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    MY TOP  WINES 2017

     

    1982 Dinner London, January

    Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1982 (on this showing, outshining Latour)

    The bouquet is transfixing, coffee, cassis, licorice, macerated cherries. It is a monumental wine in the making, earning all its plaudits today, after years of teasing us with its latent monumentality. Crème de cassis, mint, dark fruit, tobacco, lace the palate. Then as it reaches the mid palate, you have blackberry and blueberry framed by well marshaled acidity. It then rallies majestically as it heads towards the finish. It uncoils at the finish: full bodied, layered, complex, even a tad flamboyant, and I think awaiting just some additional blossoming for its full range of expressiveness to accentuate what seems a well nigh perfect wine. 99-100 Points (6 votes for wine of the flight, 1 second place vote)

     

    Crystal Springs ‘Anniversary’ Dinner February 2017 (3 Wines)

    Lafite Rothschild 1953

    The nose is immediately ravishing, cedar, spice and violets perfume the nostrils. Aromatically you are simply stunned. The velvet texture, the round, sweet, bolt of silk on the palate, the Lafite lead pencil, all seduce you with their encompassing charms. You get lively mineral and spice laced red fruit at the mid palate, some ceps and a gently inviting smokiness. The tannins are gorgeously resolved, there is a sweet seamlessness and harmony to the wine that almost defies parallels. Twice now, the wine has been just disarmingly beautiful, stunning in its layered, complex, nuanced, yet emphatic Lafite elegance, showing the sheer poise that Cabernet Sauvignon can display. The smooth, sweet, nuanced finish is just magnificent. This is a simply extraordinary wine, and along with the ’59, arguably the greatest Lafite of the last century. 99 Points+

     

    Mouton Rothschild 1949

    A wine-making tour-de-force that caught by surprise in terms of the thrilling grandeur of the wine. Some Mouton mint, coffee and cassis abound on the stellar bouquet. There is such a thrilling vein of acidity to this wine, which as with the best 49’s, takes some of the ’47 richness and some of the ’45 concentration and intertwines elements of both with surpassing elegance, sophistication and aplomb. You have cassis, herbs, mocha and cinnamon all contributing to the fanfare at and past the mid palate. The tannins are soft but evident, so becomingly modest yet so assured. The layers of rich, round, vivid, vital flavors, the apogee of a great era, leave you bliss filled and transfixed. Plums, flowers and earth all alluringly come together on a long, almost lascivious finish. This is just magnificence. 100 Points

     

    Mission Haut Brion 1955

    A simply staggering wine, possibly the greatest 1955, alongside its Right Bank rival in the vintage, Cheval Blanc. The bouquet is an ovationary mix of blackberries, cedar, cloves and some gentle smokiness. It opens on the palate too like a spice bazaar, then truffles, ceps, red berries at the mid palate. The silky texture, the gorgeous spicy sweetness, the La Mission wildness taking a gracious back seat to the sheer elegance of the ’55 vintage. If Brillat Savarin intoned that black truffles could “make women more tender and men more apt to love,” this wine shines on the same spectrum. Melted tannins, silky texture, on the finish a kaleidoscope of brilliant interlocking flavors that here play the violin rather than blow the trumpets. 99 Points+

     

    La Tache and a Little Roulot Dinner March 2017 (2 wines)

    Moucheron Montrachet 1955

    From one of the plots that today comprise Domaine de la Romanee Conti’s Montrachet, this was a thrilling wine, and an exhilarating experience with aged white wine. There was just a touch of caramel in the midst of the still robust golden color. Opened for a little over an hour, it continued to unfurl its sails and blossomed with time-defying vivacity over a further hour at least. A touch of orange, then pear and apple, honey and nuts, abound on the nose. The palate is gorgeously balanced, elegant, focused, with nice soil tones in the midst of nicely palate cushioning fruit. A lovely vein of acidity runs through this beauty. A little sweetness emerges past the mid palate, and it builds to a brilliantly focused, long, complex and zesty finale that almost “hugs” the palate. This is a stunning wine. 98-99 Points

     

    La Tache 1962

    This actually came across as a tad too young initially, and so did not give ‘quite’ the immediate pleasure of its cohorts hedonistically. But to me, this could be the most complete and compelling wine of the evening. Sweet spices, licorice, anise, swirl bewitchingly on the nose. On the palate, raspberries, plums, La Tache spice, truffle, a touch of smokiness, astonishing complexity, but at the mid palate, amid the silky, sumptuous richness, this was still a little coy, coquettish almost. Yet it flared forth again after some time especially with the amazing St. Canut dish and after, richness and delicacy swirling for dominance. And then a sweet encompassing grace perfumes the powerful finale, auguring still further treasures ahead. Actually, over a 2 to 3 hour period at dinner, rather than in a flight, I believe it more fully reveals its profundity. This is the gold standard for La Tache stylistically and for the Domaine, understandably an acknowledged standard bearer. 100 Points

     

    Bottle Opened ‘Impromptu’ with Bertrand de Villaine in Burgundy at the 1243 Club in Beaune May 2017

     

    La Tache 1959

    A wine of breathtaking completeness and grace, ravishing the nostrils with roses and La Tache oriental spices, tinged with a touch of caramel and truffles. It opens with sheer, transfixing grace, with gorgeous swirls of plums, game, soil notes, and flaring at the mid palate with those incomparable La Tache “blessed” Vosne spices. The sheer seduction amidst the complexity and purity is extraordinary. Utterly seamless as it approaches the finish, some beetroot and nutmeg, remarkable depth, lacy tannins, invigoratingly balanced acidity, leaving the palate literally encased in velvet, amidst a lovely mélange of cardamom and silky red fruit. This is a masterpiece, transcending time, you have to fall in love here. 100 Points

     

    Fountain House Charity Dinner Margaux Across the Ages, May 2017

    Chateau Margaux 1959

    Again this was a very consistent recurring nominee for one of the best wines of the evening, on an evening of truly great wines. Earth, cassis and caramel waft up to enchant the nostrils. It opens with such statuesque, layered majesty, far more restrained than many ‘59’s -- here trading Margaux intensity and finesse for opulence. Sweet and fresh in the mouth with a lively presentation of black fruits at first, then integrating citrus elements and red fruit with earthen flavors; the tannins, as in all wine of this vintage from the Medoc, are powerful and do have a heavy-handed impact, and you feel it here but then it is shrugged off, transcended almost past the mid palate. There is such balance and the final impression is one of translucence and freshness, and of a wine with exceptional, enchanting, classic definition. 99 Points+

     

    Monfortino Dinner May 2017 (2 wines)

