Recent Wine Tasting Notes

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Recent Wine Tasting Notes

  1. 1949 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion

    1. Flowers, smoke, hints of licorice, cassis, earth and forest aromatics are only the beginning. The wine is definitely fully mature, but there is still some fruit, hanging on. The tannins and a rustic, but that does not stop you from enjoying this old school, classic treat.

      92 points - Tasted
  2. 2003 Château Rayas Châteauneuf-du-Pape Reserve

    1. Probably close to fully mature, the earthy, sweet, kirsch and barnyard characteristics really stand out here. Silky, soft, medium bodied, elegant and wild, this is probably drinking at peak today.

      95 points - Tasted
  3. 2012 Domaine de la Mordorée Lirac Plume du Peintre

    1. Full bodied, luscious, powerful, rich, ripe, and dense, the tastes like a barrel sample. The wine is incredibly concentrated and palate staining. This is no shy wallflower. Alcoholic, but there is so much fruit, you do not even notice it. Give it a few hours in the decanter.

      95 points - Tasted
  4. 1964 Château La Gaffelière

    1. Smoky dark cherries, licorice, earth, tobacco and plum characteristics, medium/full bodied, soft, and gently fading, the wine shows the charm of its age, while still providing pleasure. No decanting needed, just pop and pour. This is not a wine for further aging.

      90 points - Tasted
  5. 1959 Château Larcis Ducasse

    1. What a treat! Served double blind, it was easy to enjoy the sweet, cherries, earth, tobacco and spice that led to the medium bodied, supple, soft, earthy wine. No decanting needed, or wanted. If you own a bottle, just pull the cork and enjoy this great piece of history.

      94 points - Tasted
  6. 1961 Château Laville Haut-Brion Blanc

    1. Tasting and looking at least 20 years younger than its true age, this fountain of youth was showing its fresh citrus, lemon peel and honeysuckle with ease. The wine is full bodied, concentrated, with a hint of honeyed sweetness in the citrus filled finish. Perhaps not as complex as other older vintages of Laville I've encountered, but this made up for that with its youthfulness.

      94 points - Tasted
  7. 1986 Château Figeac

    1. Clearly, it is the Cabernet Sauvignon from the gravels that made this wine possible. Medium bodied, not exactly strict, but it's not going to be called opulent either. Here, you find a straight ahead, classic character with tobacco, cedar, wet earth and red cherries. There is a firm character on the palate and in the finish that is also, refined, and genteel. Fully mature, this requires drinking over the next decade or so

      90 points - Tasted
  8. 1959 Château Figeac

    1. Surprisingly youthful, served double blind, I thought it was 20 years younger. With the silky patina that can only come from age, the wine continues offering earthy red berries, tobacco, herbs and a hint of citrus. What a nice, unexpected treat!

      94 points - Tasted
  9. 1996 Château de Fargues

    1. Looking and tasting much older than its true age, the wine has taken on more of a copper coloring. Losing some of its sweetness, you find more creme brulee, orange and caramel, than sweet, tropical, honeyed fruits. This is a wine for current consuption, as my instincts say, it's only going to get worse.

      90 points - Tasted
  10. 2010 Château Smith Haut Lafitte

    1. This is showing better than ever. It's lush, opulently textured, intense, yet with a good purity of fruit and elegant, silky tannins. Still young, the wine is inky dark in color, with a primary character, but the last few years have helped the wine fill out and expand. This is about potential, but it's clear that this is going to be something special when it matures.

      97 points - Tasted
  11. 2008 Château Haut-Bailly

    1. Classic in all the right ways, the wine offers smoky, dark red fruits, spice, wet earth and cigar box aromatics. Fresh, balanced, young and vibrant, another 5 years should soften and expand the experience.

      94 points - Tasted
  12. 2010 Château Haut-Bailly

    1. The wine coats your palate with fruit, feels like silk and velvet, offers layers of smoky, ripe fruits with a real purity to the berries and the finish just goes on and on. Young, but already great. 10 more years will make this rock, but I'm not waiting a decade to pop another cork!

