Chateau Chatain 2000 Montagne Saint-Emilion ($19.99)
Dark ruby, shaded toward the red end of the spectrum, especially at the edge. Strong, high-toned scents of volatile acidity create a frankly unpleasant first impression, but luckily it blows off after an hour of "breathing" and occasional vigorous swirling, unveiling more typical "roasted" scents of bitter chocolate and black coffee along with a distant whiff of "barnyard," all over a background of dark, plummy black-cherry fruit. Rather light-bodied and tart on the palate, not overly tannic, but there's pleasant, clean and balanced black fruit behind the austere facade. Youthfully awkward, needs a little time. US Importer: Robert Kacher Selections, Washington, D.C. (Jan 23, 2005)

FOOD MATCH: Shows well with braised Creole-style lamb shanks from Chef Joseph Carey's new cookbook, Creole Nouvelle, Contemporary Creole Cookery.

Wine notes in 'shelf-hanger' format:
We publish Wine Lovers' Page tasting reports in the familiar "shelf-hanger" size and format, to make it easy for wine merchants or collectors to print them out, clip and post them where this wine is displayed. We do ask, however, that the name, logo and URL be left intact, and that these reports be used with the specific wines rated, not different bottlings or vintages.

Our tasting policy:
All my wine-tasting reports are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I accept no free samples from wineries or distributors, purchasing all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores.

View the previous tasting note: Plantagenet 2003 Mount Barker Riesling
View the next tasting note: E. Guigal 2002 Côtes du Rhône Blanc