Tasting of 80's Bordeaux at Seattle Wine Storage

Seattle, WA
Tasted Sunday, October 9, 2005 by Eric with 1,052 views

Introduction

Chuck Miller at Seattle Wine Storage was hosting a monthly wine tasting, and since the theme was 80's Bordeaux, well heck why not?

Flight 1 (1 Note)

We started out with a Pavillon Blanc and then popped a second when the first seemed to be corked (it was).

  • 1985 Pavillon Blanc du Château Margaux Blanc 85 Points

    France, Bordeaux

    There was some debate as to whether this wine was corked, so a second bottle was opened. The first showed somewhat darker color. The nose is resinous with some mint. I thought it was pretty clearly corked even before the second bottle was opened. The second bottle has more of a green hue with a distinct Sauvignon Blanc personality, lots of acid and a nice, slatey mineral thing. The 85 point score is for the second bottle.

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Flight 2 (3 Notes)

Our first flight was a little rag-tag but a good way to start off.

  • 1983 Château Latour Grand Vin 89 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    Mmm, asphalt, baked cherry pie, getting darker with air and showing some nutmeg or allspice. The palate is dry, lean, fairly tight, with pretty good grip, medium weight, yet somewhat impenetrable and unrevealing. Dense and dark. Maybe this just needs a lot of time, or maybe it just doesn't have a ton of stuff. My score reflects the former conclusion...

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  • 1985 Château Rausan-Ségla 85 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux

    Chicken coop, somewhat piercing with some pickle, alcohol, graphite and mint. The palate is much more open than the Latour, but there is not a lot of life left here. It sweetens as it cracks up.

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  • 1986 Château La Mission Haut-Brion 90 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan

    This shows telltale roasted notes, chicory, barnyard, starting to pop out of the glass pretty nicely! The palate has coffee, cherries, pretty tight, gimme a steak!! On the finish, more roasted earth, some astringency, but I like the grip. Pretty darned nice wine.

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Flight 3 (4 Notes)

Then we hopped into a flight of Lynch Bages. I brought the 1985 with the 1982 as my backup, but when I saw that we had two other vintages, well heck why not flesh it by one more...

  • 1982 Château Lynch-Bages 95 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    This is pretty classic with a slightly reticent nose of tobacco and mint. With some air this really popped. The palate is rich, deep and layered with cocoa. Very explosive and pretty darned ready to go. Yummy!

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  • 1983 Château Lynch-Bages 92 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    Hello Mr. Ed. High-pitched and stinky with some clear manure notes. That said, this is opening up very well on the palate, lots of, uh, earth in this one and more than a bit of stable. Then some sweet chocolate blossoms on the palate. If you don't mind brett, this is pretty tasty.

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  • 1985 Château Lynch-Bages 93 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    Char, graphite, cherry, leaf and some tobacco. Mmm, this is very open and generous with loads of black fruit and graphite. A little green bean mars the palate, but this still rocks, a terrific wine.

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  • 1988 Château Lynch-Bages 87 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    Vitamin and mineral on the nose with some mint and tomato leaf. This is very tannic, and the fruit seems to be losing the battle here. Cherry, tart, lean, with a bit of horse. This doesn't seem to have a ton to offer, so I would just uncork with a steak and enjoy it for what it is.

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Flight 4 (2 Notes)

Next we had a pair of 1982's.

  • 1982 Château Siran 86 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux

    A huge nose of vitamin pill and mint. Sweet and zingy on the palate but not so interesting on the whole.

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  • 1982 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou Flawed

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    This one inspired a lot of debate about whether it was corked. I found a moldy smell but only when swirling. Usually I noticed TCA when I let a glass site, but this one would just go mute. Olive, tobacco leaf, caramel, leathery, black, medium weight. Not a terrible palate, but I have had this wine before and think this bottle was indeed flawed.

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Flight 5 (4 Notes)

And we finished the reds with a little Pichon action. (The pair of 1985's was to help Chuck gauge the condition of a cellar going up for auction.)

  • 1985 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande 91 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    This was from Chuck's bottle imported by Jefferson Wine & Spirit's. This reminds me of a taste of the 1983 back in September, 2004 at Daniel in NYC. Exotic notes of smoked meat on the nose. The palate is open, sexy and seductive, lovely texture, a little minty. A very nice wine.

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  • 1985 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande 89 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    This was a second bottle imported by Bordeaux Wine Locators. Similar flavor profile to the prior bottle, but it shows more smoke, mint and a much darker aromatic profile. The palate is dark, loaded with mineral, much more monolithic. If anything, this second bottles needs much more time than the prior bottle.

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  • 1990 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande 87 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    The nose is weedy, really weedy, some vitamin pill and some horse. The light palate shows cinnamon, cedar, fairly pretty, sweet but a bit simple, nice spiciness on the finish. A pleasant claret at best.

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  • 1989 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron 95 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    Oh baby, what a wine. A nose of violet, melted chocolate, a touch of horse and a touch of VA. This is a rich wine showing a touch of alcohol. Some stalkiness on the palate but in a good way. Primary, black fruit, loaded with graphite, a relative baby.

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Flight 6 (1 Note)

Finally we finished up with a little Rieussec.

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