Suggestions for drinking times
I recently purchased some special bottles of St Emilion wines:
Cheval Blanc 1998
Cheval Blanc 2006
I would love some advice on drinking windows for these wines. Many of the pros, e.g. Parker, suggest they could all be drunk now, but several postings on Cellar Tracker seem to disagree with that.
I prefer to drink wines on the younger side, but want to have an enjoyable experience.
I would love to get any suggestions from anyone that has experience with these two wines--thanks much!
Thank you for making your first post. I know all those wines and while you can drink them now, I would wait. Especially for the Ausone. If I had to pop one of those bottles, the 1998 Cheval Blanc would be the wine to open. It's a stunning Bordeaux!
You can read any of my tasting notes on the main site. Just follow the links in the navigation bar to either.
If you open them, please let us know how they are.
I have actually answered on this one allready, but it seems to have dissapeared... I'll try again...
Cheval Blanc 1998 A beauty now, but I would wait another ten years. Will age much further.
Cheval Blanc 2006 Wait ten years, or more.
Ausone 1998 Wait another ten years, lovely now, but will develop nicely.
Ausone 2003 Haven't tasted this, but most 03's can be had now. I would probably decant it for a few hours....
I've had this conversation/ question many times and I am always curious from experienced drinkers exactly how marked is the difference is a great wine with 10 years bottle age compared to the same wine truly 'mature'? I've only been buying/ collecting wine for about 10 years; the oldest Bordeaux I have in my cellar is 2000 (Las Casas, Leoville Barton, Lynch Bages & Gruaud Larose) and the oldest I've ever tasted was 1 bottle of 86' Pichon Lalande and 1 bottle of 89' Pichon Baron. So from you experienced tasters, what are the major differences from a 10 year old to a mature bottle of the same wine?
Scott... It really depends on the wine. If you really want an idea on the value of aging Bordeaux wines that are meant to be aged to maturity, you need to buy an older bottle to see for yourself. While it's not cheap, from your list of Bordeaux wines in your post, look for a well stored bottle of 1982 Gruaud Larose. It's stunning! Compare that with a young vintage of Gruard Larose.
Originally Posted by Scott DeZutti
For me, older Bordeaux takes on unique qualities. The aromatics shift from fruit, spice and wood and take on truffle, tobacco, earth, smoke, cigar box, cedar chest, leather or other secondary aromas. The texture on the palate changes as well. There is a special, silk and velvet patina of age that takes place in older wines. No amount of air, or fancy device can add that quality. It takes time, patience, a goood, cold, damp cellar and a wine that has the stuffing to age and develop into something special.
Jeff, I have actually been considering buying a couple of bottles of 82' Bordeaux. I was looking at Grand Puy Lacost but I will look for Gruaud Larose as well. My hesitation has been buying a wine that old not knowing where it came from...will I really get a true representation of what the wine should taste like. If it tastes dull and lifeless because of poor storage conditions at some point in it's life I would hate for that to influence my opinion of older Bordeaux. (Unfortuntately I purchased a bottle of 85' Grace Family Cabernet last year because of good reviews suggesting the wine was currently drinking well and it was completely gone- nothing but acid and alcohol) I know Bordeaux is totally different as far as ageing curves but....
Scott... California Caberenet Sauvignon does not age like Bordeaux wine. I have not had any vintages of Grace Family for years. I have no idea how that wine should be showing today. But with few exceptions, most California wines do not develop the same seconday aromatics and they do not produce similar textures as Bordeaux wines with similar age.
Sadly, with older wines, you need to put down your money and take your chances. Look for fills still in the neck, even if it is close to the bottom of the neck. Look for capsules that are not pushed out or in and check for signs of seepage on the neck, from under the capsule. Those are all goood indicators of good health for an older wine.
1982 Grand Puy Lacoste is another great choice. So is 1982 Leoville Poyferre. In fact, why not look at my list of the best value Bordeaux wines from 1982? 1982 Best Bordeaux wine for the money today
You can follow that link to tips on older Bordeaux wines from 1959 forward.
If you have specific questions, post and I, or others will be glad to help.
On the other hand, I would not considder 82 to be aged (or finished ageing). If you wan't to try an aged Gruaud-Larose, 1961, 1959, or maybe something form 64 or 66, even if those are of lesser quality (but can still be very nice). To really see the aged aromas in Bordeaux, you need to go into the 1970's, but it's a minefield with so many bad wines/vintages. 75 Comtesse de Lalande, 75 and 76 Mouton, 78 Palmer, 70, 75 and 78 Las Cases, 78 Ch Margaux, 70 Latour are probably the ones from the 70's that I've had the most luck with. The two vintages from the 80's that are the most enjoyable (when considdering aged wines) would be 83 and 85. Many wines from these two vintages drink very nicely now. But aged wines are often an aquired taste. I remember a tasting last year with a magnificent 1949 Montrose. The tasters who were used to taste old wines loved it, the tasters who weren't used to old wines, disliked it a lot.
If you want to get an idea of how wine ages, do a vertical with one of the 2000s you have. Pick up a younger example and a few older ones. Gruaud Larose is a nice wine that has remained pretty cheap (even the '82). Same with Leoville Barton. Barton never disappoints (me at least, maybe Jeff would disagree!!) - if you can find them, I think that trying the '66, '70, '85, '88-90, '96, '00, '04 would answer your question.
Christer... We agree 100% on the 1961 Gruaud Larose and 1959 Gruaud Larose. Those are super mature Bordeaux wines. I'm not quite as fond of most 1970 era Bordeaux wines. I only have a few left and with few exceptions, 1970 Trotanoy, 1971 Trotanoy and 1975 Trotanoy aside from Chateau d'Yquem, most are hard, austere and not much fun to drink. But those older Gruaud Larose wines are so good, it's silly. The same goes for 1982 Gruaud Larose!
Marc... Leoville Barton is probably more to the taste of Christer. Some vintages are good. Others are on the austere side for my palate. Grand Puy Lacoste is for me, a better, more affordable choice. The wines age well, and they are not much money.
I've only had a few vintages of GPL - the 03 years ago which I enjoyed but didn't find great, 01 which I found very internationally styled, and the 96, which was extremely good. Any favorite vintages I should try?
Marc... You need to taste 1990 Grand Puy Lacoste and 1982 Grand Puy Lacoste. Both vintages drink well above the quality level of their price point. Both years have become a little pricey, but they are strong examples of mature Bordeaux. You have to jump forward to 2010 Grand Puy Lacoste to find a wine equal in quality.
82 and 86 Gruaud Larose are magnificent..... Had a magnum of 03 GPL last Thursday, very nice wine indeed, but not a great one....