96 Points - Neal Martin
The Chateau Lynch Bages appears to be going from strength to strength in this vintage. The 2010 has a glorious bouquet with intense blackberry and boysenberry fruit laced with minerals and cedar - beautifully defined and "symmetrical". The palate is medium-bodied with fine definition and a real sense of edginess and tension. Lovely focus and poise, superbly judged acidity and wonderful mineralite on the finish. Superb.
96 Points - Neal Martin
92+ Points - Robert Parker
The 2009 is enormous in size, yet broodingly backward, I was somewhat surprised by the astringency of the tannins in this blend of 85% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon. It is a big wine (14.5% alcohol), black purple in color, with huge concentration of fruit and beautiful purity, but a good decade of cellaring is required. From a top terroir, this wine is built for the long haul, and I am sure it will be even better than its relatively conservative rating at this point.
The Ex-Château ’96 Beausejour, once described by Robert Parker as akin to “Domaine Leroy's Richebourg from Burgundy's Cote de Nuits” which is some accolade indeed. Today, the nose offers minerals, earth and truffles. The wines structure is huge and the tannins are evident but beautifully integrated thanks to two decades lying in Beausejour cellars. Very natural and harmonious on the finish. Drinking now!
95 Points - Robert Parker
One of the superstars of the vintage, this classic Montrose is not as showy or opulent as the 2010, 2009 or 2003, but it offers a dense purple color followed by gorgeously sweet black raspberry and black currant fruit intermixed with loamy, earthy, forest floor notes, a floral component and a long, full-bodied finish. The 2008 was fashioned from yields of 44 hectoliters per hectare which is slightly less than the 2010's 45 hectoliters per hectare. Forget it for 5-8 years and drink it over the following 20+.
94 Points - Neal Martin
This has a very classic, austere bouquet with blackberry, cedar, sous-bois and tobacco. It has fine definition and comes across quite Graves-like in style. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannins, slightly dusty black fruit but with fine delineation towards the long, graphite finish.
18.5+/20 Points - Raymond Chan
Full, even, very dark ruby-red colour with black-purple hues, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is tightly bound and expressed with elegance of proportion, the fruit pronounced in fragrant dark-red and black cherry and berry aromas, along with dark-red florals and subtle, complexing herbal notes...
93 Points - Robert Parker
A combination of 70% Shiraz, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Merlot aged 18 months in wood (15% new), the 2002 Keyneton Estate boasts impressive intensity, richness, concentration, and aromatics (black currants, licorice, earthy spice, and a hint of wood). A beauty, with a meatiness to its richness and intensity, it should drink well for a decade or more.
A very, very rare Pinot Noir and considered by many as the best Coteaux Champenois produced in Champagne. In fact, this is a worthy comparison to many of the greatest Burgundies. This wine is made in miniscule quantities and comes from a parcel of very old Pinot Noir vines, mid-slope, in the Grand Cru of Ambonnay. A total of 200 cases are produced and it is only made in the finest years. This is a remarkable wine and as good as French Pinot Noir gets outside of Burgundy.
As I indicated last year, quality has improved dramatically at this estate, and the 2006 is a quintessentially elegant Bordeaux displaying a dark ruby/purple color, a lovely bouquet of forest floor, sweet cherries, cranberries, and black currants, medium body, a textured, sweet, tannic mouthfeel, and a long finish. Everything is beautifully pure as well as perfectly balanced in this outstanding effort. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2025. Excellent value.
International Wine Challenge: Bronze Winner 2008
97 Points - Robert Parker
Made from 100% Shiraz that spent 24 months in French oak (30% new), the exuberant, flamboyant 2004 The Factor offers up gorgeously pure blueberry and blackberry fruit intermixed with smoke, bacon fat, camphor, and graphite. Silky smooth, and, as David Powell says, “the most Barossa-like” of all his wines, it represents Powell’s rendition of a Cote Rotie.