A good value among over-achieving St.-Emilion estates is La Fleur Cardinale’s 2009. Composed of 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, some of the abrasive tannins noticeable early on in this big wine (14.5% alcohol) are now sweeter and better integrated. Made from tiny yields of 30 hectoliters per hectare, this is a concentrated, rich effort revealing lots of black cherry and black currant fruit as well as a fragrant, firm, full-bodied personality. It should be at its best between 2016 and 2030. (RP)
Wow. Blueberry, minerals, oyster shell and black chocolate aromas. Full body, with velvety tannins and juicy finish. Delicious and succulent. Better in 2018.
This delivers the textbook panoply of blueberry, plum and blackberry fruit of the appellation, with a lush, creamy mouthfeel and a long licorice- and sweet toast-filled finish. Along with the suave fruit, there's latent grip that should mellow nicely with midterm cellaring. Best from 2013 through 2023. (JM)
(70% merlot, 20% cabernet franc and 10% cabernet sauvignon; 15% alcohol): Bright ruby-red. Slightly high-toned aromas of kirsch, blackberry and licorice. Thick and sweet but juicy, with some superripe qualities leavened by nicely integrated acidity. Densely packed and loaded with fruit. Big, sexy and long, finishing with ripe tannins and a note of nutty oak. (ST)
Extremely dark and lustrous. Sweet nose with a hint of animal fur. Stewed black cherries this time! Very sweet start and very polished with a certain amount of alcohol in evidence. Strictly for modernists. 16.5/20 points. (JR)
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