Chateau des Trois Chardons 2005
Deep purple with flecks of ruby.
Very tight on the nose - boot polish and liquorice with candied cassis & violets coming through after a little coaxing.
So young on the palate, but with fantastic structure and texture. The fruit takes a wee while to come through, but when it does it's beautifully integrated. Incredibly tight-knit stuff and surprisingly drinkable now in spite of it. The balance is really impressive. Classic stuff.
Ridge Santa Cruz Mountains 2005
Incredibly deep purple - intense and brooding. Viscous.
Ridiculously savoury on the nose - smoked meat, dates, figs, blueberry & plum compote. It smells immensely rich.
Soft on the palate - velvet glove. Still a big wine though. Fat, fleshy plum fruit; gentle, sweet tannins. It takes awhile to come out - there's a bit of cocoa powder. More of a rounded palate compared to the Chardons' gripping linear structure. Might chalk that up to the 42% Merlot in the blend. Deeply hedonistic.
Tasted 16/1/10 at Luvians Bottleshop