Chinon 1996, Clos de l'Olive, Couly-Dutheil
Remarkably youthful. On opening it tries to say too much at once, having been bottled up for over a decade. But the aromatics were staggering from the first pour. Subtle bell pepper as a base, layers of spring flowers, comfrey, camomile, and on top of the pyramid, a sweet and perfectly ripe red cherry-plum. The mouth kicked in after an hour, when the wine attained something reasonably close to perfection. Drunk with ossobuco, with olives.
Chinon 2003, Theleme, Pascal et Alain Lorieux
After two hours in a carafe, this still has a remarkable vibrancy and youthful vigour. Those who believe cabernet franc cannot produce great wine (aside from Cheval Blanc) should decant a bottle of this, and revel in the sheer intensity and richness of the fruit - dark, serious, sanguine. The tannin is solid, and the acidity is just enough to maintain an exceptional freshness. Bordeaux lovers, take note: This is really good.