    Conterno Monfortino 1964

    Mushrooms, cherries, soil, tar, roses, sweet spice, all swirl on the enrapturing bouquet. This is a remarkable example of the vintage and the genre. You get notes of gentle red curry almost and notes of balsamic on the palate. You can almost “taste” the Monfortino soil here, and the sweet, spiced red fruit blazes forth at and past the mid palate. There is such a pervading, rounded, luscious, sensuous balance to the wine, enough acidic tang, an impressive now secondary tannic structure, just a touch almost of BBQ wood smoke as it gathers itself for a black cherry “kissed”, soft and palate seducing finish. 99 Points+

     

    Conterno Monfortino 1947

    There are no published critical assessments to have prepared us for what we experienced here – an utterly transcendent final wine. Delightfully perfumed on the bouquet, strawberries, Asian spice cake, a mélange of mineral and earth notes, light pepper, black fruit, at times in terms of the kaleidoscope of scents (and later flavors) eerily reminiscent of some experiences of the Mouton ’45, with less concentration. Generous, soft tannins as it opens on the palate, hints of marzipan, sweet, soft delicacy as it embraces the mid palate. And then it almost shifts geography and becomes almost akin to drinking great old Burgundy, the sheer gently perfumed, subtly acidic grace, some sultanas, utter floral balletic finesse on a gorgeous finish. This was an extraordinary bottle of a great wine. 100 Points

     

    Dujac Clos St. Denis, June 2017

    Dujac Clos St. Denis 1978

    This was utterly brilliant, with petals, earth and bewitching spiciness on the nose, some cloves completing the olfactory package. You get truffles, some flowers perfuming the palate, a rich swirl of plums and cherries, a little licorice, and then sheer velvet at and past the mid palate. You have mushrooms and then the brilliant underlying minerality becomes more evident with vital seamless integrated acidity. It finishes with such almost exuberant finesse, rounded, sensuous, yet so focused and so precise, almost perfect in its harmony of enrapturing elements. 98-99 Points

     

     

    Paris ‘Legends’ Dinner June 2017 (3 Wines)

     

    Romanee Conti 1940 (ungrafted pre phyloxera vines)

    This was a thrilling wine, with an intense, refined, pure and complex nose ablaze with Vosne spices and blackberries. It opens with a gentle spice mixture on the palate, blackberries and plums, hints of leather and some beguiling earthiness, all cushioned by gracious, silky tannins. The mouth perfume, pure Romanee Conti, is most evident past the mid palate, nicely rounded, still amazingly youthful, utterly harmonious throughout, it finishes with palate seducing aplomb, and is just stunning in its pristine beauty. 98-99 Points+

     

    DRC Richebourg VV 1942 (served blind)

    Considered the finest of the war vintages, this was a thrilling wine, with raspberry, cinnamon and some sous bois on the nose. On the palate you have some caramel, spices, brown sugar, a touch of sauvage along with soy, then some anise notes flirt with the mid palate. This is a sheer joy, rich, sweet, intense, balanced, and impressively long on the effulgent, spice laced, sappy red fruit accented finish. There is an overall depth and breadth to the wine that catches you unawares, it is an anthem to this very rare expression of the vineyard, made from one row of vines over a few vintages. 99-100 Points

     

    Chateau Margaux 1928

    A well nigh unforgettable wine, yet again! Sweet fruit, caramel, tea, some floral notes all commune harmoniously on the bouquet. The acidity is still so fresh here, the tannins are soft and evocative, the texture is supremely elegant. You have dark fruit, pure violets on the mid palate, such perfect balance throughout. This recalcitrant, taciturn vintage has now relented, yet this is still youthful! The freshness and richness of the wine, the sheer enveloping grace on the finish is just remarkable. Velvet, spices, floral violets, mineral allure all cohere so exquisitely to exalt this astounding beauty. 100 Points

     

     

    Latour Dinner London, June 2017 (2 Wines)

    Chateau Latour 1982

    This is a still stunning wine, approaching a plateau (finally!) where it is likely to linger and flourish for decades. You have plums, mocha and truffles on the seductive bouquet. It opens with gently relenting tannins and such evident class, possibly a touch off its most vibrant expression this evening. Nevertheless, it was beautifully multifaceted, nothing heavy here, notes of sandalwood at the mid palate and black fruit laced with graphite. The symmetry is so evident towards the finish, ablaze with boysenberry and a touch of orange peel, seamless in texture and so elegant, adding such sophisticated depth and radiant panache to the enticements of the vintage. 98-99 Points+

    Chateau Latour 1949

    You have cherries, peppers and roses on the nose, coming together with such beauty. As one of our tasters said this was a viscerally stunning experience, and it certainly was. It opens with truffles and a hint of black tea, abundant sweet dark fruit, and then red currants at the mid palate. The fruit is laced with minerals and there is a bewitching balance to the wine. It has gorgeous structure and composure, with exciting depth, and remaining throughout so full of poise. Strawberries and currants emerge next, their elegant abundant sweet fruit romancing cedar and currants on a finish of such abounding succulence, ravishing texture and simply exhilarating intensity. 100 Points

     

    1974 Cali Cab Dinner September 2017

    Heitz Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet 1974

    Possibly the most famous American wine worldwide, eucalyptus laced, hauntingly beautiful. Where Mayacamas is the classicist, Heitz is also classic in style, but iconoclastic, akin to virtually nothing else you will experience. Eucalyptus, cherries, coffee and game abound on the nose. On the palate, there is a medley of fruit and spice, blackberries and hazelnuts next, with a slight honeyed element towards the smooth, silky finish. This wine is well nigh timeless, the inner mouth complexity past the mid palate on to the finish is just remarkable. I believe this has a further several notches to climb -- its uniqueness married with its brilliance continue to astound. 99 Points

     

    Cheval Blanc Dinner, October 2017 (3 wines)

    Cheval Blanc 1961

    A stunning wine, rose petals, cedar and blackcurrants on the nose, swirling with ravishing aplomb. It opens with such sophisticated richness, smooth tannins, cherries and raspberries. It has a voluptuous mid palate, but it then segues towards a more ethereal elegance. There is sheer cashmere on the palate here, then smoky black fruit, truffles and mocha, harmonizing gloriously. The intensity is bewitching, but so is its balance. You have hints of exotic spice, licorice, a hint of cedar, and beautifully concentrated dark fruit on the alluringly complex and deep finish. This is Cabernet Franc displaying munificently its multi-faceted bounty. 99 Points

     

    Cheval Blanc 1949

    An utterly great wine, no pyrotechnics here, a blend between concentration and richness, balletically balanced. Plums, coffee, a touch of sous bois and truffles on the nose. The acids are marvelously harmonious, cherries and plums dominate at the mid palate. Cocoa emerges, the balance is breathtaking, this is spice kissed, berry infused, mineral flecked, liquid bliss. This is far less bombastic than it once was, but the intensity is glorious, and yet there is a lightness to this wine that as John Gilman has said, almost at moments suggests Haut Brion or Lafite. Bay leaves and cloves coalesce as the once swaggering wine now contents itself with a profound Cab France led expressiveness on an inspired, lingering finish. 100 Points

