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SuperBOWL 2003

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1997 Claret with Neal Martin

reporter: Ray Abercromby

A fascinating tasting, in which the star of the show was the sweety. I always find it difficult to assess Bordeaux wines in such an austere way - no food to accompany the wines. Even with this however, there is no doubt to me that the majority of the wines are still overpriced for what they are. There are of course exceptions, but I would much rather go for a vintage with some more body to the wines.

1997 Cos D-Estournel, St Estephe
Slightly opaque, pale plum core. Ruby edge, medium glycerin. Clean blackcurrant nose, slightly stinky edge, smoky nuances. Medium-grained tannin and balanced acidity. Mellow, slightly dried-out fruit, with good balance but slightly short length. Drinking well now. Very Good.

1997 Pichon-Lalande, Pauillac
Clear, brilliant ruby-red. Plummy fruit and gently smoky oak. Light to medium-bodied. Soft fruit core with a slight spicy edge. Slightly watery / dilute. Good/Very Good.

1997 Ducru Beaucaillou, St Julien
Slightly opaque, deep red with plum hints. Quite stinky nose of medium intensity, fresh fruit, lead pencil, some oaky influence. Light attack, good acid with medium tannin. A light style, finishing dry. Pleasant, light wine. Very Good.

1997 Leoville-Las-Cases, Pauillac
Slightly opaque, pale plum core, watery rim, darker than the Ducru. Medium intensity nose with a strange herby medicinal smell. Dry, tannic, pale fruit with more grip about this wine. Good backbone, but not a distinctive wine. Good / Very Good.

1997 Cheval Blanc
Clear, dark red core extending to rim. Medium to high intensity nose, deep berry scented with a slightly burnt edge and showing dark smoky oak. Lovely depth of scent. Medium fruit with strong but balanced tannin. Good length in a very elegant style. Very Good / Excellent.

1997 Haut-Brion, Graves
Clear red. Low/medium intensity nose with dark berry fruit and some tobacco smoke. Good primary fruit, lots of cigar-box aroma and flavour. Strong tannin provides backbone with fresh acidity. Very good length. Very Good/Excellent

1997 Chateau Doisy-Verdrines
Limpid, straw / deep yellow. Huge intensity honeyed nose with orange peel and honeyed botrytis perfume. Rich unctuous lush big honey fruit, great acid levels with a long sustained length. Now 15 years. Excellent.

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