Bordeaux 1928 - 14 wines tasted in November 2002
1. BEYCHEVELLE - very dark colour. Dense and intense on the nose, potent and powerful on the palate with ripe fruit and cocoa plus chocolate. Fabulous wine. 97p.
2. PICHON COMTESSE - lots of cherries, superb elegance, medium-bodied, finesse, a taste of raspberry drops. Formidable wine. 93p.
3. COS D'ESTOURNEL - very ripe fruit with aromas of chocolate and cocoa. A bit tart on the palate, but the balance didn't suffer much. Quite elegant. A wine with confidence. 92p.
4. MONTROSE - very dark and dense. Chocolate, splendidly built together, luscious with exquisite balance and long aftertaste. A great bottle. 94p.
5. HAUT BRION - black ink, coffee, tart and sourish. Seemed a bit out of balance. It has started to decline. 88p.
6. HAUT BAILLY - fruit sweetness, medium body, advanced age. Had its peak several years ago. 88p.
7. MARGAUX - balanced wine with finesse, quite attractive on the nose but not so kind on the palate. 90p.
8. LAFITE - old, sherry-like, passed away. 0p.
9. LATOUR - dead and buried. 0p.
10. MOUTON ROTHSCHILD - same style as Margaux. 90p.
11. DURFORT VIVENS - from magnum, Danish bottled (Aalholm). Unfortunately bad bottle - old, uninspiring and taste of extracted coffee. 0p.
12. PONTET CANET - from magnum, Danish bottled. Coal-black in colour(!), a lot of acidity here, ripe fruit but not quite balanced. Has this wine gotten "help" from Rhone regarding colour and concentration? 90p?
Tasting of wines from Domaine Fabre in Copenhagen on the 26th of January 2012
I participated in a tasting of wines from Domaines Fabre, organized by a Danish wine merchant based in Copenhagen, Philipson Wine. Vincent Fabre presented wines from his four chateaux (he owns 6 in all) during both press tasting and wine dinner.
I tasted the following wines:
2010 Fonseche AOC Haut Medoc
2010 Le Chéne AOC Haut Medoc
2010, 2009 and 2005 La Tonnelle Cru Bourgeois
2010, 2009, 2000 and 1990 Lamothe Cissac Cru Bourgeois
2010, 2009, 2006, 2005 and 2000 Lamothe Cissac Lamothe Cissac Cru Bourgeois Vieilles Vignes
Now to tasting notes:
2010 Fonseche AOC Haut Medoc - fruity and aromatic, soft raspberries, fresh and lovely acidity, round, smooth and very pleasant easy drinking. Nice one. Half Merlot, half C.S. 87p.
2010 Le Chéne AOC Haut Medoc - more intensity on the nose, more structure and more prolonged aftertaste than in Fonseche. Vines are twice as older, 55% C.S, 40% M and 5% P.Verdot. Delicious blueberries. Very good indeed. 88p.
2010, 2009 and 2005 La Tonnelle Cru Bourgeois - 2010 is a step up in everything compared to 2010 Fonseche, a lot of blueberries, fresh acidity, and I like the tannins ripe, fatty and soft. 89p.
The 2009 version had, in my opinion, riper tannins than 2010 and was otherwise similar to 2010 in style. 89p.
2005 reminded a lot of 2009 with its fine fruit sweetness, fine balance and soft aftertaste, but it was less concentrated. 89p. Cépage here is 60% C.S, 35% M and 5% PV.
2010, 2009, 2000 and 1990 Lamothe Cissac Cru Bourgeois - 2010 showed deep and intense aromas of grated chocolate, blackberries, complexity, captivating sweetness of berry fruit, discrete ripe tannins, splendid balance and long smooth finish. Impressive stuff! 91p.
2009 version wasn't as intense and concentrated as 2010, but you really couldn't complain about this wine's build-up and captivating touch. 90p.
2000 had a lot of captivating black fruit, and was pleasant and charming with fine balance, but imho it suffered a bit of obvious big yield as I found this wine somewhat diluted. 89p. Magnum of this wine tasted better during dinner, strong, concentrated and with a long finish. 90p.
1990 tasted from magnum showed some age with plummy flavours, ripe fruit and ripe tannins. Has survived the time machine with braver. 88p.
30 years old vines here and cépage; 58% C.S, 35 M, 2% C.F and 5% P.V.
2010, 2009, 2006, 2005 and 2000 Lamothe Cissac Lamothe Cissac Cru Bourgeois Vieilles Vignes - 2010 was a stellar wine, far more creamy than normal cuvée, long, deep and with a great long finish. Tannins here were a revelation - stunning ripeness and fatness. Great balance here. Utterly impressive wine! 93p.
2009 tasted slightly lighter and less intense than in 2010, but no complaints here. Splendid effort. 91p.
2006 was potent and strong, lot of blackberries, powerful fruit and powerful tannins, the latter ripe á point, excellent balance and a long finish. Splendid effort. 92p.
2005 tasted better for me than 2009, with more concentration and more ripeness of fruit and tannins. Softer than 2006 but equally impressive. 92p.
2000 reminded me a lot of 2005. Impressive stuff again! 92p.
VV version is only made in excellent vintages and comes from the parcel of 60 years old vines on average, blend - 75% C.S, 15% M and 10% PV.
It is an exciting tasting and great cadeau to Vincent Fabre for keeping these tannins so ripe, round and fresh, assuring splendid balance, keeping fine style, and thoughtfully making wines. His wines are great qpr for money.
For one, I didn't need to worry about unripe, harsh and acidy tannins attacking my teeth.
Btw, Lamothe Cissac is situated only 4 km away from Lafite, close to the village of Cissac.
La Cabanne in Copenhagen - 8th March 2012
I participated in an exciting tasting (vertical of La Cabanne) of Pomerol wines organised by a big Danish wine merchant based in Copenhagen, Philipson Wine. Here, we are talking about traditionally made wine stuff for long keeping as it evolves slowly, without modern style gimmicks.
Francois Estager presented wines in a very informative and easy understanding way, and the wines were pretty splendid. Affordable and great qpr.
I met Francois' father, Jean-Pierre Estager, in 1988, and he helped me arrange a visit to Certan de May, which could only be visited if you had the right connections. Estager family settled in Pomerol in 1952.
La Cabanne is situated a few hundred meters from Clinet and Bourgneuf, where the subsoil is rich in iron dirt or hard clay-like greasy stones with clear brown lines of iron oxide.
2007 Domaine de Compostelle – second wine of La Cabanne. Light, round and charming with nice fruit, pleasant and already drinkable. 85p.
2009 Domaine de Compostelle – fresh, full of aromas of blackberries, lovely and uncomplicated. Delicious to drink already now. 87p
2006 Haut Maillet – this property consists of several parcels spread around the whole appellation. It reveals a truffle aroma on the nose and ripe cherries, fresh acidity, splendid balance, length and fine firm aftertaste. Splendid wine. 90p.
2006 La Cabanne – more depth, intensity and better structure here than In 2006 Haut Maillet. Splendid wine as well. 91p.
2005 La Cabanne – very intense, fat ripe fruit, beautifully balanced, dense and finely grained tannins, long caressing aftertaste. Excellent wine with a great future. 92p.
2001 La Cabanne – not that different from the 2006 version, with slightly more depth, concentration and stronger structure. Longer at aftertaste as well. This wine had a very significant flavour of truffles and was the most concentrated one of all wines tasted. 91+p.
1998 La Cabanne (magnum) – the most backward wine of the evening, resembling 2001 a lot. We have to wait. 91p.
1989 La Cabanne (magnum) – still young and powerful wine with perfectly ripe fruit with catching sweetness, outstanding balance and long aftertaste. Long-life waits ahead. Impressive. 93+p.
1975 La Cabanne (magnum) – supple and potent simultaneously, strong, black fruit, powerful tannin and equally powerful fruit. Metallic (truffle) scent coming from "crasse de fer" (iron dirt), which La Cabanne has a lot of in its subsoil. Long finish. Splendid stuff for long ageing and well-worthy 92p.
1971 La Cabanne (magnum) – a bit tired, light, round and charming. It should be consumed soon. Was at its peak some years ago. 88p.
1964 La Cabanne – this wine was recorked in 2008. The last time I tasted it was in 1988 with Jean-Pierre Estager, and we also tasted 1961 La Cabanne on the same occasion. Both were stunningly expressive Pomerols at 24 years of age. 24 years later, in 2012, this 1964 hasn't lost anything of its vitality and energy. Truffles anywhere. Tannins were still fresh with the subtle fundament of acidity, formidable balance, depth and length. I will be alive and kicking for 5-10 more years or maybe longer. A great example of the unbelievable long life span Bordeaux wines are capable of. Philipson Wine called this wine a meditation one – yes, it truly was. 96p.
Leoville Poyferre in Copenhagen - 3rd and 5th September 2012
2011 Leoville Poyferre (tasted on the 5th September 2012 at Beyerman event).
Very complex and long on the nose and palate. Aromatic black fruit, well-balanced, excellent structure and long firm aftertaste. Excellent for the vintage. 94p.
2007 Leoville Poyferre (tasted on the 5th September 2012 at Beyerman event).
It is a very nice, attractive and charming wine with good stuffing, light-footed fruit and tannin, and a soft finish. Very enjoyable to drink right now. 88p.
2005 Leoville Poyferre (tasted during dinner on the 3rd September 2012).
This wine has an excellent nose of black cherries/blueberries, intense and fragrant. Long on the palate with a strong structure. Silky fruit and tannin. Long fruity finish. Fabulous wine but, in my opinion, not as concentrated as 2000 LP. Fabulous stuff anyway. 95+p.
2003 Leoville Poyferre (tasted during dinner on the 3rd September 2012).
Powerful and tightly structured wine. You can feel the heat of the vintage with warm plums on the nose, but they're neither stewed nor cooked. You can also feel the vintage's heat on the palate, meaning tannin is relatively dry on the finish and not as fresh as in 2000 and 2005. A bit of controversial wine, but the quality is fine. 92p.
2000 Leoville Poyferre (tasted during dinner on the 3rd of September 2012).
A powerful wine which possesses excellent structure and stunning balance. Tightly built with great intensity, perfect balance and a powerful finish. There's a lot of potential in this wine, which means a great future. 97+p. This was the first vintage where LP's present oenologist, Isabelle Davin, participated in.
1999 Leoville Poyferre (tasted during dinner on the 3rd September 2012).
Taking the problems of this vintage into account, LP has made nice wine. However, the fruit isn't as ripe as in 1996, and other ingredients are on the light side. Ready to drink. 88p.
1996 Leoville Poyferre (tasted during dinner on the 3rd September 2012).
It's an elegant and well-shaped wine with soft and round tannin. Aromatic and tasty ripe fruit. Very nice fruity finish. Very approachable at the moment, which indicates that this wine is at its peak. 92p.
1989 Leoville Poyferre (tasted during dinner on the 3rd September 2012).
From magnum. Intense truffles on the nose with soft fruit and tannin, round and very well put together, with a lot of finesse and splendid balance. Delicious and excellent wine. 93p.
Before the LP tasting on Monday, the 3rd of September, there were served 2007 Moulin Riche and 2003 Le Crock, both Cru Bourgeois owned by the Cuvelier family. Moulin Riche was a lovely and catchy wine, light, round and very drinkable, while 2003 Le Crock (St. Estephe) was quite fresh and vibrant for the vintage with no sign of warm/hot undertones in fruit and tannin. Very good indeed.
Anne Cuvelier explained that soil in St.Estephe has a large percentage of clay, which kept water reserves from spring throughout summer.
2011 revisited - 5th September 2012
Last Wednesday, 27 chateaux from Bordeaux visited Copenhagen to present their 2011 vintage from the barrel and one older vintage. They have made this trip since 2002 with Bordeaux-based negociant, Beyerman. Compared to last year, neither Montrose, Pontet Canet, nor Troplong Mondot found their way to Copenhagen. Beyerman explained their absence with the wish of going on their meaning going alone and presenting their wines at the Winemaker's dinner.
I managed to taste 60 wines in 2.5 hours. My general impression was that 2011 is a good to excellent vintage, better for sure than 2008, developing well and not showing austerity and edgy corners. Several wines benefitted from further staying in oak. All in all, it's a beneficial vintage and will be a great value for money when it hits the shelves at the end of 2013 with prices not higher than primeur ones.
Here are my TNs:
D'Aiguilhe 2011 – powerful, tasty black cherries, fine fruit and structure, meaty and fine length. Fine effort. 90p.
D'Aiguilhe 2007 – earthy flavours, compact, robust, well-balanced with fine intensity and length. 88p.
D'Armailhac 2011 – better ripeness here than in 2008, tannins are softer, fine finish. 91p.
D'Armailhac 2008 – powerful, strong and concentrated, spicy flavours, certain dryness on the finish. It needs time to soften. 89p.
Beauregard 2011 - was very intense on the nose, tight, aromatic, with dark berries, a nice velvety finish and oak very well integrated with the fruit. 90p.
Beauregard 2009 – strong with sweet cherries, lots of stuffing, splendid structure and meaty finish. Fine effort. 91p.
Beychevelle 2011 - as impressive as during primeur week or maybe even better. Pretty aromatic and subtle wine, full-bodied. Splendid aftertaste with a lot of flavours. Graceful and stylish. Stupendous wine. 93+p.
Beychevelle 2005 - shows a fabulous thick aroma of dark berries, awesome, great length, balance and concentration, formidable depth and aftertaste, and it's a full load of finesse, elegance and graciousity. Seamless wine. 95+p.
Branaire 2011 – improved since tasting it five months ago. More concentrated with silky fruit and tannin, fine balance and smooth finish. 90p.
Branaire 2008– lack a bit of ripeness compared to 2011. Otherwise, it is a well-made wine with excellent structure and length. 89p.
Camensac 2011 - aromatic ripe dark berries on the nose, seductive and charming, silky tannin, well-balanced. Fine aftertaste. 90p.