     

    Cheval Blanc 1947

    So, it is now commonplace to say this wine is overshadowed by the ’49 and ’48, and in some ways, it is. In its heyday (which clearly on this evening’s showing, it is certainly not fully past), it was for many decades just arousing in its beauty. Yes, port like, but with enough acidity to send electric shocks of excitement in the midst of that luscious sweet fruit. As the acidity has gently receded, you get more of the plush fruit, and not quite enough of the other veins of fascination that were present. So perhaps it is on a genteel “decline,” if you can call a well nigh perfect wine “on the decline.” Liqueur like notes of plum and dark fruit on the nose. This is a wine of surpassing exoticism and flamboyance from the heat of the vintage and the almost magical coalescing of acidity and fruit, balance and richness. Dark berries and chocolate at and past the mid palate. The palate fireworks as it builds to a finish had members of our group audibly cooing. Truffles and walnuts next, all dipped in the bounty of the fruit, but there is still impressive focus here. Molasses and cloves conspire on a simply emphatic finish, exclaiming still the beauty of this improbable legend. 99-100 Points

     

     

    London First Growths Dinner October 2017 (5 wines)

     

    Chateau Haut Brion 1989

    The bouquet is simply jaw dropping and words flail trying to capture it: ravishing, ethereal and profound. Blackberries, cassis, iodine, violets and licorice, later touches of oyster shell, the aromatics arrest and lure you. It opens with a breathtaking confection of tobacco, cedar and anise, the palate is full bodied, perfectly balanced with a beguiling sense of harmony that is impossible to encapsulate. Filigree tannins, sandalwood, graphite and tobacco, lingering at and past the mid palate. Cassis and dark berries next, it finishes with fairly plush, seamless, boundless appeal, it is hard to properly fathom its brilliance as showcased in this evening’s bottle. 99 Points+

     

    Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1959

    Along with the ’53, this is arguably the greatest Lafite to drink today, and a spellbinding wine. There are pencil shavings, cigar box, somewhat austere yet floral dark fruits on the lovely, lilting bouquet. On the palate, there is a transfixing dance of acidity and fruit, a gorgeous silky texture, and remarkable focus throughout. You get a rich, black fruit suffused symmetry past the mid palate, mint and some licorice emerge, and some trace elements of orange on a bewitchingly enchanting finish. This is sheer Lafite seduction at or close to its very best. 98-99 Points+

     

    Chateau Latour 1929

    On the nose, you have a lovely, suave combination of red fruit and beetroot almost, then black berries and a hint of leather. On the palate, the floral notes consort so amiably with the dark fruit, porcini, some cigar ash, walnuts and spices all the way to and past the mid palate. Plums and raspberries emerge next, there is a voluptuous appeal owing to the vintage, yet it is so polished yet rich, enticingly persistent, everything gliding balletically across the palate, on the finish this just trumpets its time defying brilliance, a sheer anthem to vinous beauty. 98-99 Points+

     

    Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1945

    Like Margaux 1900 and Cheval 1947, this is an alternate life form, transcending to some extent expectations of the wine-making and terroir almost. This was a spellbindingly perfect, ex-Chateau example of this wine.

    There is that unmistakable eucalyptus on the nose, with some figs, coffee, ripe black fruit and Asian spices. (The nose kept evolving, adding cinnamon and cloves as it swirled in the glass). You already had a smile etched on your face! It opens with almost unmatchable vivacity and complex spiciness, just shrugging off its years. It’s still glorious tannic base suggests how unapproachable this must have been in its youth. At the mid palate it almost veers towards Pomerol in its opulence, then heads back “home” with great remaining acidity, textural depth, and just crescendos unforgettably with a paradoxically complex flamboyance, checked by exceptional balance, a stunning almost lyrical medley of ripe fruit and sweet tannins that leave your palate just spellbound. 100 Points+ (the “+” is for alternate life form status)

     

    Chateau d’Yquem 1945

    This was a glorious finale with the almost equally glorious Omelette Novegienne. The bouquet is a riot of caramel, berries, coconut, Seville orange and heather. Quince and honey on the palate opening, an entrancing combination of brown sugar and a touch of salinity next as it approaches the mid palate. Texturally divine, full and round, marvelously balancing acidity, rose petals on the palate, deep, pure, palate enveloping, hedonism meets captivating balance, and the finish is a marvelous medley of brulee, orange peel and delightful, lingering energy. 99-100 Points

     

     

    Lafleur Dinner, London, November 2017

     

    Chateau Lafleur 1982

    For a few fraught moments we feared the wine was compromised, but it was coquettishness, a touch of stage fright perhaps, before the diva appeared. Kirsch and violets broke through the cloud bank ultimately. dazzlingly pure, with hints of spice. The Merlot sweetness here is gently deferring to the Cabernet Franc expressiveness, with truffles and dark fruit pampering the palate. There is a floral, sweet, spice cake confection at and past the mid palate, beguilingly beautiful. The velvety texture, the emphatic grace, the depth of sweet fruit coating the palate, the pitch perfect acidity, the mouth fragrance, the vivacity on the finish, leave you beaming at the magic of its greatness. 100 Points

    (Clearly voted as one of the top three wines of the evening)

    Chateau Lafleur 1975

    A justified legend, an extraordinary wine. Liqueur-like aromas waft from the glass, red fruit, prunes, mocha, then a touch of leather. The verve and grip of the wine are exceptional. You get exotic spicy fruitcake on the opening through to the mid palate. Plums emerge, and this bottle, like the one in London in January, soared above the merely “enticing” experience we had with this vintage at Crystal Springs. Black truffles next, full bodied, fleshy, ceps and dark chocolate make a cameo. But the enveloping hedonistic sweetness is reined in, just enough, by such exciting complexity here that you are overcome with joy at the unforgettable effulgence in the glass. 100 Points (clearly voted as one of the top 3 wines of the evening)

     

    Duos and Trios, December 2017

     

    Leroy Musigny 1961

    Spices, dark fruit, some sous bois on the entrancing bouquet. It opens with quintessential Musigny finesse and grace, with an enchanting mouth perfume. It asserts terroir over vintage, though it embraces the overall vintage composure. At the mid palate, the tannins provide lovely background accompaniment to the deep, spiced, sweet, scented fruit. The refinement becomes more vivid as it approaches the finish, a touch of Asian tea, cloves, and the wine then gathers itself for a marvelously persistent, complex, palate caressing finish full of enticing verve. 98-99 Points

     

