WINE OF THE WEEK

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2002 Chateau Leoville Barton -St. Julien, Bordeaux (2nd Growth)

94 pts

As everyone knows all wine have a lifecycle, from birth to growing stage to maturity (your drinking window) and finally death. As some of you already know 2002 was not an overall favourable vintage, with lots of rain and therefore many diluted wines were created. When I was in Bordeaux in 2003 and tasted about 125 different 2002's I came away with a medium to low opinion of this vintage. There are however always some great exceptions. As I cannot dispute the greatness of the First Growths (their wines were very, very good in 2002) I, like many others cannot afford their exorbitant prices.

This delicious Leoville Barton was the exception for both quality and price value. I have always liked Anthony Barton’s vision of controlling his selling price while others seems to increase theirs substantially every year.

Last night’s barbecue (New York Strip with a sweet mesquite rub) allowed the wine to showcase in all its beauty.

This 2nd Growth offered, first of all, a wonderful dark red colour finally turning to brick (or garnet). Aromas and bouquets intermingled together revealing an array of brambleberries, blackcurrants, vanilla, touches of saddle leather and fresh tobacco leaves.

What I loved about this wine were the silky textures of the tannins (they brushed and glided over the gums), the strength of the black fruit and the finish, a full minute!

As my sommelier students can attest, properly cellared wine can bring so much joy to both palate and dish.

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