WTN: 2003 Château Cantemerle

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WTN: 2003 Château Cantemerle

Postby Otto » Sat Oct 28, 2006 3:22 pm

Jenise, thank you for your recco on this winery. It rocks, even though it's a vintage I've generally not been too fond of.

What's the afternoon equivalent of brunch called? Linner? Dunch? Well...after work, I met up with a friend and we had a bit of crappy food made by moi and paired with this and the Hewitson Old Garden Mourvèdre I posted on in the wine focus section.

  • 2003 Château Cantemerle - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Haut-Médoc (10/28/2006) 12,5% abv 23,30€
    A sweet and a little toffeeish nose, but it is still very typical, old style Bordeaux albeit very ripe. There are savoury herbal notes, cedar and red toned fruit and even the tiniest hint of dung (yum!). The palate is sweetly fruity, has pretty high acidity for the year, i.e. is at a level I would normally expect from Bordeaux. There is also a touch of bitterness to it which I like very much as it brings in more freshness, but I can see that the bitter edge might not endear this to many people! This is very much to my taste.

Posted from CellarTracker

I look forward to seeing how this evolved by tomorrow. It's open and lovely straight out of the bottle (and apparently for several hours afterwards). I hope it isn't totally closed tomorrow.
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Re: WTN: 2003 Château Cantemerle

Postby Thomas » Sat Oct 28, 2006 4:39 pm

Otto Nieminen wrote:Jenise, thank you for your recco on this winery. It rocks, even though it's a vintage I've generally not been too fond of.

What's the afternoon equivalent of brunch called? Linner? Dunch? Well...after work, I met up with a friend and we had a bit of crappy food made by moi and paired with this and the Hewitson Old Garden Mourvèdre I posted on in the wine focus section.

  • 2003 Château Cantemerle - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Haut-Médoc (10/28/2006) 12,5% abv 23,30€
    A sweet and a little toffeeish nose, but it is still very typical, old style Bordeaux albeit very ripe. There are savoury herbal notes, cedar and red toned fruit and even the tiniest hint of dung (yum!). The palate is sweetly fruity, has pretty high acidity for the year, i.e. is at a level I would normally expect from Bordeaux. There is also a touch of bitterness to it which I like very much as it brings in more freshness, but I can see that the bitter edge might not endear this to many people! This is very much to my taste.
Posted from CellarTracker

I look forward to seeing how this evolved by tomorrow. It's open and lovely straight out of the bottle (and apparently for several hours afterwards). I hope it isn't totally closed tomorrow.


A fabulous producer.

Incidentally, I call that mid afternoon meal "brupper."
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Re: WTN: 2003 Château Cantemerle

Postby Otto » Sun Oct 29, 2006 4:37 pm

Well, with my "brupper" of good quality sausage (not the crappy stuff grilled during summer, but think more of the Alsatian gourmet variety) today, I had the rest of the Cantemerle. It rocks still. The green note seems tamed, so I guess with a day's air this is more friendly for most people. I guess I should go and buy quite a few to age for 10 years or so.

I understand that Cantemerle wasn't making good wines sometime in the past. Anyone know what years are considered weak and when they started to make good stuff again? I liked this one so much I'd want to track down some older vintages.
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Re: WTN: 2003 Château Cantemerle

Postby Dale Williams » Sun Oct 29, 2006 5:08 pm

Otto,
I don't know about earlier, but Cantemerle made excellent wines for its level (5th growth, Haut-Medoc) in '83 and '89, as well as a good if not great '90 (I reported recently). I think it borders Margaux, and Southern Medoc vintages don't neccesarily match Northern exactly, so maybe it underachieved in some vintages tht were praised due to how the Northern Medocs (Pauillac, St Julien, St Estephe) did? I can't think of many great '82, '85, '86, '88 Margaux outside of Ch. Margaux and maybe Palmer.
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Re: WTN: 2003 Château Cantemerle

Postby Jenise » Mon Oct 30, 2006 5:26 pm

How did I miss this when you posted it? Not sure, but glad I caught it before it scrolled to Page 2.