    Mission Haut Brion 1953

    Bordeaux graphite, chocolate, cigar box, and currants on the nose. It opens with an enchanting confection of cassis and plums. There is ravishing balance at the mid palate in the midst of the captivating relative opulence. Violets, leather and smoke emerge next, with vivid acidity and cossetting tannins. Silky smooth towards the finish, seamlessly integrating its elements, unusually sweet fruit peeping over the parapet, harmonious, complete, lyrical, with marvelous length. 99 Points

     

     

     

     

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    LA CHAPELLE AND FRIENDS 2ND EDITION

     

    Dom Perignon Rose 2002 (in Magnum)

    On the nose you have red berries, some orange, brioche and spices swirling together. It opens with a delightful mousse, and throughout you experience both great tension and precision. Berries and citrus and a delightful creaminess combine at the mid palate. Nuts and some spices next, very bright acidity, this wine has ages of development ahead of it. Today it is a tad tightly wound still. Some plums and vivid florals nestled in a luscious texture abound on a persistent, vivid, apple and lemon laced finale. 93 Points+

    FLIGHT ONE:

    Ramonet Batard Montrachet 2000

    Delightful nose of yellow fruit, flowers and peaches. This is a brilliant wine, with real heft, mint notes, and beautifully bracing acidity. Beautiful focus as its intensity magnifies at the mid palate. Apricot, peaches and some nuts past the mid palate, some lemon rind, with a delicious, layered roundness. You have the delightful Ramonet precision on the wonderfully integrated, balanced, yet still appealingly textured, mint and anise accented finish. This is a lovely exemplar of terroir and wine-making. 95 Points+

     

     

    FLIGHT TWO:

    Aldo Conterno Bricco Bussia Vigna Cicala Barolo 1978

    You have red and black cherries consorting with game birds on the nose, roses, spices and licorice. It opens with dark cherries, a floral “mouthfeel”, beautiful depth and an expansive palette of fruit, and gently cushioning tannins that are particularly evident at the mid palate. There is nicely integrated acidity, and the well balanced, generously layered sweet fruit is accentuated as it builds to an emphatic, sweet/savory/gamey finish. It is a wine of generous appeal, though it lacks a bit of the complexity of its compatriot in the flight, the length and grip are both vibrant and impressive. 95 Points

    Giacomo Conterno Monfortino Barolo Riserva Speciale 1978

    This was an extraordinary wine, cassis, cherries, licorice, some rustic gaminess, tobacco and herbs all coalesce on the bouquet. The wine has quintessential Barolo depth and timeless virility, deep and pure, with almost candied fruit at the mid palate. Roses and plums next, espresso and cedar, beautiful acid/fruit balance, gorgeously ripe tannins, there is a monumentality and vital composure to the wine, such brilliant focus in the midst of the explosive flavors, that you cannot but help but succumb to its heady brilliance on the flowing, exuberant, long, nuanced and yet still explosive finish. This is close to the summit of brilliant Barolo, and you know even better days are ahead of this magnificent wine. 98 Points+

     

     

    FLIGHT THREE

    Hermitage La Chapelle 1961

    Like returning to Lourdes hoping for another miracle and then being transfixed as it takes place! A scented, sainted marvel of wine making, a riot of blackberry, Syrah "syrup", the telltale soy and hoisin, flirtatiously expressive, sheer elegance and a medley of spices. On the palate opening, it is gorgeously complex, with astonishing breadth and intensity, violets, graphite, espresso, a hint of olives, and earthiness. And then, with the food in particular, you have a fragrant mellifluous softness, before the band strikes up again past the mid palate. It has enthralling balance. Amidst the plums and black currant liqueur-like notes almost, it recalls nothing else but a convocation of hedonistic bliss blended with seamless grace. This is so vigorous and ebullient on the palate massaging, slightly game-tinged finale that it leaves you simply beaming at life. There is no parallel here, other than possibly to take the spice-flecked seduction of the '78 and the polished intensity of the '90 and try to recreate "magic." This was, once more, prodigious. Compared to the Fall bottle, a wee bit less effulgent in aromatics, every bit as exquisite otherwise. 100 Points+ (the "+" for alternate life form factor)

     

    Hermitage La Chapelle 1964

    Somewhat overlooked given the company it was keeping, it was still a delightful example of the wine-making. You had flowers, black licorice, some barnyard and spicy herbs on the nose. It was slightly burly on the opening, dark fruit, pepper, melting tannins, some more lush fruit at the mid palate, then some tobacco and spices. Rich and expressive, wearing its rusticity like a proud mantle before the inherent sophistication and sweet fruit reassert themselves on a full, polished finish that just did not quite have the range of expression or depth to really provide the needed exclamation that at times the wine seemed to be inclining towards offering. Still, it was a lovely quaff. 93-94 Points+

    Hermitage La Chapelle 1985

    You have a lovely nose of dark fruit, potpourri, spices and cooked meats. It opens with a delicate elegance, graceful and finesse-filled. It picks up a full bodied allure at the mid palate, with licorice, charming purity and fine tannins. Red berries and some leather next. It lacks some of the plushness of the riper vintages, but the cassis and plum mixture still provides a graceful overlay of sweetness on the savory core of the wine. Good acidity, and enticing density on the flavor filled, spice laced, relatively gentle, but still attractively lingering finish. 94 Points

    Hermitage La Chapelle 1989

    Compared to the others, there was a large developmental gap, given the slow evolving allure of the house style in this still beloved period. You have cassis, black pepper, and grilled meat, on an aromatic, slightly floral, yet gamy nose. You get baked plums, berries, ginger notes at and past the mid palate. Figs and currants emerge next, with a stratum of flavors suggesting themselves quite palpably as being ready to slowly but definitely reveal their attractions. You are awash in cherries, spices and chocolate on the attractive, though still adolescent finale, which presages a distinguished future. 95 Points+

     

    FLIGHT FOUR:

    Domaine Tissot Chateau Chalon 2008

    On the nose you have some Sherry like notes, lemon rind, ocean spray, a little Moroccan spice. It opens with engaging smokiness, wonderful balance, nutmeg, pear and maple next. You then get some melon and lemon on the powerful mid palate. It then segues to a fairly deep, expressive, elegant, briny character, with lively acidity running through it. The finish has lovely length, beautiful composure, finesse, and palate enlivening intensity. It is a marvelous foil with more intense cheese. 92 Points

    FLIGHT FIVE:

    Chateau d’Yquem 1975

    Apricots, oranges and coconut swirl together on the enticing palate. Quite young still, it is a vivacious pleasure for current drinking. Some orange marmalade as it opens, some caramel notes, then some tart fruit towards the mid palate, some almonds next, medium well balanced acidity. The vibrant honeyed fruit affirms itself, and there is such wonderful balance here, and just the opening chords of what will be a far richer orchestration going forward. The power and grace on the finish, still shy of some the complexity in store, are still riveting, as pineapples, honeyed peaches and almonds commune in ravishing harmony. 95 Points+