      98 points - Tasted
  13. 2009 Château Branaire-Ducru

    1. Full bodied, and holding most of what it has in reserve, the wine has rich textures, ripe, elegant, pure fruits, balancing acidity and a long finish. Hang on to your bottles for at least another 5-6 years, as this is going to develop nicely.

      94 points - Tasted
  14. 1999 Château Giscours

    1. Full mature, fresh, bright red fruits, with a tobacco, cedar, cassis and leafy characteristic. Medium bodied and classic in nature, this is drinking really nicely today.

      89 points - Tasted
  15. 1988 Château d'Yquem

    1. This keeps getting better and better. I won't be around when this hits full maturity, whenever that is, but I'm digging it right now. With gobs of honey drenched pineapples, apricots and tropical fruit, the wine is dense. But the acidity cuts right through. The spicy character, opulent mouthfeel and incredible length are something to experience, at least twice, because it's that good.

      98 points - Tasted
  16. 2006 Château Palmer

    1. A few hours in the decanter added a lot to the wine, softening the tannins, adding body and roundness to the textures. The fruit is refined, the nose is complex and there is good length. This is starting to open, but it's still young. Give it several more years and this should be quite charming.

      94 points - Tasted
  17. 2001 Château Branaire (Duluc-Ducru)

    1. Charming, elegant, classic, full mature, medium bodied claret, with balance, soft textures, refined tannins and more red than black fruit. This is drinking great today. No hurry to drink it, but no reason to wait either.

      90 points - Tasted
  18. 1989 Château Branaire (Duluc-Ducru)

    1. Slightly past fully mature, the wine is medium bodied, with more interesting things going on in the nose, than on the palate, as the fruit is starting to fade, and the finish is short. Drink up if you have any bottles you've been waiting on.

      87 points - Tasted
  19. 1983 Château d'Issan

    1. Looking much older than its true age, plenty of cedar, tobacco and cigar box with hints of cassis are on the nose. Medium bodied, with a spicy, peppery, cranberry and cassis palate, there is a tart, slightly green finish, drying finish here. This wine requires consumption sooner than later.

      83 points - Tasted
  20. 2001 Château La Conseillante

    1. Close to mature, medium/full bodied, with a focus on freshness, elegance and harmony, the wine is soft, fragrant and really drinking well today. No reason to wait on this one.

      93 points - Tasted
  21. 2010 Clos l'Église (Pomerol)

    1. Concentrated with sweet, ripe, lush, concentrated, dark red berries, that are complicated with the addition of dark cherry, even darker chocolate and truffle. Plush textures, depth of flavor and energy make everything work here. Give it another 5 years and this will be even better.

      95 points - Tasted
  22. 2001 Château Corbin St. Émilion Grand Cru

    1. Fully mature, with a smoky, tobacco, cigar box, floral and cherry nose, with a touch of herbs. The wine is medium bodied, soft, refined and at the perfect stage of development for maximum enjoyment.

      89 points - Tasted
  23. 2005 Château La Conseillante

    1. Already starting to show well, the sexy, sensous tannins, freshness and vibrancy of the wine is really starting to shine. A few more years will be better, but it's so good now, it's hard not to want to pop cork.

      96 points - Tasted
  24. 1982 Château Margaux

    1. Elegant, soft, refined and floral, with a sweetness of fruit, secondary notes of cedar, tobacco, plums, cassis and earth. This bottle seemed slightly more advanced than previous bottles, but at this age, as you know, every bottle is going to be unique.

      95 points - Tasted
  25. 1959 Château La Conseillante

    1. From a bottle that has never left the chateau, this was stunning in every sense of the word. Lush, sensuous, opulent and frankly decadent, the wine has depth, silky tannins, complexity and a finish that does not quit. A treat and a thrill.

      97 points - Tasted