I'm so thrilled that you both found the wine and loved it. I just knew this was your kind of Bordeaux, though you're right a vintage like 99 and 01 would be more your style. And your report has had more effect than you know--someone who read this TN emailed me that he's going to buy a case based on what you reported.
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Re: WTN: 2003 Château Cantemerle

Postby Otto » Mon Oct 30, 2006 6:02 pm

Jenise wrote:And your report has had more effect than you know--someone who read this TN emailed me that he's going to buy a case based on what you reported.


I think I might be buying a case of this. Could you send an email back telling him to try it first because I really think that the bitter notes will not be to many people's tastes. I wouldn't want to feel responsible if he finds the wine unpalatable.

-Otto-
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Re: WTN: 2003 Château Cantemerle

Postby Jenise » Mon Oct 30, 2006 6:41 pm

No need, Otto. He recognized in your note that it's his type of wine, he's no point-chaser either.
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Re: WTN: 2003 Château Cantemerle

Postby Mike B. » Mon Oct 30, 2006 8:00 pm

Otto, a couple of years ago I bought a bottle of '97 Cantemerle to celebrate a promotion at work. It was about $60 - the most I had ever spent on wine at the time.

Wine lovers speak of that "aha" moment when they were bitten by the bug. That bottle was mine. I don't even think '97 was a particularly notable vintage, but I loved it.

Seeing your tasting note made me want to seek out more. It's a moderately priced Bordeaux and I loved the style.
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Re: WTN: 2003 Château Cantemerle

Postby Brian K Miller » Mon Oct 30, 2006 9:39 pm

Has anyone tried the 2000 Cantemerle? I'm intrigued by this discussion, I picked up a bottle a while ago based on a recommendation at K& L Wines in San Francisco.
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Re: WTN: 2003 Château Cantemerle

Postby Covert » Mon Oct 30, 2006 9:44 pm

I just bought six bottles on your description, arriving later this week. I'll try one and pick up an additional six when I like it very much, as I am sure I will. Thanks.

I'm curious as to how I will describe what you call dung. Cantemerle can be really earthy, but I have never experienced any barn-type expression, yet. 1999 is pretty earthy. Can't wait to try the 2003.

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Re: WTN: 2003 Château Cantemerle

Postby Otto » Tue Oct 31, 2006 1:01 pm

Mike! I don't think $60 is a very fair price - isn't that almost double what I paid?

Covert! I hope you taste it and write about it here. Dung / earth, whatever. Wet earth this time of year can easily be mistaken for dung - decomposing scents anyway. This is splitting hairs. But what I really wanted to convey is that we aren't talking only about fruit and oak based scents but there is also that magical third dimension which spoofulated wines don't tend to have.

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Re: WTN: 2003 Château Cantemerle

Postby Mike B. » Tue Oct 31, 2006 2:04 pm

Otto, that's Canada for you. Don't have much choice, as we can't easily ship wine privately from other countries. And we're only allowed two bottles per person before having to pay duties when coming back from visits outside the country.

Bob Parsons and I were talking not too long ago about hearing people gripe about wine at $15 a bottle in the U.S. That's cheap here.

You can pretty much double the price for most wines in Canada.
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Re: WTN: 2003 Château Cantemerle

Postby wrcstl » Tue Oct 31, 2006 2:48 pm

Otto Nieminen wrote:
  • 2003 Château Cantemerle - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Haut-Médoc (10/28/2006) 12,5% abv 23,30€
    A sweet and a little toffeeish nose, but it is still very typical, old style Bordeaux albeit very ripe. There are savoury herbal notes, cedar and red toned fruit and even the tiniest hint of dung (yum!). The palate is sweetly fruity, has pretty high acidity for the year, i.e. is at a level I would normally expect from Bordeaux. There is also a touch of bitterness to it which I like very much as it brings in more freshness, but I can see that the bitter edge might not endear this to many people! This is very much to my taste.
Posted from CellarTracker


Otto,
I need a second opinion. I am not a point chaser, I have several years of Cantemerle in my cellar, do not like Spoofified wines BUT have not tried an '03 that I thought was worth purchasing. Plan on taking a pass on '03 and purchasing more '99 and '01. Hopefully someone will post a confirmation to your TN and change my mind.

Related to dung. A good Bordeaux should have just enough to make you check the bottom of your shoes, no more, and not much less.