    Chateau de Rayne Vigneau 1942

    Once one of the greats of the appellation, this now oft sidelined Sauternes, showed its “chops” in beguiling fashion in this war vintage. On the nose you had coconuts, peaches, oranges and butterscotch. It opens with thrilling acidity, with sweetness receding to a still sultry background. Molasses, caramel and nuts at and past the mid palate are enchanting. Texturally this is quite light, with apricot and crème brulee emerging towards a lovely, lilting, palate caressing finish. It doesn’t have quite the layered, emphatic vibrance of the very best Sauternes, but it wears its age with such brilliance and vitality, that this splendid showing is nothing less than thrilling. 94 Points

     

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    My Yesterday

    PETRUS, LAFLEUR AND LE PIN: A COMPARATIVE TASTING

    By Way of Introduction:

    So, 11 intrepid palates gathered at The Four Seasons Park Lane in London to do a “deep dive” into these hallowed Pomerols. Wine writer and Pomerol maven, Neal Martin had suggested he was unaware of any such structured comparison having been done, and so we took it on to provide one.

    Some canopy comments. Le Pin is often called the Richebourg of Bordeaux. It is a seductive, appealing wine, virtually all Merlot, with some Cabernet Franc as “salt and pepper” so to speak (and so it has indeed been spoken of by those who should know). Produced by the family that owns Vieux Chateau Certan, the Thienponts, specifically Jacques Thienpont, this is the most seductive of the three wines, and certainly the most approachable in its youth. It really showed ravishingly in 2005, 1998 and 1990 in particular. It was certainly still distinguished in 1989.

    Yet while I can understand why people have said it produced the best 1982, I believe they are quite wrong. While the other 82’s earlier in their life were more surly or in primary stages of development, Le Pin would have more precociously flared forth, its sails at or near full mast. Yet it flailed somewhat in that vintage today next to Lafleur and Petrus.

    The production is so small of this just over 2 hectare property, and its scarcity and surrounding mythos as well as its evident appeal, make it one of the most expensive wines in the world. That we were able to taste so many of its vintages together already set this evening apart.

    Lafleur was a revelation to many, particularly the arc of its development over age. Surly and taciturn in its youth, with the Cabernet Franc reining in the sails of the Merlot flamboyance, it bides its time, and can sometimes just “miss” (like the ’90). Yet as it hits its stride, and the Cabernet Franc and Merlot integrate, and begin to dance, this quixotic property proclaims both its stature and its appeal. Neal called the 1989 the quintessence of Pomerol. And both he and I felt, that if the 1989 was more currently enjoyable, the 1982 Lafleur was the greatest wine we tasted in an evening of superlative wines. It was a “complete” wine, with 50 years of development ahead of it potentially.

    Petrus, an exemplar of all things Merlot, shines, it makes you smile, it seduces, it infiltrates, it ensnares your palate in ravishing enticements. The ’98 Petrus was gorgeous, the ’95 so appealing, the ’90 just superb. The ’89, a great wine in past showings seemed to be passing through a dormant phase on this evening. And to me one of the wines of the night (while I eschew such comparisons, I really couldn’t as it was intended as a “comparative” tasting) was the ’82 Petrus. It was delightful, a consummate example of the vintage and wine.

    The 1975 Petrus and 1975 Lafleur you will read about if you delve into the notes, but again an overall point. These were resolutely “old school” wines compared to the others. A number of the others were pinnacles of balanced early modernity, classicism taking an adaptive step forward. The ‘75’s are icons of their time and style, and finding a ’75 Lafleur these days is next to impossible. They didn’t get the same swoons from our audience, but as I returned to them, they kept growing in appeal. And the reason was their relative initial diffidence compared to the opulence and emphatic nature of the other vintages. They remain an extraordinary snapshot and a bridge between eras. In fact, the 1978 Lafleur, tasted with Neal in New York soon after his book on Pomerol came out, showcased the brilliance of key vintages of that decade and perhaps among the last exaltations of this style.

    Aperitif:

    Krug Collection 1989 (in Magnum)

    This was a brilliant opening, truly regal Champagne. Apples, almonds, orange peel, caramel and sweet spices regale the nostrils. It opens with some lovely citrus accented smokiness, a gentle palate dappling mousse, remarkable luxuriant silkiness, some honey notes, a lovely extra spine of acidity, charming complexity, and a focused, balanced, crisp, and vibrant finish that massages the palate. The mature notes, yet with the vigor and structure of a youthful wine, provide for a really lovely collaboration of elements. This wine has been going from strength to strength and has years of development ahead. 95 Points

    FLIGHT ONE:

    Petrus 2005

    Corked. NR

    Lafleur 2005

    Lovely aromas of blackberry, cassis, licorice, some smoked meat, some mint on the nose. It opens with silky fruit, sweet and concentrated, nicely structured, with brilliantly balanced acidity. Those filigree tannins are attractively evident, and the wine’s tightness is most pronounced at the mid palate. Then the core of dark fruit asserts itself, some lovely mineral notes, more licorice, impressive length, though still not quite coalescing as brilliantly as it seems it will in another decade. Currently it expresses itself very appealingly as a potentially beautiful work in progress. 95 Points+

    Le Pin 2005

    A ravishing wine, with a transfixing bouquet of raspberries, blackberries, violets, chocolate and spices. Opulent without being egregious, sweet and stylish, concentrated and vivacious, it strums away seductively on the palate. You get some lavender past the mid palate, some mocha, the palate is enveloped in alluring silky tannins. And while it may never develop the layers of complexity that potentially await the Lafleur, there is a poise and tension to the wine in the midst of the hedonistic appeal, and the finish awash in blueberries, cassis and plums, invites rapt attention and engaged appreciation. 94 Points

    Petrus 1998

    You have toffee, minerals, dark berries, spices and sweet fruit on the nose, a brilliant symphony. You get an almost paradoxical juxtaposition of depth and nimbleness as the wine unfolds its wares. There is a liqueur like sweetness at the mid palate, spices, mulberries, intense focus and lavish texture. There is still a structure and yet a seamlessness to all its more extravagant enticements (some of which are part of the nature of the vintage), that render it the most complete of the three wines of this vintage. Earthy, it is awash in minerals, chocolate and plums on an exclamatory finale. 95 Points+

    Lafleur 1998

    Some blueberry, cassis and mint on the nose here. This wine is reticent, there are intense underlying flavors, an impressive structure, still quite tannic though. You get more harmony in the midst of dark fruit at the mid palate, some tobacco and sweetness next pervades the experience. The ’98 vintage seems more to characterize the wine with its hedonism, rather than this being emblematic of Lafleur’s own signature. It is nicely accented by violets on the medium though not overly memorable finish. 92 Points

