressive? The alcohol integration. It was listed at 14.5% - a recipe for disaster, for a lesser wine. My palate, demonstrated in all the wine I write about, is far, far removed from high alcohol wines. Anything over 14% worries me, but this wine showed none of the flabbiness, or the burning vapours that an unbalanced wine is blemished with. Truly the exception rather than the rule, this wine demonstrates that with perfectly ripe grapes and careful handling in the cellar, elegant, high alcohol wines are not a contradiction.
This is what bottle age can do for a wine. Sublime.