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Re: WTN: 2003 Château Cantemerle

Postby Covert » Tue Oct 31, 2006 3:22 pm

Otto Nieminen wrote: Covert! I hope you taste it and write about it here. Dung / earth, whatever. Wet earth this time of year can easily be mistaken for dung - decomposing scents anyway. This is splitting hairs. But what I really wanted to convey is that we aren't talking only about fruit and oak based scents but there is also that magical third dimension which spoofulated wines don't tend to have. -Otto-


Otto, I'm not trying to split hairs, I am just looking forward to seeing what's there with anticipation. If it came close to dung, that would of course be wonderful, and unusual. I got what you were saying; that's why I bought some right away.
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Re: WTN: 2003 Château Cantemerle

Postby Otto » Tue Oct 31, 2006 5:32 pm

Mike B. wrote:Otto, that's Canada for you. Don't have much choice, as we can't easily ship wine privately from other countries. And we're only allowed two bottles per person before having to pay duties when coming back from visits outside the country.

Bob Parsons and I were talking not too long ago about hearing people gripe about wine at $15 a bottle in the U.S. That's cheap here.

You can pretty much double the price for most wines in Canada.


Funny. I've always said that about Finland. But on occasion we see great bargains on wines that almost everywhere cost more. E.g. I could have the opportunity to buy 2003 Latour at a price 100€ cheaper than anywhere else. It's still too much, so I'm buying lots of Riesling instead ... but you get the picture! So we do have our surprising "bargains" but usually our wines are 1,2-3 times more expensive than elsewhere. I sympathise with you fellow victims of monopolies. Yet I am glad that this particular wine seems to be rather fairly priced.

wrcstl wrote:I need a second opinion. I am not a point chaser, I have several years of Cantemerle in my cellar, do not like Spoofified wines BUT have not tried an '03 that I thought was worth purchasing. Plan on taking a pass on '03 and purchasing more '99 and '01. Hopefully someone will post a confirmation to your TN and change my mind.


Walt, I've now had two 2003 Bx that I'm willing to cellar: this and Haut-Bailly. All others have been OTT for my tastes. But of course you not only should, but must taste for yourself. I am always willing to buy one bottle to try - especially in dinners like this where my guest happens to like bigger wines than me: I'll know it won't be wasted if it isn't to my tastes and I know I'll make one person very happy and I will also get to try it. For such occasions I'm willing to spend my meagre means on such wines to try.

Covert wrote:Otto, I'm not trying to split hairs, I am just looking forward to seeing what's there with anticipation. If it came close to dung, that would of course be wonderful, and unusual. I got what you were saying; that's why I bought some right away.


Good, good. I hope you like it. It surely should have adequate amounts of earth, for sure! ;)
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Re: WTN: 2003 Château Cantemerle

Postby James Dietz » Tue Oct 31, 2006 9:35 pm

More of this ordered here too.. damn, Otto.. you have created a run on Cantemerle with your post.

I just paid $21.99 for it.. so $60 is waaaaay out of line..
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Re: WTN: 2003 Château Cantemerle

Postby Covert » Wed Nov 01, 2006 10:16 am

Mike B. wrote:Otto, a couple of years ago I bought a bottle of '97 Cantemerle to celebrate a promotion at work. It was about $60 - the most I had ever spent on wine at the time.

Wine lovers speak of that "aha" moment when they were bitten by the bug. That bottle was mine. I don't even think '97 was a particularly notable vintage, but I loved it.

Seeing your tasting note made me want to seek out more. It's a moderately priced Bordeaux and I loved the style.


Mike, I hope you don't feel bad about paying more for your wine than some bloke in New York City might. I'll bet it is beautiful where you are, and you probably don't have a lot of filth, gang bangers, muggers and hit-and-run-drivers, either. There are trade-offs for everything.

And I have been an advocate of '97 Bordeaux since it came out. I love it. I think that you will find more techies than wine lovers who will make a to-do about the vintage's "questionable" pedigree. Disparaging it is akin to saying that a young, pretty woman who lives next door and smells really great, but doesn't do anything special or hold a title, is not as good as Jancis Robinson. It's not relevant. There would be good times to be with both, if you had the options.
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