Camensac 2005 – of course, more intensity, concentration and better structure here than in 2011. An excellent effort for the vintage from this property. 91p.
Canon-La-Gaffeliere 2011 - offered a fine nose of cherries, fat ripe tannin, splendid depth and persistent aftertaste. Impressive effort. 93p.
Canon-La-Gaffeliere 2007– nicely made, good tannin, nice structure, attractive and round. Firm aftertaste. 88p.
Chasse-Spleen 2011 - offered an excellent nose of black fruit with depth and intensity. Silky tannin, finesse, intense on palate and persistent fruity aftertaste. Splendid effort. 92p.
Chasse-Spleen 2007 – aromatic, round and charming, very drinkable wine right now. 87p.
La Clemence 2011 - strong, tannic wine with a robust structure, fine depth and firm finish. On the verge of over-extraction. 89p.
La Clemence 2002 – soft and light wine, which is beginning to falter. 86p.
Clerc Milon 2011 - showed big concentration and strong structure, tight and intense on the palate, splendid balance and long finish. Superb wine. 92p.
Clerc Milon 2008 – not that different from 2011, but less concentrated and ripeness of both fruit and tannin is less apparent. 90p.
Clos L'Oratoire 2011 - offered a fine nose of cherries, seductive style, splendid balance, elegance and smooth caressing aftertaste. 91-92p.
Clos L'Oratoire 2007 – charming and round with soft tannin. Ready to drink. 87p.
Coutet 2011 - impressed a lot with great depth, a lot of sweetness and corresponding acidity, stunning balance and a long, long lingering aftertaste. Simply a great effort. 94+p.
Coutet 1997 – Great stuff. Still fresh with intense botrytized aromas of crème brulée and heather honey, fine acidity and a strong honeyed finish. 15 years old wine at its peak. 93p.
Destieux 2011 - strong and sappy wine, ripe and tasty blackberries, fine balance and long finish. Well-made wine. 91p.
Destieux 2008 – aromatic and powerful wine, strong structure, meaty, persistent finish. 90p.
Domaine de Chevalier red 2011 – tasted better than during primeur. It is very aromatic, with great minerality, splendid depth and length, strong structure, meaty texture, and smooth aftertaste. 93p.
Domaine de Chevalier red 2005 – this wine was imposing. Excellent nose of intense black cherries, palate coated with layers of perfectly ripe black fruit, great freshness, excellent balance and a great finish. Fabulous stuff indeed! 95p.
Domaine de Chevalier white 2011 - performed strong and powerful, lots of acacia flower, apple and citron grass. Great structure, depth and length on the palate, rich, great balance and strong finish. As always, utterly impressive stuff from this property! 96+p.
Ferriere 2011 - was a tight and intense wine with a dense structure, a fine concentration of dark fruit, fat tannin, harmonious and firm finish. 92p.
Ferriere 2004 – a fine intensity of aromatic cherries, fine depth and balance, long finish. Well-made wine. 91p.
Gazin 2011 - pretty elegant and soft, fine cherry aroma, fine balance and fruity finish.91p.
Gazin 2006 –very nice wine, charming nose, nice structure, good tannin. It seems to mature rather quickly. 88p.
Giscours 2011 – this barrel sample showed even better than in April this year. Powerful and intense with many black cherries and cocoa, strong fat tannin, very well constructed, complex and with a long finish. Stunning wine. 94p.
Giscours 2004 – strong and very perfumed wine, excellent structure, length and finish. All the best from Margaux commune is here, making you very happy. Very seductive wine! 92p.
Haut Bages Liberal 2011 - had oaky undertones, quite intense fruit, nice backbone and structure, and persistent finish. 89p.
Haut Bages Liberal 2008 – very similar to 2011. 89p.
Haut Bailly 2011 - was a rich and powerful wine with a strong aroma of black cherries, great complexity, depth and length. Excellent future expected. 93+p.
Haut Bailly 2007 – charming, round, very nice concentration and balance. Already drinkable. 87p.
Lagrange 2011 – was intense on the nose with blackberries, with a good grip on the palate with tasty fruit and firm aftertaste. Well-made wine. 90p.
Lagrange 2009 – riper fruit, more stuffing and longer than 2011, silky tannin, lovely wine. 91p.
Larrivet Haut Brion red 2011 - had a deliciously intense fruity nose with cherries, solid backbone, splendid depth and length. Persistent and firm finish. 92p.
Larrivet Haut Brion red 2009 – stronger, more intense and sweeter fruit than in 2011. 92+p.
Larrrivet Haut Brion white 2011 - was elegant and refined on the nose and palate with many finesse. Splendid acidity, great aromas of pineapple, apple and acacia flower, stylish and classy. 93p.
Lascombes 2011 - showed great style and finesse. Very aromatic with blackberries, excellent balance and complexity. Long caressing finish. True Margaux style. 93p.
Lascombes 2009 – more power here than in 2011, more sweet fruit and tannin, complex with a long and sweet finish. 93+p.
Latour Martillac red 2011 - offered a splendid nose of ripe cherries, splendid depth and intensity. Silky on the palate with remarkable structure, fine length and smooth aftertaste. Fine effort indeed. 92p.
Latour Martillac red 2005 – excellent wine, perfectly ripe black fruit (cherries and blueberries), rich in flavours and nuances, long and smooth finish. Great effort. 93p.
Latour Martillac white 2011 - was oaky with a lot of acidity. Great intensity of apple and citron grass, freshness, great length on the palate and long finish. Terrific wine. 93-94p.
Leoville Poyferre 2011 - very complex and long on the nose and palate. Aromatic black fruit, well-balanced, excellent structure and long firm aftertaste. Excellent for the vintage. 94p.
Leoville Poyferre 2007 is a very nice, attractive and charming wine with good stuffing, light-footed fruit and tannin and a soft finish. Very enjoyable to drink right now. 88p.
Phelan Segur 2011 showed much freshness with aromatic and spicy fruit, splendid structure, silky tannin and long finish. 91p.
Phelan Segur 2008 – a good intensity of blackcurrants, good grip, nice length and firm aftertaste. 88p.
Smith Haut Lafitte red 2011 – strong, meaty, very intense aroma of black cherries, complex, fine concentration and grip. Firm finish. Splendid. 93p.
Smith Haut Lafitte red 2007 – fruity, soft, round and charming. Ready to drink. 87p.
Smith Haut Lafitte white 2010 – aromatic with excellent acidity, apple, lemongrass and acacia flower. Remarkable balance, strong structure and long finish. 95p.
Talbot 2011 - offered aromatic fruit (black cherries) on the nose and was quite intense and powerful on the palate, with fine structure, balance and finish. 92+p.
Du Tertre 2011 - improved significantly since primeur tasting in April. Strong and powerful, rich, elegant and long on the palate, with excellent structure. Imposing effort. 93p.
Du Tertre 2006 – not unlike 2011, slightly less powerful, but complex and with a long finish. Fine effort. 92p.
Chateau Lafleur vertical in Copenhagen - Friday the 14th of September 2012
1. Domaine Leflaive Chevalier Montrachet 2005 – fine fruit and acidity, melted butter, fine structure, and finish. 91p.
2. Tattinger Comtes de Champagne 2002 – Elegant, sophisticated, much finesse, long finish. 92p.
3. Diebolt-Vallois La Fleur du Passion 2004 – more stuffing here than in Tattinger, strong, meaty, powerful, excellent bubbles, finished persistently and firm. 93p.
We knew which wines were served (not the order) in each flight except ringer(s).
First flight – Lafleur 2003, 2006 and 2008 in random order:
These wines were the only ones not to be decanted, so they were changing all the time. But I kept all three glasses and retasted wines from time to time.
1. Strong and powerful with black cherries, deep and sophisticated to start with. Gradually it got a slightly warm flavour on the fruit, and tannin started to show more and more dryness. It was Lafleur 2003. 93p.
2. Even stronger, full of massive fruit and tannin, backward, and a substantial finish. My guess was Lafleur 2008, but it was Lafleur 2006. I remember it being much more approachable from the barrel. 93p.
3. Like the previous wine, but fruit and tannin seemed to be significantly riper and fatter. And balance also seemed to be better here. I guessed here Lafleur 2006, but it was Lafleur 2008. Excellent wine. 94p.
Second flight – Two ringers and Lafleur 1998:
1. First ringer corked. I didn't even taste it. It turned out to be Lafleur 1993.
2. Very candy on the nose with raspberry drops, tight and quite powerful on the palate, with tannin having certain dryness. It turned out to be a ringer = Le Pin 1993. 90p.
3. Strong and potent wine with great depth and iron-strong structure, riper fruit and riper tannin than in Lafleur 2008. Very impressive 1998 Lafleur indeed. 95p.
Third flight – Lafleur 2005 and Lafleur 2009 in random order:
1. Very dark. An incredibly potent, intense and sensual nose of wild cherries, almost essence stuff on nose and palate, velvety all over, mighty, iron fist structure and fantastic balance. It feels like this wine is just pure silk from start to end. Mind-boggling wine, and no doubt it was 2005. 100p.
2. A different style than in previous wine, a slight touch of alcohol on the fruit, and the tannin isn't as silky and fat as in 2005. But there was absolutely nothing to complain about as this wine had fabulous structure, depth, sweetness, balance and finish. 2009 worth 97+p.
Michael Stounberg, one member of the tasting gang that evening, had gone wild and bought a bottle of DRC's La Tache 2009 from the restaurant wine list. He thought we needed to stimulate our taste buds one step up for coming vintages of Lafleur. Thanks a lot, Michael. Far too young to taste, hiding an enormous potential behind velour walls of fruit and tannin. 97p.
Fourth flight – One ringer and Lafleur 2000 and Lafleur 2001 in random order:
1. Thick raspberries with blackberries on the nose and palate, robust structure, incredible richness and length. It didn't seem to me to be Lafleur, so I came up with guesses of Petrus together with Michael, and I did suggest the 2001 vintage of Lafleur's neighbour. And my guess was correct – the ringer was Petrus 2001. 98p.
2. This wine we all agreed on was Lafleur 2001, a wine I always have adored, mainly because of its incredibly captivating nose of truffles, black fruit, richness, sophisticated touch and fabulous structure. 95p.
3. Tons of truffles, thick, fat tannin, unbelievable complexity and richness, wild cherries, blueberries and blackberries in huge quantities. Older sister/brother of 2005, but as breathtaking. It was the seventh time I tasted it, and 2000 has always been "thunderstruck". 100p.
Fifth flight – Lafleur 1985 and Lafleur 1988 in random order:
1. Quite dark, matured flavours of cherries and truffles, broad and intense on palate, delicious velvety tannin, exquisite balance, long and sophisticated, persistent and smooth aftertaste. At its very peak right now. Excellent stuff. 94p.
2. Darker in colour, tighter with more power and concentration than 1985, iron strong structure, dark cherries and raspberries everywhere, excellent balance and long firm finish. Not ready yet. Excellent stuff as well. 95p.
Here, Michael and I quickly agreed that wine nr. 1 was 1985 and wine nr. 2 was 1988. 1985 was the first vintage made by present owners Sylvie and Jacques Guinaudeau.
Sixth flight – Lafleur 1989 and Lafleur 1982 in random order:
1. Excellent wine, but it understandably paled a bit while compared to the second wine on this flight. Very intense and robust. Superb ripe fruit, dark cherries and kirsch liqueur and great depth on the palate. Excellent structure and length. It was 1989. 96p.
2. Oh my God, what a wine. No doubt that it was 1982 vintage! Heavenly stuff. Extremely dark and dense. Wild and incredibly intense nose with "tons" of mocha, bitter chocolate, potent on the palate with kirsch liqueur, extremely concentrated with extraordinary length. Perfect balance. So a thick texture in this wine that you could cut in slices. Christian Moueix and Jean-Claude Berrouet from close neighbour Petrus made this wine, and it shows, for 100% typical Lafleur this wine isn't. But who cares, as this wine was, has been and will be a legend for many years to come. 100p.
Then some stickies to accompany cheese/sorbets:
1. Yquem 1979 – fine candied fruit of orange peel and dried apricots, on the light side, elegant and with a medium finish. 90p.
2. Yquem 1918 – very dark brown, full of toffee, crème brulée, fine acidity, excellent structure, long and honeyed finish. Excellent and well-preserved wine, impressive experience. Negociant bottling. 93p.
Intermezzo 2 - a showstopper
Another Burgundy wine was served at our table. Who among the gang sponsored this bottle, I don't know. And I didn't ask either. It was served blind, and it was straightforward to detect as unmistakably Burgundy wine. Because of this wine's taste, style and richness, and guesses from others about this wine being from Cotes de Nuits, I guessed Chambertin from A. Rousseau, and I thought correctly. It turned out to be a 2002 vintage. Very stylish and sophisticated. Incredibly aromatic and stunningly balanced. Long, long caressing finish. 96p.
Chateau Pontet Canet vertical in Copenhagen - Tuesday the 30th October 2012
Pontet Canet is 81 ha, situated in Pauillac's northern part, close to Mouton Rothschild (eastern neighbour) and owned by Alfred Tesseron since 2000.
Before his arrival, this property suffered a lot because of a lack of money, which prevented important improvements in the vineyard and cellar. He works closely with long-time cellar master Jean-Michel Comme, who is both in charge of vineyard and vinification. Michel Rolland is a consultant here, and Alfred Tesseron greatly appreciates his deep knowledge of the vineyard.
Vines planted are Cabernet Sauvignon 62%, Cabernet Franc 4%, Merlot 32%, and Petit Verdot 2%, they're 40 years old on average. Pontet Canet ages in 60% new oak.
Since 2004 vintage Pontet Canet has been organic and biodynamic. Today there are five horses to plough vineyard, and there is a special device, so the worker can sit on a kind of chair while steering the horse.
Alfred Tesseron revealed that the 2010 vintage at Pontet Canet looks to be better than 2009 in terms of structure, richness and quality of tannin, which is fatter and even riper than in 2009.
