An astonishing effort from the Rothschild family, the 2009 l’Evangile may be the reference point offering from this estate for decades to come. A blend of 95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc aged in 100% new oak, with 15% natural alcohol, it exhibits a sumptuous bouquet of caramels, black raspberry liqueur, blackberries, violets, graphite and truffles. Thick, viscous flavors are reminiscent of such super-ripe vintages as 1982, 1959, 1949 and 1947. The striking aromatics, massive, full-bodied mouthfeel and multilayered palate that resembles a skyscraper in the mouth offer an abject lesson in great winemaking, extraordinary terroir, and the ability to combine power with precision, elegance and freshness. This is unquestionably a huge wine, but it also possesses mindboggling complexity and finesse. Because of its sheer extract and velvety personality, it will be drinkable in 4-5 years, and will keep for four decades or more where well-stored. The most profound L’Evangile ever made? (RP)
The purity of fruit in this is spellbinding now with blackberry and blueberry as well as violet undertones. Focused on intense yet subtle fruit. Full body, very tight yet textured and sexy. Ultra-fine tannins. The aftertaste of light chocolate and burnt orange peel is always subtle and bright. Needs at least another five or six years to open but already a joy to taste.
This takes a broader approach, with almost stolid tobacco and charcoal structure guarding the core of black currant, roasted fig and blackberry confiture flavors. Long and very fleshy, offering ample toast and searing singed iron notes, but terrific integration. Merlot in Cabernet clothing, with a long life ahead. Best from 2018 through 2035. (JM)
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