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Château Le Barrail (France) Médoc 2003
2003 was an extremely hot vintage in much of Europe, including Bordeaux. One distinct advantage of that is that the smaller wines, from less exalted vineyard sites and less famous communes, have acheived high levels of ripeness and produced comparatively "big" wines that many will enjoy. This Médoc has a big, juicy, spicy and deep-chested character on the nose, with depths of bramble and berry fruit and a layering of earthy, cedary notes. On the palate it has smooth, even fruit in a medium-bodied format, with a spicy lick of cedary oak and quite powerful tannins. It perhaps lacks a touch of acidity, but it more than makes up for that with its deep, resonant fruitiness and solidity. A thoroughly fruity and delicious Bordeaux at a very reasonable price. £7.60, H&H Bancroft. *