Exciting tasting with very passionate Alfred Tesseron, who is very much in love with his wines.
I tasted wines in the following order:
Pontet Canet 2006 – very intense and fresh nose of aromatic blackcurrants and blackberries, tannin is very finely grained, impressive balance, splendid concentration, complexity and length. Very stylish wine for long keeping. 93p.
Pontet Canet 2007 – light version of 2006, very fruity, charming and round, well-balanced, smooth, and graceful. Great success for the vintage. 91p.
Pontet Canet 2008 – more intense and powerful than 2006, better complexity, deeper and longer, strong structure, sophisticated, and stunning length. Excellent stuff. Again a great, stylish and classy Pauillac/Bordeaux wine. 95p.
Pontet Canet 2009 – Very ripe fruit on the nose and palate, very long on the palate, velvety with silky fruit and silky tannin. An impressive sweetness of the fruit. Rich and sophisticated. Excellent balance. Surprisingly drinkable now, and imho there's little competition between fruit and tannin. It's like more finesse and elegance than power and strength, I did expect more concentration here, but maybe this wine just represents the vintage style. Awesome effort but not 100p wine for me. 97p.
Pontet Canet 2001 – classic Bordeaux style with tannin very present, dusty blackberry fruit, splendid balance and length, good concentration and meaty finish. Fine effort. 92p.
Pontet Canet 2003 – Alfred Tesseron called this wine a "Mediterranean" style. I don't quite agree, as it didn't show any "warm" flavours on the fruit, and the tannin wasn't dry. All In all, it showed more concentration, more depth and better complexity than in 2001. Long finish. Superb wine. 93p.
Pontet Canet 2004 – impressive, very aromatic and sappy wine, lot of ripe blackcurrants and blackberries here, splendid structure and length on the palate. Velvety. Great balance and rich in nuances. Excellent stuff. 94p.
The tasting finished with delightful 59 years old Cognac from the Tesseron family.
Great evening in Copenhagen Thursday the 30th May 2013 with 16 2010s and three 1990s wines from Bordeaux.
Last Thursday, I was one of 16 tasters to participate in the tasting of 15 2010s and drinking 1 2010 white and three 1990s for the following dinner at the restaurant "Le Sommelier" in the centre of Copenhagen.
I've to say that it was an exceptional showing of 2010s boarding for some wines to perfect/fantastic. Almost all of these wines have even improved since I tasted them from the barrel. I've also tasted around 20 2010s at several properties. I'll make a statement that this is a fantastic vintage, which imho surpasses 2009 in terms of ripeness of fruit and tannin, complexity and richness.
Especially, the tannin of 2010 is fatter and riper than in 2009. In many wines, you can't even taste tannin as it's packed in velvet. There's evident alcohol in a few wines, both in the nose and palate, but most 2010s aren't showing it. The balance of 2010 is extraordinary and will allow keeping the best wines for at least half a century. I'm not convinced that the 2009 vintage can keep as long.
1st flight - Saint-Emilion and Pomerol:
1. Trottevieille– dark colour, the great aroma of black cherries/raspberries/blueberries and chocolate, deep and intense on the nose, the big concentration of sweet fruit and fat tannin, perfect ripeness and long aftertaste, classy and complex wine with great balance. An excellent example of keeping traditional winemaking intact and not overdoing it with some modern gimmicks. Great success for the property! 95p.
2. Troplong Mondot – very intense nose of black cherries/kirsch, you can feel the alcohol on the nose and palate, a hefty dose of new oak balanced by perfectly ripe fruit, obvious modern style with a maximum of everything. A bit overdone. Long-time runner – I believe it'll start to soften in ten years. 96p.
3. L'Evangile – an excellent intensity of black cherries, grated chocolate, cocoa powder, truffles (iron oxide), very dense and precise, tight and fat on the palate, perfect ripeness of fruit and tannin, long, long finish that lasts for 1 minute. Exceptional stuff. 98p.
4. VCC - simply fantastic with a sublime nose of chocolate mixed with beautiful black cherries, violets, silky palate filled with black cherries, astonishing richness, balance and structure. I believe this wine easily edges the 2009 vintage. 99-100p.
2nd flight – Margaux and Péssac Leognan:
1. Giscours – fabulously aromatic nose full of blackberries intermixed with chocolate and cocoa powder, seductive, stylish, complex, fabulous sweetness, fatness, stunning length, balance and structure. Awesome wine with great class, finesse and sophisticated touch, so typical for Margaux commune. 95-96p.
2. Palmer – incredibly scented nose and palate, black cherries and Valrhona chocolate everywhere, awesome complexity structure and length, fat fruit and tannin on the palate. A very sophisticated wine with both power and extreme elegance. Heavenly stuff. 99p.
3. Haut Bailly – probably the weakest 2010 tasted during our evening. Deep and intense black fruit on the nose and palate, fine balance and length. Lacks fatness, tightness, depth and concentration found in many other wines in this vintage. I wonder if the yield here was too high? 92-93p.
4. La Mission Haut Brion – velvet and silk everywhere, extremely intense on the nose and powerful on the palate, incredibly sophisticated, with fantastic complexity, structure and length. The aftertaste lasted for 2 minutes. Sheer class and style. This wine has evolved perfectly since I tasted it from the barrel in March 2011. Paradise in heaven! 100p.
3rd flight – Saint Julien and Saint-Estephe:
1. Gruaud Larose – yet again and again, I've to use the word black cherries/blueberries/blackberries to describe the nose of this wine. It is the trademark of this vintage. The great sweetness of fruit, very concentrated on the palate, with great complexity, depth and length. Splendid wine for the vintage. 94p.
2. Leoville Poyferre – more of everything than in Gruaud Larose, the modern style here, packed with perfectly ripe fruit, fabulous intensity and concentration. Fabulous structure and complexity. Perfect balance. A stunningly impressive wine. 97p.
3. Cos d'Estournel – black fruit en masse and alcohol (cherry vodka) very, very evident on the nose and palate, extremely powerful on the palate with really fat fruit and tannin. The fruit is on the border of over-extraction, and this wine is extremely massive and imho not at all typical of Bordeaux. Closer to Napa Valley style. Either you like it, or you hate it. I'm neutral, and you can't abstract from the fact that this is high-quality wine. 96p.
4. Montrose – simply monster wine with its thick aroma of black fruit, enormous concentration, a robust backbone, perfectly ripe fat fruit and fat tannin, stunning complexity and structure, and impeccable balance. Incredibly stylish 2010 and showing 100% what this vintage has to offer. Mind-boggling effort. 98-99p. Tasted also in April 2013 at the property – same impression.
4th flight – Pauillac
1. Batailley – intense nose of black cherries and blackcurrants, splendid balance, sweet fruit and tannin, powerful palate, fine complexity and structure, long fruity aftertaste. Splendid effort. 94p.
2. Pichon Baron – a thick layer of fruit and tannin, perfectly ripe, sophisticated and stylish, the fabulous richness of nuances, depth and length. Robust backbone and impressive structure. Stunningly long finish. This is awesome stuff. 98p.
3. Latour – incredibly sophisticated and refined wine, but not as concentrated as I'd expected. However, there are plenty of things to be hugely excited over, for this wine offers a myriad of nuances, velvety structure, immense depth and length. Sublime wine, which has several decades to reach apogee. 98-99p.
1. 2010 Pavillon Blanc de Chateau Margaux – acacia flower on the nose and palate, fresh, fine acidity, elegant and refined. 93p.
2. 1990 Latour – perfectly ripe fruit, truffles, incredibly concentrated, robust structure, sophisticated, extremely long on the palate. Riveting elegance and finesse. 96p.
3. 1990 Montrose – animal, concentrated truffles, incredibly thick intensity, then explosion of everything on the palate is just sensational. This is a legend of perfection and phenomenal wine. The nose constantly changed from animal flavour to truffle scent and then back again. 100p. Paradise in heaven! Can you get better wine than this one?
4. 1990 VVC – a bit jammy, very evident alcohol on the nose, medium body, fine complexity and structure. Wiped out by Montrose and Latour 1990. 92p.
5. 2006 Climens – from half bottle. Strong botrytised aromas of candied orange peel and crème brulée. Impressive length on the palate and very honeyed aftertaste. 94p.
Bordeaux tasting - 4th September 2013 in Copenhagen
On the 4th of September, 2013, more than 20 properties from Bordeaux visited Copenhagen to present two wines of their choice. They have made this trip since 2002 with Bordeaux-based negociant, Beyerman but decided this time not to bring barrel samples of 2012 vintage.
D'Aiguilhe 2008 – earthy flavours, compact, strong, well-balanced with fine intensity and length. 89p.
D'Armailhac 2004 – aromatic on the nose, fine structure, complexity and length. Well balanced with fine ripe fruit and ripe tannin. Splendid effort. 91p.
D'Armailhac 2006 – more tannic, very Cabernet Sauvignon, a bit less fruity than 2004. A well-balanced wine which needs some more time to soften. 90p.
Beychevelle 2011 - Pretty aromatic and subtle wine. Full-bodied. Splendid aftertaste with a lot of flavours. Graceful and stylish. Terrific wine. 92p.
Beychevelle 2009 – sweeter and riper fruit than in 2011. Silky fruit and silky ripe tannin, great structure, balance and length. Excellent and classy wine. 93+p.
Camensac 2001 - aromatic ripe dark berries on the nose, seductive and charming, ripe tannin, well-balanced. Fine aftertaste. 89p.
Camensac 2005 – of course, more intensity, concentration and better structure here than in 2001. An excellent effort for the vintage from this property. 91p.
Canon-La-Gaffeliere 2006 – quite compact and concentrated, tannic with fruit not yet fully integrated. Firm aftertaste. 89p.
Cantemerle 2005 – tight and tannic, fat fruit, strong structure, splendid concentration, complexity and finish. Well-made wine. 90p.
Cantemerle 2010 - very aromatic ripe dark berries on the nose, fat ripe fruit and tannin, intense, great balance. Terrific length and gracious aftertaste. Splendid effort for the vintage. 92p.
Chasse-Spleen 2008- powerful and tannic, well-knitted with strong structure and firm aftertaste. It needs time to soften. 89p.
Chasse-Spleen 2010 – offered an excellent nose of black fruit with depth and intensity. Silky tannin, finesse, intense on palate and persistent fruity aftertaste. Excellent effort. 92+p.
La Clemence 2006 – the same style as 2004, but the fruit's ripeness isn't as good as in 2004. 86p.
La Clemence 2004 – aromatic wine which is now fully mature and therefore very enjoyable now. 87p.
Clerc Milon 2007 – quite nice wine to enjoy now. Round, charming and with tasty fruit. 86p.
Clerc Milon 2006 – stronger and tighter than 2007, riper fruit, better tannin and long finish. 88p.
Clos L'Oratoire 2011 - offered a fine nose of cherries, seductive style, splendid balance, elegance and smooth caressing aftertaste. 90p.
Coutet 2007– very elegant and stylish with splendid intensity and acidity, long and persistent aftertaste. Very impressive indeed. 93p.
Coutet 2009 – stronger than and with greater intensity of botrytised flavours, great depth, lot of sweetness and corresponding acidity, stunning balance and long, long lingering aftertaste. Simply a great effort. 94p.
Destieux 2002 – nicely made, round, tasty, good balance. Ready to drink. 88p.
Destieux 2008 – aromatic and powerful wine, strong structure, meaty, persistent finish. 90p.
Domaine de Chevalier red 2007 –complex and with some finesse. Nice aromas of black cherries, blueberries and blackberries, and blackcurrants too. Good concentration with lovely structure and depth. Nice balance. A delicious wine for the vintage. 89p
Domaine de Chevalier red 2000 – very complex and full of finesse. Strong aromas of black cherries, blueberries and blackberries, and blackcurrants too. Concentrated with lovely structure and depth. Splendid balance. Excellent wine indeed. 94p.
Domaine de Chevalier white 2007 - performed strong and powerful, lots of acacia flower, apple and citron grass. Great structure, depth and length on the palate, rich, great balance and strong finish. As always, utterly impressive stuff from this property! 96p.
Ferriere 2011 – somewhat reminiscent of its older brother (2004), but significantly lighter and a bit diluted. 87p.
Ferriere 2004 – very aromatic with fine intensity of aromatic cherries, fine depth and balance, long finish. Enchanting and lovely wine. 92p.
Gazin 2011- pretty elegant and soft, fine cherry aroma, fine balance and fruity finish. 91p.
Giscours 2004 – strong and very perfumed wine, excellent structure, length and finish. All the best from Margaux commune is here, and it makes you very happy. Very seductive wine! 93p.
Giscours 2008 – this wine has turned into some pretty impressing effort. Powerful, fine aroma of blackberries, fine minerality, depth, complexity and long aftertaste. 92p.
Grand Puy Lacoste 2007 – light and mature wine with tasty fruit, round and very tasty. Good length and nice complexity. 87p.
Grand Puy Lacoste 2008 – riper and more concentrated than 2007, with better structure and length on the palate. Fine balance. 92p.
Haut Bages Liberal 2011 - had oaky undertones, quite intense fruit, nice backbone and structure, and persistent finish. 89p.
Haut Bages Liberal 2008 – very similar to 2011. 89p.
Haut Bailly 2007 – charming, round, tasty fruit, very nice concentration and balance. Already drinkable. 87p.
Haut Bailly 2008 - riper and more concentrated than 2007, better structure and length on the palate. Fine balance. 91p.
D'Issan 2006 – very typical for the vintage with tight structure and tight tannin, nice balance, tasty blackcurrants. Fine quality. 89p.
D'Issan 2008 – better ripeness of the fruit here than in 2006, more concentration and length, better structure. 91p.
Larrivet Haut Brion red 2007 – light but round and charming with attractive fruit. Soft and tasty, it can be enjoyed now. 87p.
