Epic Wine Dinner at Bourbon Steak

Washington DC
Tasted Wednesday, April 18, 2012 by terroiristblog with 592 views

Introduction

Several DC wine geeks got together -- and we decided to go big. While a disappointing number of wines were flawed, everything else was singing. I didn't take notes on the whites, unfortunately, as they were consumed while socializing.

Flight 1 (2 Notes)

  • 1949 Château Cantemerle 90 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Haut-Médoc

    The color on this wine is striking -- despite 63 years of age, it looks like a young Burgundy. The nose opens with herbaceousness, and is followed with tart cherries, tomato, rust, and iron. The palate is impressively bright, with mouth-watering acid.

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  • 1961 Château Ausone 97 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    Wow. The nose is shockingly young -- full of fresh plum, dark cherry, and licorice. Underneath the fruit is raw meat, cedar box, cigar, and a hint of perfume. On the palate, the wine offers beautiful acidity on the front end and soft-but-present tannins on the back. A delightful wine.

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Flight 2 (3 Notes)

  • 1982 Château Cos d'Estournel 91 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe

    The wine opens very sweet. Notes of crème de cassis, dark plums and liquor, overripe blackberries, and licorice, followed by a hint of tomato paste and crème brûlée. Several comment that the wine is "Napa-like," and I can see why -- while delicious, it's a fairly monolithic, without tremendous complexity.

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  • 1989 Château Lafite Rothschild 98 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    Lively, bright, and amazingly concentrated. The wine is packed full of rasberries, red currants, and red cherries. Underneath the fruit is graphite, leather, and cedar. On the palate, the wine is perfectly structured and balanced -- and the finish just won't quit. A killer wine.

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  • 1989 Pauillac de Pichon Lalande 94 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    The wine opens with dark, sweet cherry, followed by tobacco and graphite. On the palate, the gray minerality is bracing -- and the fruit remains ripe -- but unfortunately, the wine is a bit thin.

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Flight 3 (3 Notes)

  • 1986 Château Cheval Blanc 96 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    Elegant and plush. The wine opens with asian spices and nutmeg, followed by bright red cherries, red twizzlers, sandalwood , and boatloads of graphite. On the palate, this is a red, acid-driven Bordeaux with exceptional balance. A lovely wine.

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  • 1986 Château Mouton Rothschild Flawed

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    Corked!

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  • 1986 Château Léoville Las Cases 96 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    A fascinating nose of bottom-of-the-mug expresso combined with brininess and savory soy sauce. The fruit is ripe -- sweet blueberries, licorice, and tart currents. The palate is equally fascinating, with soft tannins, mouth-watering acidity, and great balance. Delightful.

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Flight 4 - Champagne palate cleanser (2 Notes)

  • 2002 Pierre Gimonnet Champagne Special Club de Collection 93 Points

    France, Champagne

    The Champagne opens with fresh-from-the-oven biscuits, followed by tart apple, ripe pears, and orange rind. The palate is laser focused, with a disappointing metallic note at the very finish. Very gulpable.

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  • 1985 Salon Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut 95 Points

    France, Champagne, Le Mesnil Sur Oger, Champagne

    Even though the Champagne smells older than I would have expected, it's extraordinary -- sweet apples, apple cider, and graham cracker at the outset, with yeast and doughy bread, and some oxidized notes underneath. A very serious (and delicious) Champagne.

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Flight 5 (2 Notes)

  • 1994 Dominus Estate Napanook Vineyard 93 Points

    USA, California, Napa Valley

    An old-school Napa cab that could easily pass for Bordeaux. Stuffed with blackberry, black currant, sweet tobacco, and pencil lead underneath, the wine shows a hint of antiseptic brett and alcohol -- but very few notice. Mouth-watering acid on the palate. This would be an exceptional food wine.

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  • 1995 Joseph Phelps Insignia 95 Points

    USA, California, Napa Valley

    The wine is a baby. It's a beautiful example of young Napa Cab -- and I'm shocked to learn its 17 years old. The wine opens with fresh blackberry, huge dark fruits, and eucalyptus, with some earth, pencil lead, and wild mountain herbs playing a supporting role. The wine has great structure, soft-but-mouth-coating tannins, and delightful front-of-mouth acidity. Truly exceptional.

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Flight 6 (5 Notes)

Flight 7 (6 Notes)

Flight 8 (3 Notes)

  • 1975 Château d'Yquem 95 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes

    A superb, mature Sauternes. It opens with sweet petrol (which dissipates), followed by white flowers, canned pineapple, tart mangos, orange rind, coconut, and crème brûlée. The palate is exceptionally lush, dense, and sweet -- and the finish goes on and on -- but it somehow seems weightless. An awesome finisher to the evening.

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  • 1986 Château d'Yquem 95 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes

    A huge, smile-inducing nose of bright flowers, apricot, orange rind, and honey. The palate is astounding -- lush, sweet fruits, but somehow weightless.

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  • 1998 Château d'Yquem 97 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes

    The nose is explosive -- bright, sharp flowers jump out of the glass, and they're followed by sweet apricot, peach jam, honey, and caramel, with beautiful almonds and peanuts playing a supporting role. Wow.

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