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Chateau Crabitey 2000, Graves Red

Ripe, dark fruit with fine balsamic tones. A soft, generous palate supported by velvety tannins and nice acidities. A tasty, medium bodied claret with mineral finish. Extraction is good, on the verge of too much, this excellent vintage 2000 gives a lot of ripe dark fruit to integrate the structure(tannins, acidities, minerality, alcohol, sweetness, wood) over the past 15 years, resulting in an excellent quaffing with nice complexities.

Wine composition is 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 60% Merlot, hence giving quite some structure and ripe fruit. Vines are 25 years old on average. It is aged in 33% new oak for one year and aged in new oak for 9 months. Alcohol is 13.5%. The intensity and ripeness are also attributable to the dry Graves soil of 50 cm to 1 meter, underneath we have serious clay (orange) at 30 meters down. Harvest is mechanical and hence provides sufficient tannins for further development. This 2000, according to our earlier tasting record was very rustic. Now, this is an excellent quaffing with some nice complexities.

Comments about this wine are not easier to find. Porfessional write-ups appear almost only in French connoisseur type of magazines, such as Bettane & Desseauve, Gault Millau, Best wines of France (RVF) and Hatchet.

We believe in this wine because we think we understand wines from Chateau Crabitey inside out through our years of tasting on this wine and learning from brokers. Its latest 2015 EP tasted in April this year may have been a touch too heavy on the extraction, giving a drying finish that will not be easy to correct in ageing. But the dark cherry fruit is clean and bright. With perfect balance, the 2012 gives very sincere bouquet and palate is smart, very elegant and refined. The black fruited 2010 evolve slowly, while maintaining superb extract balance with elegance. Patience will be rewarded. With melted and less marked wood tones, the 2011 already flourishes with more complexity and finesse. A little air before serving for 2011 is recommended. Vintage 2009 is still potent, strong, well structured, with lots of ripe black cherries and blackcurrants and long finish. Like the 2000 in En Primeur, vintages2005 and 2006 were rather tough and rustic, needing time to get round and friendly, 2007 was very good for the vintage with nice intensity, fat tannin and persistent finish, while 2001 was very drinkable with nice structure and length.

So we think all vintages are good and age-worthy. Graves is not a prestigeous place for Chinese buyers. OK, not bad. That's why we still can have this excellent vintage 2000 at this so affordable price.

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