Larrivet Haut Brion red 2008 – far stronger, more intense and sweeter fruit than in 2007. 91p.
Larrivet Haut Brion white 2009 – some fine aroma of apple and pear, fine acidity and complexity, stylish, and a splendid finish. 91p.
Larrrivet Haut Brion white 2011 - was elegant and refined on the nose and palate with many finesses. Splendid acidity, great aromas of pineapple, apple and acacia flower, stylish and classy. 93p.
Lascombes 2008 – elegant and well-balanced, with good structure and complexity, rather on the light side. 88p.
Lascombes 2005 – showed great style and finesse. Very aromatic with blackberries, excellent balance and complexity. Long caressing finish. True Margaux style. 93p.
Latour Martillac red 2011 – on the light side, very nice fruit, soft and tasty. Good length. 87p.
Latour Martillac red 2005 – excellent wine, perfectly ripe black fruit (cherries and blueberries), rich in flavours and nuances, long and smooth finish. Great effort. 93p.
Latour Martillac white 2011 - was oaky with a lot of acidity. Great intensity of apple and citron grass, freshness, great length on the palate and long finish. Terrific wine. 93-94p.
Leoville Barton 2007 – really nice wine for the vintage and reminds a lot of L.Poyferre 2007. 88p.
Leoville Barton 2006 - of course, better ripeness, greater concentration, better structure and more complexity than in 2007. 92p.
Leoville Poyferre 2007 is a very nice, attractive and charming wine with good stuffing, light-footed fruit and tannin and a soft finish. Very enjoyable to drink right now. 88p.
Leoville Poyferre 2006 – better ripeness of fruit, better structure and longer on the palate than 2007. Quite well-integrated tannin and fine balance. Fine effort. 92p.
Petit Village 2005 – there is a scent of truffles on the nose, tight and nicely composed, but it seems winemaking here wasn't optimal at all. Surprisingly for the vintage, the fruit isn't 100% ripe. Fluffy work in the vineyard and cellar, but before famous consultant Stephane Derenencourt was brought in to help. 86p.
Petit Village 2010 – very different story here as you clearly can taste improvement after Derenencourt's arrival. Perfect ripeness of black fruit, fat ripe tannin, remarkable structure and depth, excellent balance and finish. Great effort for this property. The best Petit Village I've ever tasted. 92+p.
Phelan Segur 2006 – same style as 2006, maybe a bit more accessible now. 88p.
Phelan Segur 2008 - the good intensity of blackcurrants, good grip, nice length and firm aftertaste. 88p.
Pichon Baron 2007 – drinkable, well-balanced, good fruit, some green tannin. Not interesting. 85p.
Pichon Baron 2008 – a dense, tight, lot of fruit and tannin, powerful, strong structure, long and firm finish. For long-term cellaring. 93p.
Pichon Comtesse 2004 – splendidly aromatic nose of black fruit, chewy and sappy on the palate, excellent depth, structure and balance. Very seductive wine and a splendid effort for the vintage. 93p.
Pichon Comtesse 2009 – made under new management. The excellent sweetness of fruit on the nose and palate, velvety texture, silky fruit and tannin, great depth, sophisticated, excellent balance and long velvety finish. Great stuff. 95p.
Smith Haut Lafitte red 2010 – strong and powerful, very intense aroma of black cherries, fabulous complexity and richness, perfectly balanced. Impressive length and finish. Immaculate winemaking. 97p.
Smith Haut Lafitte red 2007 – fruity, soft, round and charming. Ready to drink. 87p.
Smith Haut Lafitte white 2011 – aromatic with excellent acidity, apple, lemongrass and acacia flower. Remarkable balance, strong structure and long finish. 95p.
Suduiraut 2007 – fine botrytis and fine botrytised flavours as well, fine complexity and impressive length. 93p
Suduiraut 2010 – even better than 2007 with loads of everything, especially intensity, concentration and richness. Excellent stuff. 95p.
Talbot 2007 - light, round and charming, ready to drink now and won't improve. 85p.
Talbot 2008 - offered aromatic fruit (black cherries), which were quite intense, and powerful on the palate, with fine structure, balance and finish. 91p.
Du Tertre 2007 - as many other 2007s tasted, offered pleasure roundness, charm, quite tasty fruit and light texture. Already very drinkable. 86p
Du Tertre 2006 – well crafted, fine intensity and concentration, finely balanced, complex and with a long finish. Fine effort. 90p.
Tertre Roteboeuf and Roc de Cambes - Copenhagen the 27th & 28th November 2013
Over two days (27th & 28th November), Copenhagen was visited by one of the best winemakers in Bordeaux, Francois Mitjavile. He's a very charismatic, lyrical and passionate person.
Especially on the 27th of November, during dinner for Commanderie de Bordeaux, Copenhagen Chapter, he did take the audience by storm.
When he describes his wines, he always says they should reflect emotion and freshness. He always seeks balance in the wine, sweet fruit, sweet tannins and many flavours. FM waits patiently, so his grapes obtain perfect maturity inside and outside (phenolic ripeness).
He doesn't make second wine as he believes all his grapes have the quality to go into Grand Vin. Overripe grapes, raisiny grapes, perfectly ripe grapes and slightly underripe grapes will find their way to vats, but not the green ones. This is to have as many flavours in wine as possible. FM does pumping over, very gentle one, gentle maceration but no breaking the cap (upper layer in the vat consisting of grape skins). He utilises malolactic fermentation in barrels only when it doesn't want to start in vats.
He intends to make emotional and elegant wine, not purple-black fruit bombs with hobs of tannin "eating your teeth", scratching your mouth and causing your stomach to feel unwell. He pointed out ironically that everybody can make his/her wine darker and violet by simply adding tartaric acid. FM keeps the colour nature gives him for the particular vintage.
I would lie if I didn't say that I missed 2005 Tertre Roteboeuf and 2010 Tertre Roteboeuf/Roc de Cambes to be on the setlist. But FM didn't want to have these wines tasted in Copenhagen.
Here is the summary of wines tasted for two days:
Tertre Roteboeuf (80% Merlot + 20% C.Franc)
2012 – tasted during both days with the same impression. It is very aromatic, rich and sophisticated, fresh and delicate, with a striking level of ripeness + sweetness of fruit and tannin for the vintage, smooth black cherries and excellent complexity. Excellent for the vintage and still improving. Kudos to Francois Mitjavile! 95p.
2011 – rich and sophisticated on the nose, lots of black cherries and blueberries, velvety texture, intense mid-palate, silky fruit with the excellent support of ripe tannin, excellent balance and long finish. Another bull's eye effort from the magical winemaker. 96p.
2008 – quite intense, mineral, muscular without being overdone, splendid fruit sweetness, sappiness and well-balanced. Shows a fine level of complexity, depth and nuances. It's classic stuff from Tertre Roteboeuf, which needs to age. 94p.
2007 – tasted during both days with the same impression. It was pleasantly fruity on the nose, clearly not from a vintage with much sun, a bit "wet dog" smell, slightly aggressive on the palate, light, and a little four-squared. I tasted this wine 3 years ago, and it was much better – it seems that downhill ride has just started. 86p.
2006 – very aromatic, deep and intense nose of black fruit, complex and rich, excellently showing on the palate with richness and depth, great finesse and elegance, great complexity, silky tannin, long, long finish. Incredible wine if you consider the problems of the vintage. Another magic stuff from Francois Mitjavile! 95p.
2003 – quite special wine reflecting the scorching weather conditions during summer. Very liquorice, figs, heated fruit everywhere but not overripe. Plummy flavours. A well-balanced wine with fine length. Not my taste, and I honestly think this wine isn't that typical of Tertre Roteboeuf. 90p.
2001 – some wine journalists believe that this vintage excels 2000 vintage at several properties in Right Bank. It's certainly not the case here, as this wine doesn't reach the heights of 2000. Sweet fruit and tannin - yes, rich and sophisticated- yes, complex – yes, splendid balance – yes, great intensity, concentration and length – no. 93p.
2000 – a mastodont of wine, master class and a fantastic effort. Its style is like 1998 but with greater richness, depth, complexity, intensity and concentration. Incredibly sophisticated and refined. Mega long aftertaste, which lasts for more than one minute. Heaven! 99p.
1998 – aristocratic on the nose with excellent intensity of sweet cherries, rich and intense, great sweetness, great complexity, sensual and silky, luscious, tannins covered in fruit and perfectly integrated with it. Incredibly long fruity finish. Magic stuff from Francois Mitjavile! 97p.
1997 – round, charming, light and soft. Very flavorful, tasty and well-balanced. In my opinion, this wine was better than in 2007, mostly because of the better balance in 1997. 87p.
Roc de Cambes (60% Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc and 40% Merlot)
2012 – black cherries, chocolate, mouthwatering, attractive, sappy and fresh, splendid acidity and velvety finish. Splendid for the vintage. 92p.
2011 - tasted during two days – same impression. Extremely aromatic, black cherries everywhere, grilled flavours, perfect balance, mineral, sappy, persistent and meaty aftertaste. Impressive. 92p.
2006 – attractive cherry nose with splendid purity, very sappy on the palate, perfectly ripe fruit, splendid balance, striking complexity and persistent finish. Splendid for the vintage. 91p.
2005 – tasted during two days – same impression. Thick aroma, thick intensity, hobs of black fruit mixed with chocolate, fat fruit and tannic with a perfect level of ripeness, velvety texture, excellent balance, incredible sweetness, and long, long fruity finish. Simply stunning wine, my favourite Roc de Cambes, and the 2010 version. 93p.
2000 – Very potent and very intense, seems very young, so evolution is slow, mineral, vibrant and long. Many good years of further development are ahead. Impressive stuff. 93p.
1998 – mineral, sappy, well-defined, fine balance and soft fruity finish. On the verge of being fully matured. 89p.
Domaine de Cambes (part of Roc de Cambes vineyard, situated on the estuary of Dordogne river, AOC Bordeaux)
2005 – quite attractive cherry nose, round and very seductive, well-balanced and tasty. Joyful drinking. 86p.
PALMER TASTING IN COPENHAGEN ON WEDNESDAY, THE 21ST OF MAY 2014
Tasting in Copenhagen was conducted by Christopher Myers, Palmer's export director for Europe. Btw, Bernard de Laage (Palmer's long-serving PR chef) went on retirement at the end of 2013.
Just to state some things. Alter Ego isn't Palmer's second wine. It's a wine of its own, with shorter maceration and less new oak. Palmer's second wine is Reserve du General.
All wines except Palmer 1989 and 1985 came directly from Palmer's cellars.
2004 Alter Ego 90p
Intense nose of black cherries and black currants. This was a well-crafted wine with splendid balance, quite rich and with a persistent finish. A real heartbreaker wine to enjoy in the next ten years.
2005 Alter Ego 91p
An aromatic wine with a fine structure. Fatter and meatier than 2004, more tannic, deeper and longer on the palate. The splendid sweetness of fruit and persistent fruity aftertaste. It will be even better in 5 years.
2009 Alter Ego 92p
Compared with 2005, 2009 was a step up in terms of concentration and intensity. Compact and tannic, sappy, great structure and complexity, perfect ripe dark berries with catchy sweetness. Impressive stuff.
2006 Palmer 94p
Tight and tannic wine, Cabernet Sauvignon shining. Rather powerful than elegant wine, with splendid backbone, depth and complexity. Firm and long finish. Still not quite developed yet, and I think this wine needs more than 10years from now to be approachable. No Petit Verdot in this vintage for Palmer.
2008 Palmer 95p
More of everything here compared with 2006. Sappy, riper fruit with a lot of sweetness. Complex, refined and long finish. Great intensity of dark cherries on the nose and palate. A stylish wine with great depth and structure. Petit Verdot was included in the blend, and it shows – strong backbone. Great effort for the vintage, and this wine will keep for a long time.
2001 Palmer 93p
Fine and aromatic on the nose with red berries. Vivid and flavorful on the palate. Ripe fruit and tannin. Quite complex and with a fine depth. Soft finish. For me, it tasted like this bottle showed more lightly and less intensely than in 2007 when I last tasted this wine.
2004 Palmer 96p
Always one of my favourite Palmers. An exquisite and very aromatic wine with much finesse, silky texture and tannin. Fabulous complexity and depth, stunning balance. Long and sweet aftertaste. Aristocratic. I will have a long and great, great life.
1996 Palmer 95p
55% CS, 40% M, 4% CF and 1% PV. Already on the nose, it is obvious that Cabernet Sauvignon was the winner in this vintage. The ripeness of CS in this vintage was better than Merlots. Mint, leather and cigar box on a large scale. This wine was beautifully constructed, refined and with a concentrated shape, powerful and sappy. This is textbook Palmer – beautiful wine which can easily keep its excellent ingredients for an additional 20 years.
1999 Palmer 96+p
48% CS, 46% M and 6% PV. Probably in the top three in this vintage. This wine has always impressed me. Very aromatic dark berries with great intensity. More concentrated, riper and sweeter fruit than in 1996, tight, great finesse and elegance, aristocratic, stunning balance, fabulous complexity and depth. Incredibly stylish and classy. To enjoy in the next 20 years.
1989 Palmer 93p
Sweet fruit, a bit alcoholic and warm, quite aromatic, fine balance and complexity, long soft finish. This bottle didn't seem to be a perfect example of this vintage for Palmer.
1985 Palmer (magnum) NR - corked.
Thursday, 6th November 2014, I participated in the tasting of 15 2011 Bordeaux wines, almost all high-level ones, in Copenhagen. This tasting wasn't blind, and wines were served on five flights (4, 4, 2, 3 and 2 wines).
I've to admit I didn't have many expectations to wines fare extremely well, as it's appeared to me that some 2011s I did taste this spring had lost some ingredients after bottling. But looking at my TNs now from tasting barrel samples and comparing with TNs on 6th November this year, I noticed similar ratings from me before and after bottling for several wines participating here. They did fare well indeed and more, and I disagree with negative judgement on this vintage from several wine critics!