    Le Pin 1998

    The seductress is here at it again, this was easy to identify blind just from the nose. Exotic spice perfume, raspberries, violets, mocha, all swirling with relish. Dense and sweet on the opening, berries and dark chocolate next, the wine’s exuberance is compelling. Cherries and cedar past the mid palate, and then the plush tannins, truffles and some molasses are enticingly evident. A sumptuous wine, it lacks some of the focus and tension that makes the hedonism of Le Pin so exciting and entrancing in its very best vintages. That said, I would sympathize with anyone who just wanted to curl up with a glass of this and smile broadly! 93 Points+

    FLIGHT TWO:

    Petrus 1995

    A vintage that seems to be taking its sweet time showing its attractions, and I’m far more partial to it on the Right Bank in that aspect. Raspberries, toffee, minerals and spices express themselves charmingly on the nose. Spices on the opening, a riot of berries, well harmonized acidity, you get a lovely balanced richness on the mid palate. Some chestnuts peek over the parapet, it has the signature Merlot sweetness that Petrus wields so ably and attractively. It is sensuous, yet also elegant and refined on the lovely finish. 95 Points

    Lafleur 1995

    You have blackberries, minerals, plums on the nose. It opens with greater reticence than its peers, there is the Cab Franc masculinity, the firm tannins, and a lack of distinctive appeal on this showing. There is some rusticity evident at the mid palate, chocolate and coffee next, texturally a little muddled, but then the underlying depth becomes a tad more evident at the finish. Some truffles and tertiary fruit flare forth, though they seem to never quite fully gather their resources to fully showcase their potential allure.

    91 Points

    Le Pin 1995

    You have a spice-filled nose, black cherries and cocoa in the mix. A brilliantly concentrated, intensely flavored opening, the wine is quite precise and with an impressive mélange of figs, plums, coconuts and exoticism at the mid palate. The cashmere “mouth feel” so abundantly Le Pin is there, and while it is shy of complexity, it manages to marshal its medley of flavors, fruitcake, caramel, black cherry, for a nicely rounded, sensuous finish that still has impressive grip. Not a profound wine by any means, but appealingly flirtatious. 93 Points

    Petrus 1990

    This is a magnificent wine. Red and black fruit on the nose, it opens awash in licorice and minerals, some strawberries, and sumptuous velvet on the mid palate. Plums and dark cherries, polished silky tannins, layered Merlot sumptuousness, flowers and brown sugar, refined and yet lush at the same time. It evokes the audible appreciation we heard from around the room. You then get more savory fruit, so velvety and seamless, earthy and yet ebullient, some figs and then a just brilliant cascading finale that invites and merits enthusiastic affirmation. 97 Points

    Lafleur 1990

    You get berries, licorice and herbs on the nose. Despite widespread acclaim, the wine seemed to be waning somewhat, I remember brilliant experiences with it some years back. I thought it perhaps was a less than ideal bottle, until Neal Martin mentioned he had a similar experience the week prior at a Hong Kong tasting. A fairly ripe opening, but strangely disjointed, there is a nice depth of flavor, but none of the orchestration of elements that radiates from the ’89. Certainly there is richness towards the finish, but it flailed in comparison to the sensuous poise of the Petrus and the brilliant exuberance of the Le Pin. I would drink the stunning ’88 Lafleur frankly over this vintage based on this showing certainly. 90 Points

    Le Pin 1990

    A high water mark for Le Pin, berries, spices, exotic fruit, coffee and caramel abound on the nose. It opens as if it were an intersection of vinous ports of call – Pomerol in its best sultry sensuousness meets Pauillac for formidable structure meets Rhone for pepper and rich dark fruit, and then Le Pin in its core sexiness fully asserts itself. You get coconuts, cherries, plum, mouth perfume, rounded and lascivious, cloves and mushrooms next, this is quite evidently kin to Petrus in this vintage in many ways, culminating in a sweet, luscious, lingering finish. To some in the room, this was the revelation of the evening for its distinctive appeal. 96-97 Points

    FLIGHT THREE:

    Petrus 1989

    An often spellbinding wine, this seems to be going through a dormant phase at current. It was strangely muted, even on the nose. You got some red berries, truffles and earthiness. It opened with appealing sweetness, silky and lush in texture, nicely concentrated fruit. Past the mid palate plums and flowers, well rounded, but where before you got incredible, layered, enticing harmony and complexity on a reverberating finish, you felt its wings were slightly clipped on this evening, as if it had gone to ground, to gather itself for the next stage of its evolution, which I’m sure is coming. All the elements were still there, still humming overall, but muted. For a wine I’ve given a nigh perfect score to in the past, this was several points off from that this evening. 94 Points++

    Lafleur 1989

    Truly a remarkable wine, and Neal’s comment of “quintessence of Pomerol” really was apt. Liqueur like aromas of redcurrant, plums, mint, coconut, chocolate and earth waft from the glass. It opens with such a vibrant freshness, trumpets blasting (something as rare as it is beguiling for Lafleur), exotic cherry flavors, intense, silkily textured, particularly at the mid palate. You then get ceps, black pepper, the beautifully cushioning tannins become more evident along with the alluring complexity. It fans out in multidimensional flavors on the sweet, racy, ravishing, flamboyant yet focused, poised, bravura and bewitching finish. 98 Points+

    Le Pin 1989

    This is a beautiful wine, with mulberry, red currants, cocoa, truffles on the seductive bouquet. Truffles and berries on the palate opening, full bodied, deep, with lovely underlying structure. Beautifully ripe tannins are evident at the mid palate. Dates and dark chocolate emerge next. It suffers for Le Pin lovers from slightly less exoticism and flirtatiousness than is typical. For others, the more stately and poised showing is part of the appeal of this vintage. And it is still hard not to be smitten by the textural appeal, or the beautifully rounded, palate massaging finish. 95 Points

    Petrus 1982

    This is a beautiful wine in so many aspects. You get blackcurrants, cedar, potpourri, plums, mushrooms, some earthiness, and orange peel on the nose. It opens with a lovely dance between fruit and acidity and attractively silky tannins. On the mid palate you get cedar, licorice and black cherries. The superb balance asserts itself, and you then get red fruit, plums, a spice cake almost, before the mercurial, complex, shimmering beauty concludes with an intense, long, sweet, alluring and simply exquisite finish. 96 Points+

