Bordeaux never loses its greatness and fascination-
a fact recently proved in a beautiful tasting of old wines I hosted and, furthermore, underlined in following events over the last weekend.
Here are my brief notes on the wines tasted:
2011 Chateau Le Boscq – Juicy, youthful with dark fruit of spicy cassis, cedar and earth.
Still a little green and bumpy on the finish.
2009 Chateau Gaudin – Ripe and powerful wine with tons of fruit. Typical 2009 Pauillac.
Masculin, deep, concentrated and perfectly structured. Already approachable, balanced and beautiful to drink.
1995 Chateau ´d Armailhac – Tight, focused and a little dusty. Decent (light) red fruit and first tertiary characteristics.
Pencil lead, dark chocolate and herbal spiciness. Charming, but still young.
1997 Chateau Haut-Bages Liberal – Healthy structured clean and focused wine with edgy tannins and fine acidity.
Black Berries and some Cherries, Leather and Dark Chocolate. Nice, but not amazing.
1989 Chateau Certan Giraud – A little closed, but intriguingly complex and fresh. Silky texture of great depth and precision. Black, ripe fruits, green tea, tons of (fresh) herbs. A gentle wine of impact, presence and great finesse. Fantastic!
1988 Chateau Clos Fourtet – This one´s also just starting to open up. More tight than juicy. Cool, fresh and red fruit.
Fresh herbs, peppery spiciness. Another highlight!
1986 Haut-Bages Liberal – Unfortunately this wine was corked.
1979 Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou – Sadly this was corked as well
1976 Chateau Haut Batailley – Obviously over its peak, but still beautiful. Light-weight, elegant and almost Burgundian.
In a quiet way, fine and multi-faceted. Red berries, even gooseberry, road tar, anise and spiciness.
1976 Vieux Chateau Certan – In the beginning a little boisterous, then more and more precise and even polished. Harmonious, bone-dry and focused. Still a lot of fruit and freshness (!). Especially in contrast to the 1976 Haut Batailley, a brightly shining star and example for the success of the left bank in 1976 vintage. Black, ripe fruit, power and spiciness. Excellent!
1970 Chateau Montrose – Ripe, powerful and- for a Montrose- surprisingly open, soft and smooth at this “early” stage.
Deep, dark core of ripe, black and candied fruit, pepper, coffee and cigar box. Very good length, complexity and surprise!
1970 Chateau Beychevelle – Still strong, finely-spun and filigree wine. Black currant and more dark fruit, green pepper, delicate spiciness, distinct coal and earth. A wine that whispers in all languages. Truly remarkable, fascinating and simply amazing. Wine of the evening!
1982 Chateau Phelan Segur – Full-bodied, present and now peaking wine. Typical 1982 that still shows a lot of fruit and sweetness. Ripe and bold fruit, pencil shavings, forest floor, tobacco, some leather and a mix of herbs.
Attractive, generous and long, but maybe lacking excitement and fascination.
Well, don´t get me wrong, this is a beautiful wine J
1982 Chateau Haut-Bages Liberal – Another legendary 1982, but this one is more focused, deep and complex.
Black and dark core of fruit, pencil lead, earth and dried herbs. Perfectly structured with dancing acidity and fine tannins, thereby, with some future ahead. Distinct Pauillac and one of the best Haut-Bages Liberal I ever had.
1995 Chateau Haut Bailly (from Magnum) – Harmonious, very approachable and fruit-driven crowd pleaser.
Red fruit, fresh herbs and some coconut in a silky, juicy textured package with distinct, fine minerality. Beautiful now!
1989 Chateau Giscours (from Magnum) – Youthful, dense and distinct Giscours!
Animalistic and balsamic aromatics with cassis, tobacco and earth joining in. Fresh and deep on the palate.
Great complexity, finesse and excitement. Fantastic wine of detail, amazing density, length and a fascinating development over the time of drinking!
1979 Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou (from Magnum)- And another star: Ripe, red and black fruit, fresh mint and herbs of all kind. Intriguing! Very alive on the palate, with present acidity and fine tannins. Red fruit, some green bitterness, leather, chocolate. A vibrant wine of freshness and substance.
1977 Chateau Lafite – Dark ruby with delicate light-red fruits, chocolate and an intriguing mix of herbs and spices.
Laurel, nutmeg, vegetables and parsley. Some dark spiciness comes with freshness of eucalypt and cedar.
Super-fine, elegant and delicate aromatics. Truly fascinating!
Medium-bodied, healthy structured and of substance. Long finish with harmony and a great play of spiciness, sweet and tart. Gentle, complex, and quiet wine of balance, fascination and harmony!
1977 Chateau La Mission Haut Brion – Dark-red, purple. Candied fruit, leather and dark chocolate in a generally darker and more robust wine (compared to the Lafite). “Raisiny” traces of oxidation, but still nice.
Fully integrated tannins, vital acidity and decent depth. Distinct traces of iron, earth and herbs on the palate.
Good finish with capacity, spiciness and dark earth.