1. Malescot St. Exupery
Very aromatic, nice load of dark cherries on the nose and palate, very good balance and depth, a tad lighter than usual, and fine acidity. On the elegant side. I gave it 92-93p from the barrel, it promised more, but now I downgrade it to 91p.
2. Calon Segur
A fine distinguished nose of tobacco and leather, promising palate with fine depth, fine acidity and well-obtained maturity of grapes, great balance. Beautiful and stylish wine. From the barrel, it was slightly better, and I rated it 93p. Now I rate it 92p.
Aromatic, juicy and sappy wine, lighter than usual, better on the nose, fruity and attractive with raspberry drops aroma/taste. No real depth. It tasted far better from the barrel (92p), now I rate it 89p.
4. Leoville Poyferre (magnum)
It shows bitterness on the palate at the first sip, but it quickly disappears. Great style with fine depth, structure and balance. Lighter than usual. 93p from the barrel, 92p now.
1. Ducru Beaucaillou
Big and broad-shouldered wine with splendid ripeness, depth, richness, backbone and long aftertaste. Very classy and stylish wine. Stunning. I haven't tasted it from the barrel. Gets well-deserved 95+p.
Here comes the classic stuff from St.Estephe. Formidable on the nose with blackcurrants and black cherry fruit, strong backbone, well-defined and rich, deep and sophisticated, elegant and with a long aftertaste. Excellent wine. From barrel, I rated it 91-92p, it improved a lot since then, so 94p now is well-deserved.
3. Lynch Bages
A very captivating nose of black fruit, aromatic, tasty, fruity, very adorable, velvety on the palate, great balance. Heartbreaker wine. Not the big science and concentration here, but it smiles all over the place. The same rating now and then - 92p.
4. Pontet Canet
More of everything compared to Lynch Bages, but this wine suffers a bit when I compare it to Ducru Beaucaillou and Montrose. From the barrel, it was 94p, after bottling, it's less impressive. 93p.
1. Lafite Rothschild
An excellent and sophisticated nose of dark fruit, finesse and elegance, very rich and well-defined. Lighter than usual, and I think it lacks some more depth. Maybe it just needs time to put on weight and develop better. From barrel, it was 95+p, now it's 94p?
2. Mouton Rothschild
Much better than Lafite with great sophisticated touch, stunning ripeness and depth. The nose is so aromatic and distinguished, captivating, intense and deep. Immense class and style. This wine was already one of my favourites from the barrel (96p), and it didn't change from the bottle. 96+p.
Very good nose of dark cherries, light, lacks depth length and drive. Tastes like bottling deprived this wine of many things. Will it come back? From barrel, it was 94-95p, but now I've great difficulty in awarding it more than 90p.
2. La Conseillante
Better wine than VCC, with greater depth, concentration and length. A great deal of finesse and elegance combined with a sophisticated touch. 94p from the barrel, 92p from me now.
3. L'Eglise Clinet
Among my favourites from the barrel, and it didn't disappoint. What a rich, sophisticated and creamy wine. Velvety all over and incredibly balanced. A strong dark chocolate flavour on the nose. Immense wine. 96p now and then.
1. Pavie Macquin
Very dark colour, an excellent nose of black cherries, strong backbone, great depth, strong structure, great length, finishes strong but fruity. It's like this wine is saying - "Don't mess with me big boys - I can handle you all". Better than from barrel (92-93p), now fully deserved 95p.
Well-defined on the nose, deep, aristocratic. Full hammer on the palate bordering brutality, what a richness and length. Animal wine of the highest quality. 96p now and then.
BORDEAUX 1985 REVISITED
On Thursday, November 26th, the year 2015, 11 experienced wine tasters gathered together at classic French-Danish restaurant in Copenhagen, Restaurationen, to taste 16 wines from the 1985 vintage, including 5 1.Growths from Left Bank, 1 PGCC A from St.Emilion named Cheval Blanc and whole 6 2.Cru Classes from Haut Medoc.
I was overseeing harvest (my first ever) in September 1985, it was my second visit to Bordeaux (the first one took place in March 1984 in terrible rainy weather). I was treated to beautiful weather, sunshine from morning to evening, 27 degrees Celsius in the whole of September. Very few properties had thermoregulated vats, many others used ice blocks to cool the must from outside.
One of the main reasons I remember 1985 was meeting Jacques Thienpont of Le Pin, just by accident while going to Cheval Blanc, turning by mistake left after Catusseau instead of going straight some further 500 meters and then turning right. I also remember eating more than half a kilo of big, fat, juicy, sweet Merlot grapes at La Dominique.
Many wine critics call this vintage a woman vintage because of the wine's seductive approach, great sweetness and balance, elegance and charm. I completely agree. One’s to remember that 1985 produced an enormous amount of wine as yields were between 60 and 70 hl/ha at many famous places. No green harvest, no leaf removal. Remarkable vintage in many ways, as my TNs, imply! It's been kept beautifully for 30 years and has been an open-arms vintage from the very beginning. Classic Bordeaux at large!
Tattinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs 2005 – fresh with fine acidity, citrus, rich and refined with finesse and sophisticated touch. Long finish. 95p.
Rausan Segla 2. Cru Classe Margaux – light red, really fabulous on the nose with the typical aromatic scent of Margaux commune, black cherries, a lot of sweetness, truffy with sheer elegance and finesse. Classy wine and still going strong. I didn’t expect this wine to be that excellent – there’s for sure at least ten years more life in it! 94p.
Leoville Barton 2. Cru Classe St. Julien – much darker in colour, powerful, blackberry/blueberry compote, strong tannin to support the fruit, barely so elegant and finesse marked as RS, but this wine is something of a beast. It will probably keep without any problems for another 20 years. 95p.
Gruaud Larose 2. Cru Classe St. Julien – fabulous thick layered nose of blueberries, fine acidity, truffles, fine-grained tannin, great balance, depth and finish. As excellent as Leoville Barton but has a different style, and I think it won’t keep as long as Leoville Barton. 95p.
Leoville Lascases 2. Cru Classe St. Julien – strong and powerful, reminded me a lot of Gruaud Larose, but it lacked sweetness and length for me. 93p.
Cos d’Estournel 2 Cru Classe St. Estephe – yoghurt, strong and powerful, spicy with truffles,e it 20+ years more! 96p. sappy, big structure and backbone, great balance, depth and length. Mother….. of a wine, giv
Blind wine – everybody guessed Bordeaux. It turned out to be 1985 Dunn Vineyards from Napa. I guessed Calon Segur. Pepper, strong tannin, strong structure and depth, meaty finish. This excellent wine still has 10-15 years to go. 95p.
Pichon Comtesse 2. Cru Classe Pauillac – extremely seductive on the nose, extremely charming, truffy, intense. A lot of sweetness, great, great balance, silky fruit and tannin, long aftertaste. In full blossom, and what a treat!! I simply adored it. Sure bet for 15 years more in the cellar. 96p.
Lynch Bages 5. Cru Classe Pauillac – rawer and more powerful, with great complexity to start with, but after 20 minutes in the glass, this wine falls apart for some reason. 92p?
Then five 1. Growths served in one flight:
Haut Brion – aromatic and complex nose of blackcurrants, very stylish, excellent sweetness, truffles, great balance, silky fruit and tannin. 20 more years? Impressive stuff. 96p.
Margaux – already tasted twice in 2015 with the same impression. I don’t think this wine offers tasters much in terms of aroma, depth, structure and sweetness. It’s light but also round and charming. 90p.
Mouton Rothschild – distinguished and classy stuff, wealthy and refined, sophisticated, truffles, fabulous structure and depth. Bull’s eye! Easily additional 20 years in the cellar. 97p.
Lafite – powerful, deep and strong, with lots of fruit and tannin, perfect balance and a big meaty aftertaste. Not as distinguished as Mouton Rothschild, but who cares. Many years to go. 96p.
Latour – a bit light and not really up to the level of quality and excitement of Mouton Rothschild and Lafite. Still, it isn’t a bad wine, just gracious, seductive and tasty. 92p.
Then two wines from Right Bank:
La Conseillante Pomerol – anonymous, light, round and pleasant. Just Ok, wine. 88p.
Cheval Blanc PGCC “A” St.Emilion – showing some age, truffles, refined and elegant with finesse. Stylish wine which tastes extremely well. Excellent. 95p.
And we finished with:
1985 La Tour Blanche – this vintage wasn’t something memorable in Sauternes and Barsac because of the lack of botrytis caused by lack of rain. Sweetness in wines was more the result of grapes drying out because of the heat. This wine was served from double magnum and was just OK. 87p.
MONTROSE TASTING IN COPENHAGEN ON THURSDAY THE 16TH JUNE 2016
One of my favourite Bordeaux wines visited Copenhagen on 16th June. Originally, Montrose's present technical director, Herve Berland, was supposed to conduct the tasting but had to cancel his arrival at the last moment. Montrose's sales manager, Lorraine Watrin, came instead and was a worthy replacement. I helped to arrange this tasting in cooperation with Commanderie de Bordeaux á Copenhague.
Wines for tasting and dinner were: 2010-9-5 La Dame de Montrose, 2012-2011-2010-2009-2005-2003-2000-1995 (magnum), 1970 and 1964 (latter - negociant Barriere bottling). Chateau donated 2010 and 2005 La Dame + 2012 Grand Vin. 2009 La Dame, 2011-2005-2000 Grand Vin also came from Montrose's cellar and reasonable prices. 2010, 2009, 2003, 1995, 1970 and 1964 were purchased from a wine-merchant/private collector in Copenhagen.
Montrose changed hands in 2004, and the last vintage for the "old" cellar master was 2005. New people arrived in 2006. Jean-Bernard Delmas, father of Jean-Philippe Delmas (Haut Brion/La Mission), kept his position as technical director until 2011. Herve Berland, who spent five years at Mouton Rothschild as manager (2006-2011), became Montrose's technical director in April 2012.
Montrose is a force to be reckoned with, no doubt about it. 1. Growth quality in many vintages.
2010 La Dame de Montrose - great second wine and a clear indication of how stunning Grand Vin is because of selection! Perfect ripeness, fatness, dense and long. Silky texture and silky fruit/tannin. 92p.
2009 La Dame de Montrose - not as fat and sweet as 2010, spicy flavours, still splendid second wine. 89p.
2005 La Dame de Montrose - not far from 2010 version, sweet fruit, silky fruit and tannin, immensely seductive. Another winemaker. Simply splendid! 91p.
2012 Montrose - this wine is improving every time I taste it. It is very seductive, classy and distinguished juice, graphite and toasted bacon again, fine sweetness and acidity, and impressive structure and length. More woman kiss on the cheek than a friendly punch on the face. Excellent for the vintage. 94p.
2011 Montrose - denser and tighter than 2012, but lacking the level of sweetness 2012 has, however still very Montrose with splendid complexity, structure and length. 93p.
2010 Montrose - tasted in pair with 2009. It was like meeting twins - this wine was an exact copy of 2009! The only difference - more sweetness and fatter texture. Velvety hammer worth 100p! One thing to remember - in 2010, ripeness inside and outside grapes happened at the same time, in 2009, there was ten days difference because of rain in September.
2009 Montrose - thick, fat and dense, incredibly intense nose of blueberries, black cherries and blackcurrants, stunning intensity on the palate, extremely powerful, stunning balance and length. Force of the winemaking. This wine is fully on the level with 1. Growths. 100p.
2005 Montrose - tasted in pair with 2003, and despite how I love 2005 vintage, I felt it couldn't compete with 2003. More elegance and finesse here, very seductive with a lot of sweetness, great balance and a persistent finish. Still an exceptional vintage for the property. 97p.
2003 Montrose - distinguished nose of leather, graphite and roasted bacon. Very intense nose of blackcurrants, rich and sophisticated on palate, a robust backbone, exquisite balance, complexity and staggering richness. No sign at all of the cooked and heated flavours, fresh and with an incredibly long finish. This is a fantastic tribute to the vintage! Kudos to the winemaker! 99-100p.
2000 Montrose - great piece of winemaking, this wine was like a well-made cake, aromatic, beautifully constructed, polished, multi-layered and incredibly complex. Maybe not as concentrated on the day as to how I tasted it last time (app. five years ago). 96+p.
1995 Montrose (magnum) - graphite and pencil, strong backbone, polished, fine structure and complexity, well-balanced and persistent finish. Splendid for the vintage. 93p.
1970 Montrose - significant flavour of graphite, earthy and polished, well-structured with splendid complexity, velvety texture and long finish. Much better than reviews on this vintage from other wine critics. 94p.
1964 Montrose - fishy, extracted coffee beans, light, nice fruit. Rather boring. 84p.
Grand Cercle tasting of 85 red vines in 2014 vintage and 20 white dry wines in 2015 vintage
85 reds in 2014 vintage lined up in La Croizille's tasting room - October 2016
In 2014, once again, weather Gods entertained/blessed Bordeaux wine people with ever-changing weather. Winter in Bordeaux was one of the wettest and warmest in several decades, while spring months offered warm March, reasonably warm April and misty May.
Flowering finished early but was hampered by serious outbreaks of mildew and odium. Summer was so-so with some outbreaks of hot weather in June, while July offered only a few days with temperatures over 30 degrees Celsius. August provided nothing of the warm and sunny weather, and chateau owners were getting depressed and started talking about 2014 as a repeat of the 1993 or 1994 vintage.
Everything changed, however, at the beginning of September, when the warm and sunny weather came back to Bordeaux, thanks to a high-pressure weather system, which parked close to South-West France. The average temperature for the whole of September was around 27 degrees Celsius, with many dry and sunny days. These cool nights allowed grapes to ripen slowly and keep the freshness intact. When I met Olivier Bernard from Domaine de Chevalier at de Fieuzal on the 24th of September 2014, he told me that he hadn't seen so a beautiful September in 40 years. October followed on the same tracks as beautiful September,
Merlot had great ripening conditions, especially at Left Bank, but for some reason, it wasn't that perfect for this grape variety on Right Bank due to heavy rain in one day, mid-September in Pomerol, where a massive 80 mm of rain came down from skies. It disturbed the ripening process of vines growing on heavy clay soils.