    Lafleur 1982

    What an exceptional wine! Cab Franc and Merlot simply doesn’t do a better duet than this. You have cherries, truffles and minerals on the nose. It opens with an almost rapturous combination of depth and sweetness, a beautiful medley of concentration, power and poise. Round and silky on the mid palate, kirsch and licorice emerge, the pitch perfect yet lively acidity peeks out from the plushness of this beautifully intense wine. There is amazing delineation and focus in the midst of the hedonistic appeal. And it is just hitting its stride, with easily 40-50 years of development ahead of it. It finishes with a multi-dimensional, layered vivacity that leaves you wanting to garland Bacchus. 99-100 Points

    Le Pin 1982

    You have chocolate, truffles, coffee on the bouquet. It is an expectedly sweet wine, old vine Merlot evidently on the palate, quite dense, flowers and oyster shells at the mid palate. Silky textures, exotic, velvety on the palate. The wine has been described as producing fireworks on the palate (akin in descriptions to the Cheval ’47 at its zenith -- which it may be just now slightly past depending on the bottling), to being almost carnal in its allure. The bloom seemed to have faded somewhat, or to be fair, perhaps it was less enchanting given the company it was keeping. It still has sass and sex appeal and a seductive, alluring finish, but perhaps we can concede it is no longer at the peak of its prowess or allure. 95 Points

    FLIGHT FOUR:

    Petrus 1975

    This is a superb wine, harder to appreciate in the aftermath of the more lavish appeal of the ‘82’s, the ‘90’s and ‘98’s before them. You had to let the wine settle for some time, and unfurl its sails. Arguably I’ve had slightly better bottles, or is it that this was harder to bracket with what preceded it? Regardless, with time you got the truffles, red fruit, smoke and mocha on the nose. It opened with sweet tannins, charming acidic balance, lushness but with real finesse, figs and cherries on the mid palate, some soy and plums next. The ballad of vigor and focus is entrancing, and then the saturated black fruit coats the mouth and it concludes with ebullient panache. 96 Points+

    Lafleur 1975

    Neal called this rare legend a wine of fascinating flaws, that somehow come together to produce something greater than the sum of those flaws. And perhaps they are even better described as quirks that coalesce into something enchanting. The wine is developing glacially. In my experience, 10 years ago, 5 years ago and last evening, seem not to have seen it budge much, possibly reminiscent of the 1928 vintage for Chateau Margaux and Palmer, and possibly Latour. Red fruit, prunes, menthol, exotic fruitcake all swirl on the bouquet. It opens with old style acidity keeping some of its fruit in check. You get fig, truffles, spices and plums at and past the mid palate. You feel you should give it another hour or so in the glass to get its full dimensions. It finishes with a lovely savory tinged sweetness that laps on the palate. It was remarkable, though you had to concentrate after the ‘82’s, and give it time to really blossom. 98 Points

     

    THE FINALE:

    Taylor Single Harvest (Tawny) Port 1863

    Ageless seemingly, the color and the aromatics belied its venerable age. Brown sugar, toffee and lime peel on the nose, some camphor and walnuts. On the palate you had layers of full bodied, spice flecked sweetness, given composure by its ageing in old oak barrels for a century and a half. One of the great pre-phylloxera vintages, an amazing core of black and red fruit asserts itself at the mid palate. This powerful, rich, bright and tangy beauty, awash in quince and marmalade is a remarkable testament to the timeless beauty of classic Taylor’s Tawny Port, and the finish is rapturous in its sensuous length. It is remarkable to consider that the year the fruit was harvested coincided with Queen Victoria being in her mid forties, the Civil War in the US still raging, and the first Hong Kong dollar being minted. This was a remarkable finale to an unforgettable evening. 97 Points+

     

     

     

     

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users. or to see wine moments from your world.

Omar Khan, Wine Writer (United States)  had a tasting of  17 Wines  from  2 Producers 

Dujac Clos de la Roche-dinner -  Vintage 1978: The bouquet is a delightful medley of Asian spices, soy, dark fruit, game and some autumn leaves. It has a ravishing “mouthfeel” and I can taste it still. Herbs, cedar, black cherry, potpourri, cloves, at the mid palate you are taken aback by the dance between fullness and elegance, depth, length and vibrancy abound. The bright core of acidity comes forth as it approaches its finale, notes of game, vivid dark fruit laced with cinnamon, pepper and some gently wafting smokiness, in the midst of the low yield driven intensity which is a signature of the vintage, all orchestrally marshaled: a simply stylish beguiling symphony on the palate. 97 Points+

16d 11h ago

Omar Khan, Wine Writer (United States)  had a wine moment

“Possibly the most famous American wine worldwide, eucalyptus laced, hauntingly beautiful. Where Mayacamas is the classicist, Heitz is also classic in style, but iconoclastic, akin to virtually nothing else you will experience. Eucalyptus, cherries, coffee and game abound on the nose. On the palate, there is a medley of fruit and spice, blackberries and hazelnuts next, with a slight honeyed element towards the smooth, silky finish. This wine is well nigh timeless, the inner mouth complexity past the mid palate on to the finish is just remarkable. I believe this has a further several notches to climb -- its uniqueness married with its brilliance continue to astound. 99 Points”

3m 13d ago

1 Wines 1 Producers

Omar Khan, Wine Writer (United States)  had a tasting of  9 Wines  from  3 Producers 

Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1949 - 100 points / You have cassis, herbs, cinnamon and coffee on the invigorating bouquet. It opens on the palate with the cassis, then black currants and a confection of roses almost, tinged with tobacco and cedar. The beauty and balance of the wine are remarkable at the mid palate. You then get some dill, soy, smokiness and spices. It is a Mouton that again takes the voluptuous appeal of the ’47 and the concentration of the ’45 and virtually harmonizes them. Past the mid palate the sweet fruit is a siren song, the mouthfeel is round, vivid, vital, an exemplar of the era. Plums, flowers and earth, the elegant, sweet and silky tannins, all in concert at the finish provide a joyous exclamation. 100 Points

4m 3d ago

Omar Khan, Wine Writer (United States)  had a tasting of  13 Wines  from  4 Producers 

Comparing the First Growths of Bordeaux is almost inescapable.Less frequent, is an opportunity to immerse in each Chateau sequentially, and seek to assess what defines each of them.
In a dinner with Frederic Engerer of Latour, in discussing the subject we emerged with the following:
Lafite, distinguished by having the finest tannins.
Latour, fine but firmer tannins, more strident fruit, and when it develops, it “smiles” from behind that wall of tannin.
Margaux, the most feminine and most floral.
Haut Brion, arguably the most terroir driven.
Mouton, the most exotic and flamboyant, shining in those vintages that lend themselves to that.


Last evening, wine writer Neal Martin suggested that to be a First Growth, roughly once a decade you should have a vintage in which you transcend other wines, where you can say you “own” the vintage. Certainly, in selecting the vintages for this evening, we looked for fascinating showcases of each Chateau’s core genius.


