Always a treat to have yquem. Nice amber in the glass. Lots of passion fruit on the nose and palate. Quite full and deep. Delicious - but, acid a notch under what I was hoping which keeps this from being higher. Still a lovely wine with a very long finish. — 2 months ago
The 2003 Lafite-Rothschild has an attractive perfumed bouquet with touches of camphor infusing the blackberry and bilberry fruit. There is a mahogany bureau hint. The palate is medium-bodied with a spicy opening. The sharp acidity slightly jars against the sweet candied black fruit, with blood orange and white pepper toward the mocha-tinged finish. It's missing a bit of sustain on the aftertaste, hence my more parsimonious score. It does cohere in the glass, so decanting will help. Tasted at the Académie du Vin dinner from ex-château magnum. (Neal Martin, Vinous, August 2023)
— 4 months ago
It was Father’s Day and I had decided on grilled rack of lamb for dinner so I selected this bottle of 2011 Chateau Musar rouge from our cellar. According to Musar’s records, the 2011 vintage was one of the most challenging since the early 1990’s. It was ultimately a late-maturing vintage with harvest taking place on October 13th, the latest since the 1983 vintage!
I decanted this bottle about eight hours prior to dinner. It should be noted that immediately upon opening, the bouquet was strikingly gorgeous with powerful aromatics that were obvious from several feet away and this trait carried through until dinner time.
In the glass, the wine presents a deep garnet color. Slightly turbid with a near opaque core. On the nose, black plums, blackberries, cassis, tobacco, organic earth, exotic spices, leather, spiced meat, and pomegranate. I detect a touch of VA as well. On the palate, the wine is dry with medium+ tannins and medium+ acid. Confirming the nose with an added bit of red rope licorice. Lovely, long, savory…amazing. This was a brilliant compliment to the lamb (which was served with beets and goat cheese and fattoush) and everything I wanted in a Musar tonight. Drinking well now with a hefty decant and I expect well cellared examples to drink well past 2035. — 5 months ago
This bottle of 1983 Pichon-Lalande (I really can't be bothered to type out its full name) is the best of many encountered over the years. This offers gorgeous melted red fruit, woodbines, smoke and cigar humidor scents that could only come from Pauillac. Hints of black truffle and morels follow after about an hour in the glass. The palate displays lovely balance, poised and fresh, perhaps more vigor than I ever expected, with just a hint of dried blood on the finish. Impeccable provenance played a role here, but it is still a 1983 that should not be underestimated. Tasted blind at Pichon-Lalande. (Neal Martin, Vinous, August 2023)
— 4 months ago
1996 vintage. Decanted and tasted after two hours. Decent fill and not throwing as much sediment as expected. Cork in great shape and only bottom fourth saturated. Expressive nose of extreme, maritime cedar influence and graphite/lead pencil. Plenty of color with a very thin meniscus. Have never been the biggest Mouton fan (least fave of the First Growths) but this is in the zone/at the top of the bell curve/rollin rollin rollin rollin now and for the foreseeable decade+ without drop-off. Decidedly not improving, but on the hell yes plateau for 12-15 years. Nose substantially translates into the finish, adding sandalwood and that massive, muscular and intimidating dark, plummy thrust. Professional opinion suspects this would be tasting better in another 2 hours. Don't sell your biggies short (all too frequent mistake). They gotta stretch them legs. 7.7.23. — 5 months ago
Served blind alongside what was eventually revealed to be a 1997 Freemark Abbey. This was the easiest of the pairings to get our heads collectively around as we felt confident this was Bordeaux and the other was from Napa. Unfortunately, I no longer have my notes for that wine but this was particularly memorable because I had held back a glass of the 1970 Montrose and had a lovely time tasting the two of those wines side-by-side. It was remarkable how much they had in common with one another. In fact, the only real difference between the two was that the 2000 just had more of its structure in tact. Other than that, the Montrose DNA was undeniable with loads of all the darkest, blackest fruits: currants and blackberries with coffee, tobacco, and graphite. At nearly 23 years young, the structure remains positively monumental. Despite all of that, it was ever so winsome. The finish was long with wonderful acid and lovely, ferrous minerals. Drink now with patience and over the next handful of decades. — 6 months ago
Served to me double-blind. The wine pours a deep ruby color with a slightly orange rim. Medium+ viscosity and some moderate staining of the tears. There appears to be some sign of sediment as well. On the nose, the wine was intense with notes of dark cherries, a mix of red and black bramble fruits, licorice, some leather and dried gravelly earth. I don’t detect any use of barrique but maybe some large format oak. This has an old world nose to it that was really lovely. On the palate, the wine is dry with medium+ tannin and medium+ acid. Confirming the notes from the nose and while the fruit had some power, it came in a body that was pretty fit and tidy. Alcohol is medium+. The finish is long and had some stoney minerals too. I called Brunello di Montalcino from a warmer vintage like 2009. Whoa…2007 Beaucastel! Damn, they hit so different than most other CdP’s. So much more restrained! But now that it has been revealed and I’ve allowed more time for it to breathe in my glass, I totally get its sense of place. One of my big takeaways is that I need more experience with these wines, particularly with age because that’s when they become more interesting to me. This is drinking well now but I expect it will continue to do so through 2032 with ease. — 4 months ago
One encounter with an ex-château bottle suggested that the 1966 Lynch-Bages is not to be overlooked. Deep in color, it has a tempting nose that unfolds gradually in the glass, graphite and cedar commingling with crushed stone and red fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with a firm entry, very cedary with touches of desiccated orange peel. It's a bit conservative on the finish, though that is a leitmotif of the 1966 vintage. Well-preserved bottles should still be giving pleasure. Tasted at the Lynch Bages vertical. (Neal Martin, Vinous, July 2023) — 5 months ago
Popped and poured; consumed over a three hour period. No formal notes. The 2015 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco pours a deeper garnet color with a translucent core. Medium+ viscosity with no staining of the tears. No signs of sediment. On the nose, the wine is currently bursting with red and dark fruits: blackberries, Luxardo cherry, pomegranate, green herbs, red flowers, green herbs, and tar. On the palate, the wine is bone dry with high tannin and medium+ acid. The notes on the nose are confirmed. The finish is long and savory. Really compelling stuff in the context of the night. I think the 2015’s are drinking so well right now. Unfortunately, this is my last bottle of the “classico” but I’ll be on the hunt for more if I can score at a good price. Drink now if you’re going to allow for some evolution in the glass or enjoy through 2035. — 5 months ago