Cabernets fully enjoyed slow ripening, gaining in concentration and acidity levels. Both became great successes in 2014. Petit Verdot, Bordeaux's "enfant terrible" among grapes varieties, ripened perfectly as well and complimented in a great way Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon/Franc on the Left Bank.
All in all, the 2014 vintage in red reminds me of the 2008 vintage with better ripeness in fruit, silkier tannin and more depth, and of course2014 has this intense and perfect acidity, which you didn't find in 2008. It’s a truly remarkable element of the wine, assuring its longevity, created by a long ripening period of grapes during perfect sunny weather and cool nights in September and October, and it’s present in red, dry white wines and sweet white wines.
However, the tasting of 85 reds in 2014 vintage at Chateau La Croizille in Saint Emilion in late October 2016 was indifferent, some truly remarkable wines, some anonymous because of not precise winemaking and some samples not being fresh and being tainted/oxidised. 2015 vintage is exceptional for all types of wines in Bordeaux, and it was convincingly confirmed during my tasting of 20 dry whites in this vintage after tasting reds in vintage 2014 place.
It was a blind tasting, for the record, so I only knew which commune/district I was tasting wines from, both for reds and whites.
BORDEAUX & COTES DE BORDEAUX
Clos Puy-Arnaud (CAS/CDB) and Tour de Mirambeau Cuvee Passion (B), impressed with appealing sweetness and acidity, were well-balanced, well-structured, meaty with a persistent finish. Rated 89p.
Lesparre (GDV) was potent on the nose and palate, with fresh cherries, fine acidity, ripe fruit and tannin, fine balance. Thumbs up. 88p. Girolate (B) and de Laussac Cuvee Sacha (B) were well-made wines with a fresh nose of violet, excellent structure and aftertaste. Both rated 88p.
Cote Monpezat (CAS/CDB) and Mont Perat (B) were elegant, round and fruity wines with a nice balance and smooth fruity finish. Rated 87p.
Dalem was a very fruity and aromatic wine with fine balance, acidity, structure and length. Fine quality here. 90p.
La Vieille Cure was strong, powerful, with big fruit and tannin, plus fine supporting acidity. Well-made. 89p.
De La Riviere and Moulin Pey Labrie showed good ripeness, sweetness and acidity. Oaky and strong. Both need time to become rounder wines. 87p.
Clos La Vieille Eglise pleased tremendously with sweet fruit on the nose and palate, chocolate and cocoa on the nose, great style and splendid supporting acidity, focused and precise. Double thumbs up!! 92p.
Bonalgue was strong and powerful, rather closed, with nice acidity and structure. A well-made wine with a persistent finish. 89p.
Mazeyres did well, too, a spicy, good mixture of fresh acidity and ripe fruit. Excellent fruity aftertaste. 88p.
Beau Soleil, Clos Vieux Taillefer and Lecuyer were all three close to Mazeyres, with the same fruity character but less concentration and shorter finish. 87p. Bellegrave displayed nice fruitiness on the nose and palate, good structure, nice acidity and reasonable length. 87p.
LALANDE DE POMEROL
L’Ambroisie du Chateau La Croix des Moines was very adorable wine. Raspberry drops, fruity and tasty, nicely balanced. It had splendid acidity and length on the palate. 91p. Same winemaker as for Clos La Vieille Eglise!
De Chambrun, Grand Ormeau, Perron La Fleur and Siaurac showed some freshness, ripe black fruit, nice grip, roundness and quite a nice acidity. Well-balanced and attractive wines. 89p.
SAINT EMILION GRAND CRU
Tour Baladoz offered raspberry fruit on the nose and palate, was well-knitted, tasty and well balanced. Splendid acidity, fine structure and length on the palate. An excellent effort. 90p.
Laplagnotte Bellevue tasted similar to Tour Baladoz and was almost equally fine but tasted more cherries than raspberries. 89-90p.
L’Hermitage de Lescours, Lynsolence, Pas de L’Ane, Patris and Rol Valentin presented themselves just fine with a classy style, fine acidity, freshness, sappy, well-composed, with a persistent fruity finish. Well-deserved 89p.
Magrez Fombrauge was quite strong and oaky, very modern and extracted. 88-89p.
La Croizille was made in a modern style, extracted but delicious wine overall, firm finish. Well-balanced. 88p.
Boutisse and Les Gravieres followed on the same track as La Croizille. Scored 87-88p.
SAINT EMILION GRAND CRU CLASSE
Not a single underperforming wine – well done!
La Marzelle was well-packed with fruit and tannin, fine acidity, intense and tight, splendid structure, and persistent finish. Impressive wine. 92p.
Laroze and de Pressac followed closely after, were delicious, flowery, and attractive, with splendid style, structure, backbone and finish. Thumbs up. 91p.
Fonplegade and Yon Figeac displayed classy style, freshness, sappy, excellent composition, fruity taste. Well-deserved 90p rating!
Fleur Cardinale, Fombrauge, Fonroque and Sansonnet were all four strong wines, tannic and oaky, but well-equipped with ripe fruit, fine structure and persistent finish. Modern-style wines. Rated 89p.
Grand Corbin Despagne and Le Preurie tasted similar to Fleur Cardinale, Fombrauge, Fonroque and Sansonnet, but offered less intensity and concentration. 88p.
SAINT EMILION SATELITES
Vieux Chateau Palon was similar to Tour Bayard but offered more intensity and concentration. 87p.
Tour Bayard displayed fruity character, sweetness, roundness and charm, was well-balanced and tasty, and excellent overall. 86-87p.
D’Agassac was fruity with good grip, nicely structured and with good concentration. 86-87p.
COMMUNE DE MEDOC
Tour de Pez and Tour des Termes, both from Saint-Estephe commune, were potent, fruity, and nice. 87p. D’Arsac from Margaux displayed flowery character, good concentration and intensity, nice structure and finish. 87p.
Saint Robert Cuvee Poncet Deville. Very fruity, stylish, good concentration and intensity, nicely structured. 87p.
Le Sartre was quite meaty and well-defined, with good depth, backbone and persistent finish. 90p.
Couhins Lurton and Rochemorin were very fruity, stylish, with good concentration and intensity, nicely structured. 89p.
Haut Bacalan did well but was less intense and drier on the palate than C.Lurton and Rochemorin. 88p.
De Cruzeau and Haut Lagrange showed modern style and were quite extracted. 87-88p.
Sainte-Marie (EDM) had quite an intense acacia flower, excellent acidity and a strong backbone and a long finish. 91p. D’Arsac Cuvee Celine (B) had the same excellent acidity and was very apple and pineapple scent. 91p. Magrez Fombrauge (B) was in the same league with more taste of peach and dried apricot. 91p.
Girolate (B) and Tour de Mirambeau (B) was almost as impressive as S-M with slightly less intensity and length. 90p. Penin (BS) did also show a fine aromatic nose, fine acidity and fruity finish. 89-90p.
Cote Montpezat (CAS/CDB), Reynon (CAS/CDB) and de La Riviere (B) showed freshness, fine aromas of apple and acacia flower, were tasty and adorable. 89p.
Lesparre (GDV) and Mont-Perat (B) were both light wines with a nice aroma of green apple, good acidity and fruity finish. 86p.
Clos Floridene (G), Couhins Lurton (PL), Cruzeau (PL), Rochemorin (PL) and Le Sartre (PL) had all intense aromas of green apple, acacia flower and lemongrass, excellent acidity, great structure and backbone, impressive acidity and long aftertaste. 92p.
Saint Robert Cuvee Poncet Deville (G) surprised a great deal by showing superb quality. Fresh, acacia, peach, tasty, fine acidity, lingering finish. 91p.
Crabitey (G) was considerably lighter than other wines mentioned here. Aromatic, nice quality. 87-88p.
B = Bordeaux
BS = Bordeaux Superieur
C/CDB – Cadillac Cotes de Bordeaux
CAS/CDB – Castillon Cotes de Bordeaux
EDM – Entre-Deux-Mers
GDV – Graves de Vayres
G – Graves
PL – Pessac-Leognan
THAT'S THE WAY TO CELEBRATE 70TH BIRTHDAY!
Menu and wines for this unforgettable evening/night!
On Friday, the 9th of December 2016, at the restaurant Le Sommelier in Copenhagen's centre, I held my pre-birthday party (I passed the 70th milestone of my life at the end of December 2016). I treated my friends and myself with 1 champagne, 3 dry white wines, 20 red wines, 2 sweet white wines and one Armagnac, accompanied by appetizers of champagne, 6 courses, 1 dessert and one birthday cake.
We were only 6 participants due to late cancellations from the people I invited. Anyway, I immensely enjoyed a great great company of Danish wine friends, my daughter and Olivier Bernard from Domaine de Chevalier. We’ve had a stellar evening. Not a single wine served that evening was corked or oxidized. Many wines were simply stunning and lived fully up to their reputation and fame. All wines were tasted blind, and even me, who knew which wines were served in each flight, didn't know the order of these served. Wines were chosen according to the last digit in my birthday year (6) for whites (dry and sweet) and 0 for reds (as I celebrated 70 years). You will think it was outrageous to serve so many wines? - not really imho, you only live once!!
Chef Christian Marquard prepared excellent food, and wines were very professionally cared for by young Daniela Mylin, chef/chef sommelier of Le Sommelier. Historic tasting and one I never forget, thanks to my precious friends!!
Tasting notes – relatively short ones as I had to take care of my guests, and there wasn’t time to write big stories about each wine.
1. Champagne Dom Perignon Rose 1996 – imposing stuff, virile, sophisticated, rich, great acidity and sweet tones. Awesome to enjoy. 97p.
2. Dry whites – three wines. 1976 D.D.Chevalier had a little touch of oxidation, which disappeared quickly, and showed nice acidity and concentration. Getting old. 89p. 1986 D.d. Chevalier was simply impressive stuff with great acidity, vitality, depth and long aftertaste. It tasted young and fresh despite being 30 years old. 94p. 1996 Chablis Les Clos from Vincent Dauvissat had fine smoked tones of stones, penetrating nose of melted butter and long aftertaste. A bit caught by age, and imho it’ll not improve. 93p.
3. Red flight 1 with the title “Up and running” – Les Carmes Haut Brion, Seguin and Belle Brise, all in 2010 vintage. I’ve never tasted the two last-mentioned wines together, so it was a kind of test. L.C.H. Brion was muted, light in concentration and structure. It was surprising when you take the quality of 2010 vintage in general. Since the new manager/winemaker Guillaume Pouthier in 2012, the quality took a big step up. 89p. Seguin from the village of Canejan in Pessac-Leognan AOC (my discovery while touring Graves/Pessac Leognan in September 2010) had an intense nose of cherries, excellent structure and depth, exquisite balance, and long persistent finish. Utterly impressive stuff. 95p. The last wine on the flight was Belle Brise from Pomerol, my discovery also, but since 1996. This minuscule vineyard/garden is situated very close to Libourne. Strong with modern taste, very cherry, catching sweetness of fruit and tannin, silky fruit and tannin. Long and persistent finish. Fabulous wine. 95+p. No oenologist, no consultant, and no modern remedies here – “vin au naturel”!
4. Red flight 2 with title “Magic” – Tertre Roteboeuf 2010-2000-1990 and Domaine de Chevalier 1990. 2010 TR tasted more like kirsch than wine, but I’m pretty sure the alcohol will soon integrate. Otherwise, it was big, packed with silky fruit and tannin, immensely flavored, and long. 96p. 2000 TR was epic wine with an intense nose of truffles, formidable structure and depth, stunning precision, focus and complexity, and mega long aftertaste. Boom! 98p. 1990 TR tasted lighter and less impressive than the last time (in 2011) and was surpassed by the 2000 version. 92p. 1990 D.d. Chevalier (“black horse” quickly detected by tasters) showed a truffy nose, delicious complexity and perfect length. The fruit tasted a bit warm. 89p.
5. Red flight 3 with the title “Sky is the limit" and six wines in 1990 vintage. Beausejour Duffau was kind of disappointing if you take its fame in the context. One of my guests tasted this wine many times and told me it was much better 10 years ago. Fine complexity but not striking concentration and richness. 93p. Angelus didn’t hit the bull’s eye either. Was better too 10 years ago. Truffy, not as powerful as expected, not rich and long as expected. 93p. Montrose once again delivered. It’s easy to fall on your knees and worship this wine because it’s simply a phenomenal one and masterpiece of winemaking. 100p. Troplong Mondot was a stunning mouthful with everything in perfect harmony. One of my guests said to me that this wine was disguised as a port. Frankly, I didn’t care. I loved it! 97p. Cheval Blanc matched Montrose to a great extent with Cabernet Franc at full blossom. Fascinating and riveting display of richness, sophisticated touch and variety of flavours. 99-100p. Le Pin was more kinky and funky than Cheval Blanc but equal in every aspect to it. Here, Merlot was the showcase. 99-100p.
6. Red flight 4 with the title "Another day in paradise" and four wines in 2000 vintage. La Mission Haut Brion tasted closed, but all cylinders were fully loaded, just waiting for the perfect time to show all the fabulous things. Patience required. 96-98p. Lafleur was just a timeless treat, so dense, so sophisticated. Paradise! 100p. Montrose tried to match up against big hitters here but wasn’t trashed at all. Strong potent and very long finish. 96p. Lafite is just perfect if you want to enjoy finesse, grace and richness of nuances. That was exactly what we had in 2000, plus striking structure, depth and balance. 99p.
