Pulled three Cabernet Sauvignon-based clarets this evening to pair with a nice French saucisson avec lentilles. All sorts of Margaux vs. St. Julien vs. Pauillac possibilities suggest themselves, though I am not certain those supposed differences are consistent or enduring enough to outweigh producer effects. Let’s see.

2000 Château Rauzan-Ségla.  Nice cedary, leafy nose.  Floral note in the mouth, nice balance, elegant, really fine tannins and drinking perfect structurally.  It’s not a showboat wine but very attractive, enjoyable.

2000 Château Léoville-PoyferréLoads of sweet cassis billowing out of the glass, and smoked meat.  Certainly this has the most fruit of the three, and it’s still pretty tannic and youthful as it approaches age 20.  I am not sure it has the same length or complexity as the other two but it’s an attention-grabber.

2000 Château Lynch-Bages.  Rich, dark nose, pencil and coffee.  Still lots of structure, solid tannins and crisp acidity.  I’d like a bit more fruit but it is very long, still going strong.

In the end I guess these did sort of match the stereotypes:  the Margaux more floral and elegant; the others a bit more tannic and chunky; the Pauillac a little longer than the St. Julien.  But three nice wines certainly, with more similarities than differences.  Buying wines like these today and cellaring them for 15-20 years in the hope of obtaining what we have here is a costly proposition though, and I am not sure that for me it’s worth the investment.  These aren’t the highest level Bordeaux wines but there’s still a whiff of ‘luxury brand’ about them, which I like less than ‘artisan agricultural product.’  Anyway, good tipple.