With 13% alcohol, the 2003 Chateau Talbot from Saint-Julien, Bordeaux, scored 17+ points on the 20-point Dionysian scale. It cost under $30 then.

Just 18 years old, but peaking to perfection, the wine, like most Saint-Julien examples, had the class of a Pauillac and the aroma of a Margaux. Still deep ruby, it was decanted thirty minutes before drinking. This Fourth Growth is always a great buy.

I wanted lamb chops, but my wife grilled a steak. It was perfect.

The aromas, coming from a really hot year, had subdued black cherry, light cigar box is developing now and a hint of leather over the black fruits. I’ll open one a month over the coming year and save one for the future. In Vino Veritas.