St Estephe intrigues me. For all the chat about garagiste right-bank extraction and new oak and whatnot, for me the new world of Bordeaux can be found in this Northern Medoc appellation. I often find it to be the Coonawarra of Bordeaux - with great big bunches of exotic spice and expressive, juicy fruit. Arguably, this is the wrong way round. Surely Coonawarra is more reminiscent of St Estephe. Possibly. In fact, probably. But for some reason, in my head, new switches places with the old and it's St Estephe that seems derivative.
Incredibly dark in the glass; a hair's breadth to impenetrable.
Dark wet pipe tobacco, roasted black currants, cherry jam glazed ham and tons of winter spice.
Very dark and savoury. Grippy and meaty - pepper salami and pipe tobacco. Wild and exotic spices abound. Underneath all that, wrapped tight, is some bright, tar-coated cassis. It sucks the mouth back in on itself with a finish that goes on for a fair few minutes. Lots of life ahead, though whether that fruit will outlast the tannin is open for debate.
Tasted at Shorehead 20/6/2011