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Chateau Kirwan 2003 and 2011

Both vintage's nose liquorice, coffee, floral, plum, damp earth and cassis scents pop from the still profoundly coloured wine. With rich, fat, round textures and a sweet, ripe, liquorice, chocolate and jammy plum-tinged finish, these 2 fleshy, opulent Margaux wines is already starting to drink well purple and weighty. While Kirwan 2003 is still muscular yet relatively tamed and cxan crack immediately, 2011 under the baton of Eric Boissenot, the Médoc's master oenologist, is very drinkable and appealing. In great contrast to 2010, 2000 and 2012 that we tried in a roll, both 2003 and 2011 with some bottle age are elegant; lilac gives a mouthful of purple flowers, mineral, red currant, and cherry notes mingle together and carry through the focused finish. Long, bodied, tensioned. both 2011 and 2003 is blended with approximately 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc and 6% Petit Verdot. Farr mentioned that the Boissenots had consulted here since 2007 (replacing Michel Rolland), and the 2011 wine is now less new-oak, less late-picked and less jammy in style and 2003 is on the traditionally woody side. Kirwan is now a wine of classic Margaux elegance. There is good purity and structure, well-rounded tannins, and attractive red fruit. Still, it will need some time to open.

Kirwan 2010 is controversial if you read most of the tastings from better-known Bordeaux wine tasters.

Robert Parket et al. and VertdeVin think this wine is not for now: always a blockbuster with the more masculine side of the appellation providing density, power, a big body, loads of fruit, extract and richness. However, RP et al. wrote that this is not the case for now. Awarding it 95 points, VertdeVIn gives a contrasting tasting, saying the nose is elegant and aromatic and offers gourmandize, a certain richness, and concentration (but full of control). Vertdevin wrote this wine should be decanted so that the red and black fruit develop from primary through secondary to tertiary stages. It will have a good length if you oxygenate it enough. We find ourselves more in agreement with VertdeVin, at least with this: decanting dramatically helps.

The other camp(GG and WE) thinks it is time to crack a bottle of Kirwan 2010. Gilbert and Gailliard thought this wine was ready. They gave 95 points and commended its alluring, refined nose of fresh red fruit with subtle oak; its fleshy, fruit-driven attack, warmer mid-palate framing evident tannins. Wine Enthusiast awarded it 94 points, commending this total fruity wine's balance structure(acidity and ripeness) and its new black-currant character. It will develop relatively quickly but could hold at its peak for many years.

Two roads(views) diverged, though are not obliged to take anyone, but then took the other, each maybe just as fair.

JMQ94 is all right. WS92 is good enough.


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