Every major holiday demands a celebratory wine. This Saturday Labor Day weekend, it’s a 1986 Leoville Las Cases.
The other weekend, we had Ribcap’s with a good Bordeaux & Napa Cabernet but, it was not what I was looking for with an Allen Brothers Ribcap. Allen Brothers steaks are the top 1% of beef in the country.
This 86 Leoville Las Cases started slow but, in short order excelled. The cork (not from my storage) made me hesitate to an extended decant. Even with the Durand corkscrew, it was a little tricky to remove the cork. However, the wine was still sound.
My favorite pairing is a Ribcap & an old Bordeaux. For me, no meal is slower or better. I grew up the youngest in a family of seven...raised by a single mother. My father passed away while I was four months conceived. So, we ate fast and fought for every scrap.
The nose reveals classic Bordeaux notes & style. Ripe, funky barnyard fruits of; cooked; blackberries, dark cherries, black raspberries, strawberries, black plum, dark cherries, slight dry cranberries, pomegranate, blueberries & rhubarb. Steeped tea, cola/red licorice, anise, golden brown to slightly burnt pie crust, dark, rich, turned earth, dry stones, limestone, cedar notes, old tobacco, underbrush, graphite, dry crushed rocks, dry top soil, bay leaf, hints of eucalyptus/mint, old, soft leather, touch of mushrooms, just a hint of band-aid/va, with bright, fresh & withering; dark, red, blue, purple flowers framed is soft violets.
The palate is; smooth, elegant, ripe and juicy. The 86 still shows some baby, slightly tarry & teethe tannins. The structure, tension, balance and length are incredible. This 86 has years of life ahead of it if you enjoy them at this age and older as I do. Ripe, funky barnyard fruits of; cooked; blackberries, dark cherries, black, strawberries, black plum, dark cherries, slight dry cranberries, pomegranate, blueberries, faint raspberries notes, & rhubarb. Steeped tea, cola/red licorice, anise, golden brown to slightly burnt pie crust, crispy toast, dark, rich, turned earth, dry river stones, charcoal w/ ash, limestone/sandstone, dry clay, cedar notes, old tobacco with ash, underbrush, graphite, dry crushed rocks, dry top soil, bay leaf, some vegetal characteristics, hints of eucalyptus/mint, old, soft leather, touch of mushrooms, used expresso grounds, dark chocolate, caramel, mocha powder, hints of band-aid/va, with bright, fresh & withering; dark, red, blue, purple flowers framed is soft violets. The acidity is a gentle rain shower and perfect. The long finish defines elegance, balance in fruit & earth, well knitted and goes on for several minutes in perfect harmony ending with dry earth & juiciness over the top.
What a treat it is to drink Bordeaux of this age & older. I love the style of 80’s Bordeaux and really appreciate the 12-13% ABV of that decade. Wish that never changed.
Not sure this makes it to 2060 but, there is still plenty of life in it. Don’t be afraid to decant it 1-2 hours without question on well stored bottles.
Photos of; Chateau Leoville Las Cases, old large wood vats, their archway you see as you enter the property from the D2 & staff working their Estate vines. — 16 days ago
1hr+ decant and needed more. Dark purple color. Lovely nose of violets, coffee, oak, and tar. Wine is harsh on the palate and lacks fruit and depth. Was more spicy than I would have expected. Develops earthy and smoke flavors with air, but had a medium minus finish. Not bad value, but expected more. — 3 days ago
2015 vintage. The second wine of Château La Gaffelière, a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, from vines on the lower part ot the southern hills of the estate and young vines from the better spots. Aged in 1 year old barriques, no new wood. This has real understated class. The nose is still a bit shy, give it time to open up. Cassis, flowers and a subtle hint of truffle. Nicely concentrated, but gently extracted, this is all about finesse and elegance. It has impeccable balance, nice complexity and good length. This is not a showy wine, but a very classic gentleman. Lovely value at 20 euros. Abv. 14%. — 16 days ago
Decanted 90 minutes. Very dark opaque colour. Nose with dark fruits, some black currant early on but some spices as well and some oak. Tasted blind the nose seems more CNP then Right Bank. Palate is dense, powerful, nice acidity in the middle, ripe fruit, volume and depth along with a delicious finish with a slight dryness. Very good but there is a little bit of warmth to it caused by alcohol that makes the whole balance very slightly out of sink with the rest. 90-91
Carafé 90 minutes. Couleur foncée et opaque. Fruits noirs, cassis aussi, du bois un peu. Fait plus CNP que Rive Droite au nez. Bouche délicieuse, puissante, dense, du volume, belle acidité en millieu de bouche, finale est assez longue, un peu asséchante et une touche alccoleuse qui affecte un peu l’équilibre d’ensemble. Très bien malgré tout, mais pas certain que ca deviendra grand. 90-91 — 15 days ago
Tried this again, 1st bottle was a dud! Made by Michele d'Aprix, an American woman who studied organic chemistry in college and ended up in Bordeaux. Chemical equation on the label is the equation for calcareous clay soil in the right bank of Bordeaux giving a unique character. Deep Ruby with aromas of dark berry fruits and notes of cedar and spice. Palate shows flavors of blackberry & cherry with tobacco and pepper spice. Drying tannins, medium+ finish, nice balance ending with earthy herbs & black pepper notes. — 8 days ago