If you read Robert Parker on this estate, he really does not seem to like it very much. In 1991, his comments included, "Overpriced, Heavy reliance on filtration rob this wine of much concentration" He adds that it is "relatively light, indifferent, yet commercially correct style."
I usually find Robert Parker's comments very helpful. Usually, when he likes a wine, I like it as well, and I often dislike the ones he dislikes! Perhaps there are a lot of people who feel the same way and that is why he is so influential. In fact, I enjoy his comments more than almost anyone else except for Jancis Robinson, but I digress. The point is that I like this estate, and I have had a number of good wines from here. It is a big producer so its wines are easy to find.
La Cardonne is a cru bourgeois wine in the Medoc. It was bought by the Rothschild family in 1973. This 240-acre vineyard is planted with 58% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 7% Cabernet Franc. (Most Medoc wines are dominantly Cabernet Sauvignon.)
Of course, many people think that 2000 in Bordeaux was the best year since 1961 so I always get a little excited when I open a bottle from this vintage even after reading Parker's "put down" remarks. The Wine Spectator gave this wine 89, a score I would agree with -- if this wine were an essay, it would get a strong B, and nothing would persuade me to nudge my score up into the A range.
The color is deep and slightly purple. It tasted like very classical Bordeaux. I would like to find out the proportion of grapes used in this particular vintage -- I sort of doubt whether it has as much as 58% Merlot although you could definitely detect the Merlot with the hints of chocolate and that sense of smooth velvet that you often find with good Merlot. Good dark fruit flavors with firm well integrated tannins. I liked this wine very much! Recommended. It was $18 at the Iron Bridge wine company.