The Haut Brion flight was distinguished by its higher Merlot content, by its precision, its focus, its suave, elegant delineation. Tobacco, olives, truffles, abound here.
The Margaux flight was violets and spices, a gorgeously soft, floral, feminine expression of Cabernet Sauvignon, delicacy and grace abound.
Lafite was, as it so often is, vexing. There is a soft composure to the wine, utter finesse, elegance at times in search of heft. But where that is achieved, it can be radiant.Each flight had stand-outs in an evening of stand-outs.
For Haut Brion, the ’89, ‘61 and ’45 in particular.
For Margaux, ’82 ,’59 and ‘28 in particular.
For Lafite, the ’59 and ’53 in particular.
For Latour, the ’61, ’49 and ’29 in particular.
For Mouton, the whole flight sang frankly, those late 40’s were a blessed run for the property, though it was not a First Growth back then (it was “elevated” in 1973).

5m 16d ago

Omar Khan, Wine Writer (United States)  had a tasting of  20 Wines  from  16 Producers 

California 1974 tasting / Heitz Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet 1974

 Possibly the most famous American wine worldwide, eucalyptus laced, hauntingly beautiful. Where Mayacamas is the classicist, Heitz is also classic in style, but iconoclastic, akin to virtually nothing else you will experience. Eucalyptus, cherries, coffee and game abound on the nose.

On the palate, there is a medley of fruit and spice, blackberries and hazelnuts next, with a slight honeyed element towards the smooth, silky finish. This wine is well nigh timeless, the inner mouth complexity past the mid palate on to the finish is just remarkable. I believe this has a further several notches to climb -- its uniqueness married with its brilliance continue to astound. 99 Points

6m 3d ago

Omar Khan, Wine Writer (United States)  had a tasting of  11 Wines  from  7 Producers 

Romanee Conti 1978 / Simply staggering, unlike anything else on the palate you could conceive of. The amalgam of deep fruit, suave and sensual poise, coupled with such entrancing balance and structure is extraordinary. Licorice, cherries, spicy red fruit on the nose. Sheer velvet at the mid palate, and then just penetrating beauty, blackberries and plums, a mouth perfume of violets -- an anthem to primary and tertiary beauty encased in haunting Vosne spice. You have ravishing majesty here. 100 Points

6m 25d ago

Omar Khan, Wine Writer (United States)  had a tasting of  8 Wines  from  2 Producers 

THE TIMELESS ALLURE OF LATOUR: Château Latour tasting Part I /  Chateau Latour 1887

Was it really what it purported to be? Frederic couldn’t be definitive. Neal Martin said it reminded him in terms of palate profile of wines from the same era from various tastings. The type of glass was consistent with the age. It had come “authenticated” by people who work with the most draconian critic in that genre. Finally, the table’s conclusion was: “Who cares?” Evidently old wine, consistent in profile with Latour, delicious, authenticated as far as it can be. “Shut up and enjoy it!” as one of our party said. And what market is there for faking a relatively unknown vintage like “1887?”

 You have spice, coffee and chocolate on the nose. On the palate, cassis and cherries, some hints of ginger, a potpourri of spices at and past the mid palate. Delicate with silky tannins, with the youthful color you can get from time transcending wines of that time (like the Bouchard Chambertin 1885 last year in Paris, or the epic 1900 Margaux);  some toffee and spiced fruit with just a touch of kirsch on the gently lapping if now understandably gently receding though still memorable finish. 93 Points (plus several points for “historical wow” factor)

8m 20h ago

Omar Khan, Wine Writer (United States)  had a tasting of  30 Wines  from  22 Producers 

Le Cinq "Wine Legends" Dinner with wines like Bouchard 1865, Beycheville 1899, DRC Conti 1940, DRC Richebourg 1942, Margaux 1928, Latour 1929, Mouton 1949, Petrus 1949, 1955, 1959, and 1966 etc.

9m 18d ago

Omar Khan, Wine Writer (United States)  had a tasting of  21 Wines  from  3 Producers 

Giacomo Conterno Barolo Riserva Monfortino 1947 -2006. An absolutely stunning tasting, showcasing the greatest, seminal Barolos in the world. The sheer range and majesty of the wines was extraordinary.

10m 23d ago

Omar Khan, Wine Writer (United States)  had a tasting of  28 Wines  from  3 Producers 

Château Montrose 1895-2000  / Chateau Montrose 1990 / Carnality and a kind of wild, wanton grace distinguish this wine. For many in our tasting, it was one of the wines of the evening. You have cassis, leather and herbs on the nose, consorting with redcurrant and some tobacco. It opens with a lush, sweet opulence that has nice delineation, and still impressive tannic structure. You get layers of sweet fruit with an exotic spice mixture at and past the mid palate, and it flirted nicely with the stunning Macaronade. The finish is awash in concentration, a wine of palate enveloping dimensionality, to me just shy of the poise and tension I’m after in wines with the potential for greatness certainly evident here. 96 Points

11m 27d ago

Omar Khan, Wine Writer (United States)  had a tasting of  8 Wines  from  6 Producers 

Mouton Rothschild 1949 / A wine-making tour-de-force that caught by surprise in terms of the thrilling grandeur of the wine. Some Mouton mint, coffee and cassis abound on the stellar bouquet. There is such a thrilling vein of acidity to this wine, which as with the best 49’s, takes some of the ’47 richness and some of the ’45 concentration and intertwines elements of both with surpassing elegance, sophistication and aplomb. You have cassis, herbs, mocha and cinnamon all contributing to the fanfare at and past the mid palate. The tannins are soft but evident, so becomingly modest yet so assured. The layers of rich, round, vivid, vital flavors, the apogee of a great era, leave you bliss filled and transfixed. Plums, flowers and earth all alluringly come together on a long, almost lascivious finish. This is just magnificence. 100 Points

1y 16d ago

Omar Khan, Wine Writer (United States)  had a tasting of  7 Wines  from  6 Producers 

Lafite Rothschild 1953 / The nose is immediately ravishing, cedar, spice and violets perfume the nostrils. Aromatically you are simply stunned. The velvet texture, the round, sweet, bolt of silk on the palate, the Lafite lead pencil, all seduce you with their encompassing charms. You get lively mineral and spice laced red fruit at the mid palate, some ceps and a gently inviting smokiness. The tannins are gorgeously resolved, there is a sweet seamlessness and harmony to the wine that almost defies parallels. Twice now, the wine has been just disarmingly beautiful, stunning in its layered, complex, nuanced, yet emphatic Lafite elegance, showing the sheer poise that Cabernet Sauvignon can display. The smooth, sweet, nuanced finish is just magnificent. This is a simply extraordinary wine, and along with the ’59, arguably the greatest Lafite of the last century. 99 Points+

1y 1m ago

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