7. Red flight 5 with the title “As time goes by” and three wines in 1950 vintage, all chateau bottled. Pavie (B-niveau) was just awesome like well-trained 66 years old guy running a marathon. Very cherry, strong, long and in perfect balance. Still many years to go! Some of my guests took it for the 1982 vintage! 94p. Leoville Las Cases, the one with the lowest stand, tasted old like extracted coffee beans. Gone. 75p. Troplong Mondot, despite low stand close to C, made by a cousin of the owner of Pavie at that time, Valette, was as similar and impressive as Pavie. 94p. 1970 Ausone was withdrawn before the flight as I realized that it'd be better to keep 100% focus on three wines in the same vintage.
8. Sweet whites – two wines in 1986 vintage. Gilette had a significant flavour of almonds, great sweetness and acidity, great depth and backbone, long and velvety on the palate with a strong and fat finish. Aged for 20 years in small concrete vats and no wooden vats/barrels here. 96-97 p. Yquem edged Gilette in terms of depth, sophisticated touch and nuance richness but only and just that. 98p.
9. Dinner finished with awesome 1945 vintage Armagnac “Fontaine de Coincy”, same owner as previously mentioned Belle Brise in Pomerol. De Coincy family has owned their property in Bas Armagnac for 400 years.
BORDEAUX 2016 - TASTING AT OLD STOCK EXCHANGE ON THE 6TH SEPTEMBER 2017
Copenhagen-based wine company Theis Vine has cooperated with Bordeaux negociant Beyerman, arranged a tasting of the newest vintage and an older wine from 30+ chateaux in Bordeaux. At the same event, one could taste Italian, Spanish and Burgundian wines in Theis Vine's assortment. Perfect settings and perfect arrangement!!
My favourite 2016s were (in order of preference):
Pichon Comtesse, Pichon Baron, Les Carmes Haut Brion, Haut Bailly, La Conseillante, Domaine de Chevalier, Petit Village, Leoville Barton and Smith Haut Lafitte. Range: 95-99 points.
The most impressive second vintage served by a majority of chateaux was 2012:
Branaire Ducru, Clinet, Gazin, Haut Bailly, Lascombes, Leoville Barton, Leoville Poyferre and Pichon Baron. R¤ange 90-93p.
VERTICAL TASTING OF COS D'ESTOURNEL IN COPENHAGEN - 29TH NOVEMBER 2017
Excellent tasting in the old wine merchant house in Copenhagen, Kjær & Sommerfeldt. It was perfectly conducted by a young wine consultant from that merchant, Niklas Bjergegaard Kristensen. Among recent vintages, my cherry pick was 2005. Imho it was better than in 2009. Both modern-style wines. 2006 and 2004 were splendid, 2007 light but round and well-balanced. 2003 didn't confirm the hype, 2002 was corked. 1986 impressed a great deal, while 1955 was for me the wine of the day.
At the end of the tasting, Niklas went to the cellar and brought three wines, which we tasted blind. They were Montrose 1955 Danish bottling, Cos d'Estournel 1952 Danish bottling and Montrose 1952. Cos 1952 was magnificent, with Montrose 1952 a little step behind. 1955 Montrose was fine old wine, truffy, elegant and well-balanced. Danish bottling here.
More descriptions and ratings of Cos d'Estournel wines - check it out in the "Chateau Profiles" chapter.
Ratings of Montrose´s wines
1955 - 92p
1952 - 95p
WINEMAKER'S DINNER AT RESTAURANT MARCHAL IN COPENHAGEN ON 2ND MAY 2018 - CHATEAU MARGAUX
Thibault Pontalier, son of Paul Pontalier, the previous manager of Chateau Margaux, guested Copenhagen and conducted an exciting tasting of wines from the property. Chateau Margaux is one of Bordeaux' 5 First Growths and considered one of the very best wines in Bordeaux.
I tasted following wines:
1. Pavillon Blanc 2004
2. Pavillon Blanc 2015
3. Pavillon Rouge 2000
4. Pavillon Rouge 2010
5. Margaux 2004
6. Margaux 2012
7. Margaux 1995
8. Margaux 1996
MORE DETAILS COMING SOON!
EXTRAORDINARY, SYMBOLIC AND HISTORICAL TASTING OF 21 BORDEAUX WINES (20 REDS and 1 SWEET WHITE), 100 YEARS OLD!!
1918 vintage in Bordeaux was mainly made by women, as men were heavily involved in the First World War, which officially ended with Armistice on the 11th November 1918.
It’s was a vintage blessed by excellent weather conditions, a healthy growing season and ripe grapes. Wines had for the most a great deal of elegance, finesse and refinement, but were also dark-coloured, meaty, attractive and full-bodied.
12 participants, including me, took a close look at this vintage in Copenhagen on the 2nd November 2018. It was simply astonishing to experience how well several wines have aged. The top scorers aren’t finished yet!! Young and virile, that’s the statement. Bordeaux wines can age forever, can’t they?!
Big, big thanks to my friend Ivar Bjurner, who, without fear, managed to collect all these wines in DK and abroad.
By the way, my first ever 1918 was Chateau Citran from Haut Medoc in Bordeaux, chateau bottled, which I tasted in April 2018 at Domaine de Chevalier. It was a very nice, fruity wine. I rated it for 90p.
1. Dark red, shoe cream smell on the nose, which slowly damps away from the glass. Nice on the palate, not edgy, fine balance, keeps well. Not bad at all for a 100 years old wine! 92p. d’Armailhac. Chateau bottled.
2. Cloudy has lost the colour totally, fishy and well on the way to wine cemetery. NR. Pavie. Chateau bottled.
3. Light red, old on the nose, like entering a room which hasn’t been opened for at least 50 years. Nice palate, light with some fruit left. How did this “little” wine survive the century?? 88p. Du Lyonnat, Lussac St.Emilion, chateau bottled.
1. Chocolate nose, aromatic, nice acidity on the palate, light with some elegance and pleasant taste. 90p. Leoville Las Cases. Chateau bottled.
2. A potent nose of black fruit, intense, thick on the palate, long, still fresh. Great balance and complexity. Smooth fruity finish. Vibrant and full of life. This is fabulous stuff! 96p. Beausejour (Duffau Lagarosse), chateau bottled.
3. Chemical nose, but the fine and complex palate, fine acidity and fat fruity finish. Still very much alive and kicking. 93p. Gruaud Larose Faure, chateau bottled.
1. An old and dusty smell of a closed room keeps well on the palate, Ok acidity, some fruit left, very nice aftertaste. Low stand. 90p. Lagrange, St.Julien. Chateau bottled.
2. Fresher on the nose than Lagrange, otherwise quite similar in appearance, more intensity, and length here. 92p. Pape Clement. Chateau bottled.
3. Wow! What a palate and length, intensity, and concentration. Virile, vibrant, and kicking-ass wine. Awesome stuff. 96p. Grand Puy Lacoste (stand C), Bordeaux negociant bottling.
1. Dark, intense nose with little tar scent, potent on the palate, long finish. 93p. Pichon Baron, DK-bottling.
2. Fresh on the nose, real bang on the palate, fine acidity and depth, fine complexity and length as well. 95p. Pontet Canet, Eschenauer bottling.
3. Like Pontet Canet in terms of intensity, concentration, and length, dark and meaty with some truffy scent. 94p. Certan de May, Pomerol, chateau bottled.
1. Very old dusty nose, old sherry-like acidity, light, little fruit left. No excitement here. 87p. Chateau Margaux, chateau bottled.
2. More fruit here than in Chateau Margaux, fresher and younger, livid and kicking. Just fine, well-balanced wine, pleasant and tasty. 92p. Mouton Rothschild. Chateau bottled.
1. Very old stuff, similar to Chateau Margaux, maybe slightly fresher and younger acidity here. 89p. Lafite Rothschild. Chateau bottled.
2. Elegant and refined wine with fine balance, intensity and complexity. 91p. Haut Brion. Chateau bottled.
3. Very elegant and refined with a sophisticated touch. Light on the palate, and it tastes better than it smells. Anyway, there’s nothing to be disappointed about here, as this wine still keeps well for its age. 92p. Cos d’Estournel. Chateau bottled.
1. Elegant with finesse possesses freshness, refined, gracious nose and silky texture, velvety finish. Impressive for the age and the best wine of 1.Growths that particular evening. Amazing. 94p. Latour. Stand C. Chateau bottled.
2. Dark colour! Elegant and gracious on the nose, strong on the palate, big acidity and long finish. Not exactly showing its age with remarkable freshness and complexity. Young and kicking! Real badass wine! Calon Segur. 96p. Stand A/B. Chateau bottled.
3. Truffles, light, quite similar to Latour in appearance. 93p. Montrose. Stand A. Chateau bottled.
The tasting was rounded off by Climens 1918, Vandermeulen bottling, which was dark mahogany in colour, very much like vintage port wine and tasted like this. 91p.
An awesome collection, isn't it!
Two of three top scorers!
Lafite Rothschild, Duhart Milon, L’Evangile and Rieussec, all owned by Domaines Barons Rothschild, visited Copenhagen in January 2020
The tasting for the wine journalists took place at the excellent restaurant Marchal in Hotel d’Angleterre, Copenhagen. The theme was 2010 and 2000 vintages from each property.
Ib Bergkjær, CEO of Sigurd Müller Vinhandel and Jean-Sébastien Philippe, Lafite Rothschild’s commercial director, tutored the tasting informative and entertaining way. Sarah Chassin, buyer/sales manager from negociant company Wings (Francois Thienpont) which contributed to arranging the tasting, also attended it.
We were treated with two great vintages in Bordeaux, 2010 and 2000 (red). It was fascinating to compare both vintages, also in the context of technology improvements in treating vineyards, the influence of optical sorting of grapes, time of harvesting grapes (phenolic ripeness) and different winemaking.
I was in Bordeaux during the harvest in 2000 and 2010, harvests between 2000 and 2010, and after 2010. One thing struck me, and it was yield per ha. Huge in 2000, less than normal in 2010, but you really can't taste the difference. Both harvests were quite easy to manage without diseases occurring during the growing season.
Jean-Sébastien Philippe (left) and Ib Bergkjær (right)
We started with Duhart Milon, a property situated in Pauillac, app. 5 km east of Lafite Rothschild and close to Gironde river.
2010 – 63% Cabernet Sauvignon + 37% Merlot. Served from magnum. Aromatic and truffy on the nose, succulent, spicy fruit, minty, fine complexity, persistent finish. A well-balanced wine with many years for further development. Fine quality. 92p.
2000 – 80.5% Cabernet Sauvignon + 19.5% Merlot. Potent, creamy, minty, tobacco leaf, truffles, splendid complexity and fine finish. Well-designed wine with a strong backbone to keep for 10+ years more. 93p.
Next was L’Evangile from Pomerol.
2010 – 88% Merlot + 12% Cabernet Franc. Creamy cherry fruit on the nose, fat texture and fat tannin, great balance and complexity, strong backbone and long finish. Big scaled wine with a lot of keeping years in it! 95-96p.
2000 – 91% Merlot + 9% Cabernet Franc. Creamy and chocolate/cocoa-covered black cherries, still quite young for a 2 year old wine to be, lot of fruit and tannin, great concentration and complexity. I bet yield per ha in 2000 was significantly higher here than in 2010 (31 hl), but this wine is not diluted! 96p.
Then Lafite Rothschild, one of the 5 First Growths in Bordeaux and one of 3 FGs situated in Pauillac. World-famous wine!
2010 – 87% Cabernet Sauvignon + 13% Merlot. Very aromatically scented nose with a heavy dose of sophisticated touch. It is distinguished and incredibly complex, it sticks fast to the tongue, meaning it can be sliced, incredibly structured, and with an awesome long finish. 99-100p.
2000 – 93% Cabernet Sauvignon + 9% Merlot. “Doors” are hermetically closed, incredible promise awaits, needs probably several years to open up. It was completely another story in December 2016, when I opened my bottle (bought en primeur) of Lafite 2000. It was in full blossom and welcoming! 97p.
An additional vintage of Lafite was served, and it was 1964. It was better on the palate than on the nose. An OK old wine. Lafite was one of several properties on the Left Bank caught by rain at the end of the harvest in 1964.
We finished the tasting with Rieussec from Sauternes.
2010 – 92% Semillon + 5% Sauvignon Blanc + 3% Muscadelle. It was very perfumed on the nose with botrytised flavours of pineapple and grapefruit, orange peel, candied fruit, nice acidity, great balance, and a long finish. This vintage was very successful in Sauternes & Barsac and is compared to 2009 and 2005.
2000 - 65% Semillon + 24% Sauvignon Blanc + 11% Muscadelle. This vintage was characterized by excellent sunny weather, a little rain and a lack of botrytis. I believe grapes got concentrated and sweet by so-called passerillage (grapes drying in the sun) instead of being affected by botrytis fungus. Surprisingly, acidity in this wine is more present than in 2010. Very sugary, molasse, thick and long sweet finish. Goes perfectly with blue cheese like f.i. Roquefort.
For lunch, we were treated to two vintages of L’Evangile, 2014 and 2008. Both vintages are classic cool climate Bordeaux wines. They were quite similar, black ink coloured, tannic, thick, succulent, with big depth, strong backbone and long finish. To keep untouched for 20+ years! 93p for each wine.
EXTRAORDINARY TASTING ON THE 2ND OF MAY 2020 IN COPENHAGEN!
Crazy, crazy Saturday dinner on the 2nd of May 2020 with friends (we did keep our distance, wash hands, etc.) and enjoyed some extraordinary bottles. We celebrated Denmark's liberation from Nazis by the Brits, which happened on the 4th of May 1945. So, we mainly tasted 1945s, but wait a minute….
Somebody wise said once – “There aren’t great vintages, only great bottles!” And it was so obvious during the tasting. It was a blind and very entertaining one! The wines served were both normal and magnum bottles. All chateau bottled.
We kicked off with a magnum of Dom Perignon 2004 in magnum, which was rather semi-dry than dry, elegant and with finesse. Lighter than usual. 92p
Laville Haut Brion 1939 – very dark yellow, a nose of sherry and lanoline, tasted like demi-sec wine with a touch of sweetness, interesting to taste. A curiosity. 88p.
