Bordeaux 2003 At Two Years: The Médoc Communes

As you travel further north on the left bank the wines seem to show a tangible improvement. Sadly this tasting, although offering comprehensive coverage of the Haut-Médoc communes of Pauillac, St Julien and Margaux (provided you allow for the absence of the first growths and certain other high-flying châteaux), did not offer a really good sampling of St Estèphe properties (just four at the tasting, of which I tasted two) or of those properties further north, the true Médoc (just two properties, and I managed to taste neither). Nevertheless, of the three largest left bank communes, I tasted a very representative sample. And it was clear that here, although a few wines showed poorly, there were more successes than in Pessac-Léognan.

Bordeaux 2003

I think Pauillac is the commune that shows the most success, as measured by consistency across the commune; some wines were very good indeed, showing balance, texture and a well knitted structure on the palate. Pichon-Lalande leads the way here. St Julien was also a success for some châteaux, although here there was a rather more naked tannic structure in some wines. But this is the nature, to some extent, of young St Julien. But Lagrange was a real disappointment, probably the least successful left bank wine of the tasting. Nevertheless, I suspect a number of these wines will be just fine with time in the cellar.

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