1976 Langoa Barton

Still full of life. Beautiful aromatics of cedar and roasted berries. Seamless integration with a touch of tannin still perceptible on the very back end. The fruit is alive.

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1998 Vieux Chateau Certan

This Pomerol is a rare blend of 90% Merlot & 10% Cabernet Sauvignon.  It has a deep opaque garnet color with a dark pink rim and is youthful in appearance.  There are deep, powerful aromas of kirsch, ripe dark cherry, cough syrup & dark chocolate.  The nose is rich and expressive with medicinal herb, a cool touch of mint/menthol, a hint of cedar, cigar leaf, dark and a bit of hearth smoke. It is medium+ bodied and the tannins are dense & chewy, a bit gritty and immature.  The profile is of round dark fruit, tinged with vanilla cherry coke on the finish.  The wine is flavorful, but structurally less than scintillating.  Straightforward, one-dimensional, a very linear experience, little complexity or development.  Perhaps a victim of the early garagiste influence?  Hmmm… a bit of a conundrum…a solid Pomerol vintage, expressive & generous aromatics & a youthful appearance usually indicate future promise. But surely this wine should have evolved more by now?  Should perhaps be consumed with a meal to give it more of a chance to shine.

1978 Mouton Rothschild

The bottle was in good condition, top-shoulder. Brick core with a golden russet rim.  Aromas are all tertiary, smoky, earthy. I find the palate to be one-dimensional and frankly, a bit tired.  The tannins are smooth but dominant in the experience, the fruit is faded. This bottle sparked a bit of disagreement between the “Lovers of Very Old Bordeaux No Matter What” and the rest of us.  The absence of bell pepper was a positive point in its corner.  I wish I’d had it 10 years ago.  To me the wine had very little energy and the lack of dimension on the palate didn’t score any helpful points either.  Perhaps it was this bottle?

1997 Chateau Petrus

Medium ruby core with a pink rim. The nose is incredibly heady and complex. Layers of cassis liqueur, dark chocolate-covered ripe cherries, currants, a subtle whiff of catmint (nepeta), briar and very light tomato leaf, which is not herbaceous or vegetal. The palate is medium bodied and soft with supple texture and layers of flavor. Flavors of cassis, currant, dark chocolate and cedar are delivered with medium(+) acidity and vibrant, fine-grained tannins. Plenty of development ahead.

1984 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild

The appearance is hazy with a deep garnet core and pink rim. The nose showed developed aromas of dried herbs & vegetation, smoke and cassis that evolves into a more briary note. The palate is medium-bodied, soft and round on the attack with delicious sweet/sour cherry fruit and fresh acidity giving way to a layer of smoke. Although not overly complex, it is well-structured and a seamless experience. We found the tannins on the finish a touch chalky and drying which would likely be mitigated by drinking it with food. Medium in length. Overall, a very pleasant surprise for the vintage. There’s life left in this one!

2004 Chateau Charmail

Cassis nose, light vanilla, earthy, dusty minerality with ripe fruit. Old World. Bright medium acidity, ripe black cherry, light vanilla, fruitiness. Tannins are fine and of medium intensity. Youthful but very approachable and very pleasant. The alcohol is medium. This wine is well-balanced between the acid, tannin and ripe fruit. Solid.