A powerful rich nose which opens on a range of aromas from spice and dried flowers to red fruit and leather, before going on to develop more precise notes of toasted bread and almonds.
The attack, both full and supple, gives way to a rich tannic structure underpinned by gamey flavours and cigar-box notes. The well-constructed palate, with its rounded tannins, leads into an attractively sappy finish. A lovely wine which has reached its peak and is ready to drink.
Flowering began on 25 May and took place evenly and quickly across the three varieties; it was complete by the beginning of June, some eight days earlier than the average for the last 30 years. The spring and summer of 1999 were relatively hot, with temperatures consistently higher than the seasonal average.
Mid-veraison was noted three to six days earlier than average, on 4 August for Merlot and 7 August for Cabernet Sauvignon. Temperature records at the end of August showed an increase of more than 1° C in comparison with the aggregate average for the last 30 years. Beneficial for the fruit, these conditions also encouraged constant growth of the vines, which were trimmed eight times rather than the customary five or six.
July and August were wetter than normal: 169 mm of rain fell during the two months, compared with an average of 107 mm. The rainfall, mainly due to storms on 27 July and 2, 6 and 18 August, did not have the same effect as steady rain, since the water ran off relatively quickly. Fine weather returned on 20 August, enabling the crop to ripen in good conditions. The grapes were of good quality, with high degrees of potential alcohol and a perfect balance between sugar and acidity. Anthocyan levels were high or very high, especially in some Merlot parcels, holding out the promise of a great vintage.
Crop thinning and leaf removal were carried out in the entire vineyard. Fine, very sunny days alternated with dull weather during the harvest period, making it possible to harvest a healthy crop of well-coloured and nicely tannic grapes.
24 September to 2 October
The wine has a deep and clear, slightly brickish colour.