Clos des Alouettes Appellation Margaux Controllee 2000
Margaux, Bordeaux, France, $199, cork seal
Being a sucker for a supposed bargain I couldn't help myself when I saw this at my local Yuen Long wine shop, it was apparently reduced from $299. It's a 50 - 50 blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, though I couldn't find much else about it on the web. I had a new decanter sitting in the sink waiting to be washed and I reckon I should have done the dishes after lunch to properly appreciate this wine.
It's a magical, vibrant crimson colour, and as I pop the cork there's almost a blood like appearance to the residual on my hands. Initially it's tight; all screwed up in a little ball in the corner, with a dry, almost fruitless palate full of sharp acidity and obvious alcohol. After a bit of air it's all OK; my friend has settled down and decided to come and play. The nose is still not shinning, but there are hints of sour cherries, brambles, green tomato and perhaps a flinty, metallic edge. The palate is dry with sour cherry and tart cranberry flavours. While initially ungainly the tannins settled down with a little time and air and became a lot more pleasant and better integrated. The second night I got the decanter into action and things looked even better, especially along side a meal. A brooding wine that requires lots of work; needing a decent decant and food on the side. All up an interesting drinking experience and one I enjoyed, though I'm pushed to wonder if the rewards are worth the effort and the price.