Laville Haut Brion 1945 – much younger in colour than 1939, so I thought it was 1939 before the identity of both was revealed. Still virile and lively, acidity was still there, complex, tasty and with a smooth finish. 93p.
Leoville Barton 1940 - fresh cherry nose, still spanking around, well-knitted, well-balanced, truffles, very complex and with persistent finish. This badass wine’s kept astonishingly well! 95p.
Domaine de Chevalier (magnum) 1940 – rather old, extracted coffee beans, not a very good bottle, which peaked many years ago. 86p.
Leoville Barton (magnum) 1943 – again, an excellent display. Noble nose, aromatic cherries on the nose and cherry taste, well-preserved and elegant wine. It still has some years left in the tank. 93p.
Bouscaut 1943 (dark horse) – a big surprise when the origin of this wine was revealed. I thought it came from Haut Medoc. Some splendid concentration here, fine complexity, spicy cherries and blackcurrants, fine balance and persistent finish. Not finished yet and not bad at all! 93p.
Lafite 1945 – at first sip, it was obvious that something superb from Haut Medoc was in the glass. Well-preserved cherries on the nose and palate, acidity was there and supported fruit in an exemplary way, pure elegance and sophisticated touch, great complexity and lingering finish. Well-stored wine for sure. 95p.
Latour 1945 – there is a power and strong backbone here and some volatile acidity and balance out of function. For me, this wine tasted somewhat disjointed and very old. Maybe it suffered from improper storage. 88p.
Ch. Margaux 1945 – salty (oysters) on the nose, elegant, sophisticated, refined, and great length. Still having fun and making wine tasters happier. 94p.
Haut Brion 1945 – old blackcurrant aroma on the nose, some truffles scent, much better on the palate with strong backbone and depth. The balance in this wine suffers a bit. Persistent finish. 92p.
Corbin 1945 – young in color and appearance, unbelievable! Dignified cherry nose and sleek palate, sophisticated with great balance and sheer elegance. Great intensity of flavours. Smooth and lingering finish. It was simply an awesome experience. 96p.
Lanessan 1918 (dark horse) – for a 102-year-old wine, it was such a fine experience to taste it. Still very much alive, fruity, round and tasting well. Impressive, but it’s not that surprising to see so old Bordeaux wine from lower ranks performing well. 91p.
Leoville Poyferre 1945 – well past its prime, a bit oxidized with sherry flavours, toffee, pleasant and round. 86p
Calon Segur (magnum) 1945 – in advanced age, old aromas, some truffles, the fruit is decreasing, and I don’t believe this wine will last any longer. 2-3 more years, perhaps? 87p.
Gruaud Larose (magnum) 1945 – dark coloured, sweet raspberry drops and scent of truffles on the nose, well-balanced and tasty wine, smooth finish. 93p.
Talbot (magnum) 1945 – old flavours, the fruit was in a very advanced danger of disappearing and the wine getting volatile. 86p.
Dessert wine 1 – Caillou Crème de Tete 1943, Barsac – fresh with fine sweetness and corresponding acidity, an aroma of honey melon and guava, fine complexity and creamy finish. Big surprise that this wine’s kept so well. 92p.
Dessert wine 2 – Croft’s vintage 1945 – still holding well, medium red with sweet cherries on the nose and palate, elegant with attractive sweetness and lingering finish. 92p.
Dessert wine 3 – Smith Woodhouse 1977 vintage – black in color, very closed and unevolved. Dense and tight. After 43 years (May 2020), this port wine hasn’t opened its doors yet, and we probably have to wait for 10-15 years more. A fine future awaits. 94p.
Bouscaut 1955 – has aged well, on the light side with elegance and finesse. Lovely and delightful wine. 91p.
Montrose (magnum) 1964 – I’d this wine several times before, and every time it was great. But the bottle here wasn’t a good one. Tired, musty aromas, acidity well in front, little fruit left. Improperly stored? 84p.
Cos d’Estournel vertical, Friday the 17th of June 2022
Before tasting 24 vintages of Cos d’Estournel that evening, I didn’t have the opportunity to taste 11 of these - 2012, 1998, 1996, 1995, 1988, 1982, 1981, 1977, 1973, 1926, and 1916. These “missing” vintages significantly extended my knowledge of Cos and my understanding of this property’s style. The mix of power and elegance is thrilling! This 2nd CC from St. Estephe is one of Bordeaux classiest and terroir-driven wines. One of my favorite wines from Bordeaux, for sure!
The white Cos, 2013 and 2018, was purchased at the chateau, and the 2009 white Cos, plus all the reds, were purchased at different auctions/wine shops.
White Cos d’Estournel. We tasted 2009, 2013, and 2018.
Imho, 2009 and 2013 were similar: freshness, finesse, aromatic white flowers, crispiness, splendid acidity, and lingering aftertaste. 93p for both. 2018 was lighter and more elegant than 2009 and 2013, with less marked acidity and a shorter aftertaste. 91p.
Cos d’Estournel 1995 and 2002.
1995 – I’m not convinced that this vintage was splendid on both Left and Right Bank. Merlot ripened, in my opinion, better than Cabernet Sauvignon. Cos in this vintage displayed some peppery notes and a slight lack of ripeness. Edgy, firm, and stern. Maybe it will soften at some point in its life. 90p.
2002 – you can easily say it was a Cabernet Sauvignon vintage, as Merlot had great difficulty reaching good ripeness because of challenging weather. Anyway, Cos managed to make a wine of satisfactory quality, displaying well the typicity of Cabernet Sauvignon. Leather, cedar wood, forest floor, mineral, strong backbone and structure, sappy, long, and persistent finish. Has a long life ahead. 93p.
Cos d’Estournel 1977 and 1973.
1977 – I didn’t expect this wine to be that lovely at all, thinking of all the weather problems this vintage experienced. A sensual nose of ripe(!) blackcurrants, fine acidity, tasty, complex, lovely finish. It’s nice to drink now and for 3-5 more years. 88p.
1973 – another surprise. Cold and rainy summer and rain during the harvest didn’t promise good things for the vintage, but I’ve to say Cos made quite a fine wine. Aromatic and delicate, with gentle tannin, milky (yogurt) on the palate, vibrant with lovely complexity. 89p.
Cos d’Estournel 1988 and 1982.
1988 – better vintage on Right Bank than on the Left because of Merlot ripening perfectly. Wines on the Left Bank suffered a little from Cabernets not reaching perfect maturity. Cos made much more than solid wine. Very Cabernet Sauvignon with tobacco/cigar box, wet earth, cassis, and black truffle. Powerful, strong backbone, vibrant, splendid complexity, and long aftertaste. It’s classic St. Estephe wine for long-term cellaring. 94p.
1982 – one of the best vintages in Bordeaux’s history and one that, after 40 years, still keeps its fine ingredients intact. Cos was a peach of wine with gorgeously intense Cabernet Sauvignon displaying leather, cedar, and tobacco leaf. Plenty of creamy blackcurrants and grained tannin plus sweetness. Vibrant, refined, and sophisticated. In full blossom. Can live forever! 98p.
Cos d’Estournel 2009 and Pagodes de Cos 2009. 2009 – this is an excellent vintage for Cos. Intense and aromatic nose of black fruit with the scent of yogurt, distinguished and classy. Luscious blackcurrants, grained tannin, great acidity, highly complex, and very long on the palate. Silky with great elegance. Absolutely nothing to complain about here. Perfect modern Bordeaux with great style. One to enjoy over many years to come. 98+p. My WOTN, but it was strongly challenged by 1982 and 2015 Cos!
The second wine of Cos, Pagodes, from the same vintage and from magnum, mirrored the Grand Vin quite well. Of course, it had not the same intensity, depth, and length as Grand Vin, but it offered large quantities of delicacy, silky texture, and seductive fruit. 92p.
Cos d’Estournel 1976 and 1981.
1976 - a hot and humid vintage in Bordeaux. Cos seemed not to be affected by that and displayed some fine things. Cabernet Sauvignon had flavors of crushed rocks, tobacco leaves, and grilled bacon, with lively, lovely complexity and structure. Persistent aftertaste. A lot of great pleasure here. 94p.
1981 – this vintage looked sensational before harvest, and wine people in Bordeaux expected a repeat of 1961. Unfortunately, it rained a lot during the entire harvest. However, several properties managed in some way to produce splendid wines, and Cos was one of them. Powerful with a strong backbone, mineral, great structure, delicate balance, complexity and length, and long finish. It can easily keep for 10-15 more years. 93p.
Cos d’Estournel 1985 and 1986.
1985 – my first Bordeaux vintage to be experienced live on-site in September 1985. Perfect sunny weather through the harvest. Despite huge yields, the wines from this vintage have kept extremely well. It was called a feminine vintage by several wine critics, but it’s not entirely correct, imho. Cos expressed the grace, elegance, and beauty of this vintage. Roasted bacon, milky, black winter truffles, sensual, great acidity, bright complexity, sophisticated touch, and long lingering aftertaste. I had a slightly better example of this wine in 2015, but no complaints here! 96p.
1986 – after a solar 1985, it returned to a more classic Bordeaux style in 1986. Cos was a traditional St.Estephe wine with a lot to offer. Full-bodied, big fruit intensity, Cabernet Sauvignon in full blossom, great structure, and midpalate. Vibrant. Long meaty finish. Many years to go. 95p.
Cos d’Estournel 1996 (magnum) and 2006.
1996 – from a magnum bottle. You can compare it to other vintages ending with the “6” digit, but the fruit ripeness is better here than in 2006, and perhaps the complexity is slightly more significant here than in 1986. To be drunk by your children when they reach the right drinking age. 95p.
2006 – damp and humid weather conditions in Bordeaux. Cabernet Sauvignon came through these in a much better way than Merlot. Cos is the typical Cabernet Sauvignon wine with power, strong backbone, minerality, acidity, vibrancy, big tannin, and a meaty finish. It’s still very youthful and needs a couple of decades to mature. 94p.
Calon Segur 2005 magnum (dark horse) and Cos d’Estournel 2015.
I think that Calon Segur 2005 put some “clothes” of Cos on during this vertical! Potent, plenty of sweet and fragrant blackcurrants, bright acidity, lush tannin, and persistent aftertaste. 92p.
2015 – very aromatic on the nose with fully ripe blackcurrants, creamy and luscious on the palate with fat and ripe tannin. Juicy and lively. A considerable amount of oak was kept quiet by plenty of flashy fruit. Great complexity, splendid structure, and a long meaty finish. This wine will surely gain even more complexity in the coming years. Mesmerizing wine. 98p.
Cos d’Estournel 1953 and 1955.
1953 – Danish bottling. I’d tasted this vintage before, in September 2015, and it was also a Danish bottling. The difference between these two bottles was that the bottle I tasted in 2015 had always stayed in the cold cellar of the Danish wine merchant since its release. The one we tasted during vertical in June 2022 had probably traveled worldwide because it tasted pretty old. Sappy and still alive, but the fruit was somewhat mushroomy, and tannin was in the process of drying out. 86p.
1955 – Bordeaux bottling. It was similar to 1953, with little fruit left, dry-out tannin, and champignon taste. 85p.
Cos d’Estournel 1926 and 1916.
1926 – Bordeaux bottling. Sappy with nice acidity, lively, tasty, nicely balanced, and delicate finish. Still alive and a pleasant one to taste. 91p.
1916 – Danish bottling. Made during First World War by women as male workers were sent to the front. Keeping well for a 106-year-old wine, a bit mushroomy but otherwise pleasant, round, and soft. 89p.
Cos d’Estournel 1998 and 1952.
1998 – this vintage in Bordeaux was blessed with warm weather warm and became incredibly successful at Right Bank, with many magical wines produced. Left Bank wines hadn’t been largely that successful. But Cos contradicted this postulate and was a badass wine. Intense on the nose and palate with creamy blackcurrants, minerality, delicate acidity, sweet tannins, and great complexity. Vibrant and lovely structure. Long lingering finish. 96p.
1952- Bordeaux bottling. I strongly suspected that the 1950s in the vertical came from the same cellar. Why? Because this particular vintage tasted similar past its peak compared with 1955 and 1952. 86p.
Cos d’Estournel 2014 and 2011.
2014 – a Bordeaux vintage marked by excellent acidity and almost perfectly ripe fruit and tannin. Cos fitted perfectly in that description. Firm, tight, and plenty of fruit and tannin. Strong backbone, vibrant acidity, impressive structure and depth, and long persistent finish. Classic as it can be. Long-time keeper. It was btw the year of the arrival of new technical director Aymeric de Gironde, who replaced Guillaume Prats. 96p.
2011 – unstable weather conditions in 2011 didn’t allow winemakers in Bordeaux to accomplish great things. No full ripeness of the grapes and tannins. Cos made a pretty nice wine anyway. The exciting thing was that Jean-Guillaume Prats, manager of Cos, didn’t overdo and over-extract this wine as he did to some extent in 2010. This wine was powerful and had rough edges and rusticity. Very Cabernet Sauvignon. I think it needs time to soften and reveal its qualities because the potential is there. 92p for now.
Cos d’Estournel 2017 and 2012.
2017 – this wine had a specific flavor when tasted. It had a milky or yogurt flavor on the nose, which I often find tasting Cos. It comes from the soil. Tight, strong, and well-balanced, aromatic, great acidity, vibrant. Tobacco leaf and cigar box. Magnificent structure and depth. Long and persistent aftertaste. Grace and power at the same time. 96p.
2012 – this Bordeaux vintage offered many beautiful, tasty, and immensely attractive wines. They may not have the structure, complexity, and length of the famous vintages like 2010, 2015, 2016, 2018, and 2019, but they are an extremely affordable and excellent choice at restaurants. Furthermore, 2012 can now be enjoyed while you wait for the big vintages. Cos was precisely just like that, juicy, luscious, and had a caressing finish. 93p.