2003 Domaine de l’Île Margaux Cuvée Mer de Garonne, Bordeaux Supérieur
The Domaine de l’Île Margaux is a very unique wine estate located on a small island in the middle of the Garonne River, its Gironde estuary in fact to be more precise, facing the prestigious vineyards of Chateau Margaux.
The vineyards are grown organically, and the 5 classic Bordeaux grapes are represented on the estate which is nowadays very rare in Bordeaux. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and even Malbec (hardly anyone grows Malbec around Bordeaux anymore) are cropped on the island.
The Mer de Garonne cuvée (understand ‘the Garonne Sea’) is the Domaine’s top wine, assembled from the best plots, and aged in 100% new French oak barrels for 18 months.
This Bordeaux red comes in a pretty dark red color. A dense dark red to the core, and an intense red with some orange hues to the rim. It is showing a little bit of evolution in its appearance, but certainly not 14 years’ worth of it by average international wine standards. Still looking vibrant, like it could be a 4 or 5-year-old wine.
Literally at first sniff, this wine captivates your senses, well at least your sense of smell. It is soooo deep, and for those that have this kind of references, so much like a good aged Bordeaux wine, you can’t prevent yourself from thinking: “this is going to be an interesting, if not delightful, tasting!”
So, the aromatic profile appears firstly very fruity, comforting. Plenty of blackberry jam, fresh blackcurrant too. The wine has obviously withstood the years well, preserving the freshness of its primary fruit. Sour cherry liqueur is a standout feature.
A heap of dark chocolate, or cocoa notes, combine with plenty of clove to give an impression of darkness and depth from notes of torrefaction. The spiciness is amplified by green pepper notes, providing a lifted, somewhat chili-like, smell.
Add a wealth of woodfire smoke, and wood ashes, and you can tell from how long it’s taken me to describe this wine’s nose, that it does smell complex and layered.
From there, let me tell you one thing, the palate doesn’t disappoint. Why?
Most importantly, it’s utterly smooth. Dense velvety-to-silky tannins coat your palate with a pleasant smooth texture, while an oily body does the rest to round up an opulent tasting sensation. The wine feels warm, and warming. 2003 WAS a very warm vintage! So, you’re gratified with a wealth of rich dark berry fruit flavors.
The wine feels so dry, evolving on the palate every second more towards a drying, ashy finish. The overall impression is savory and somewhat austere. Although, this austerity is counter-balanced by so much richness, intensity of fruit flavors, and complexity of layered flavors, that the whole feels harmonious and incredibly deep.
Wine & Food Pairing
A wine to pair with rich yet elegant meaty dishes. Pork crackling comes to mind as the ideal partner, Tasty but not too overwhelming.
A truly stunning wine, from such a unique place on Earth, that actually delivers way further the expectations. A true sense of a place you get in this Bordeaux from l’Île Margaux. And a true sense of hedonistic pleasure you get at tasting, and sipping it.
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2003 l’Île Margaux Cuvée Mer de Garonne label Images