Bernard Burtschy dinner at Taberna del Alabardero

Taberna del Alabardero, Washington D.C.
Tasted Thursday, May 3, 2012 by dcwino with 456 views

Introduction

Mr. Bernard Burtschy, the wine writer for Le Figaro and a fellow Grand Jury Europeen member, was in town to conduct the heart's delight grand tasting this Saturday. Bijan organized the dinner to honor Bernard. Thirteen of us got together at Taberna del Alabardero and drank some nice Bordeauxs.

I was under the weather and my nose was only operating at 50%, except a few moments where my nose got cleared for a few seconds. It has happened to me once before and it is no fun. It was interesting that I was still able to get TCA, VA and brett although I couldn’t detect much fruits and other flavors. Most my notes are based on palate impression where I was able to smell a bit better than through my nose.

Bernard has vast knowledge of wine. He gave the background and impression of the wines which was very informative. It is interesting that his assessment of the Bordeauxs are not far from that of Bob’s, ie concentration and ripeness are good things.

Flight 1 - Champange and whites (3 Notes)

  • 1995 Taittinger Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs Comtes de Champagne 93 Points

    France, Champagne

    Restraint impression, perhaps due to the copious amount of wet stone and very dry finish. Both primary BdB, wet stone, slightly unripe granny smith and citrus and a hint of the aged champagne characters, brioche and honey coexist. Very youthful, precise and nicely delineated. Perhaps one may want a bit more richness in the palate.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 2004 Pavillon Blanc du Château Margaux Blanc 88 Points

    France, Bordeaux

    Perhaps it has shut down a bit but I am not impressed at all. There is typical rich/oaky characters that is typical to youthful Pavillon Blanc but not much fruit. Wax, vanilla and set sox driven nose. For me, it is clearly too hot and disjointed at the moment as there is no fruits to layer the alcohol. For me, Pavillon Blanc is closer to the semi dry white wines of Sauternes then Grave blanc.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 1997 Trimbach Riesling Clos Ste. Hune 94 Points

    France, Alsace

    Despite my nose at 50%, incredibly complex nose. Initially sweet and floral, also a hint of petrol, crème brulee, yellow fruits, lightly caramelized apple and peach. It is beguiling as the nose impression is so rich and complex yet the palate is airy and bone dry. Although very dry there is very little mineral expression which makes this wine a bit flat at the end. Nevertheless a beautiful expression of Riesling. Lovely.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

Flight 2 - 67 VCC (1 Note)

  • 1967 Vieux Château Certan 85 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol

    One of the rare 67s, my birth year wine, that is still drinking well. This particular bottle wasn’t showing too well. Ash, earth and a bit pruny. Bernard Burtschy explained there was several different bottlings. I had a couple great examples in the past.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

Flight 3 - Blind flight (2 Notes)

Flight 4 - 1978s (4 Notes)

  • 1978 Château Trotanoy 93 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol

    This is fresher and cleaner compare to the bottle drank in late March but the overall impression is quite similar. More mint than eucalyptus, meat, chocolate, cherry and truffle. The palate is quite dense, energetic and silk and ends with noticeable tannins. There are a lot of musty/unclean Bordeauxs from the 60s and the 70s but this bottle is perfectly clean. Rather masculine and forceful expression. Impressive rather than lovely.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 1978 Château Margaux 89 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux

    The first wine under Mentzelopoulos regime. Perhaps due to my nose being at only 50%, seems flat and not expressive. Nice sweet palate impression and noticeable tannins but not much nose.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 1978 Château La Mission Haut-Brion Flawed

    France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan

    Another victim of TCA but only slightly. Rich, big, sweet and ripe. Need to seek a good bottle.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 1978 Château La Tour Haut-Brion 93 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan

    Black fruits, cedar and earth. This is a big scale rustic wine. Impressive concentration, silky, sweet fruits and long finish.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

Flight 5 - 1990s (2 Notes)

  • 1990 Château La Mission Haut-Brion 96 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan

    Beautiful sweet ripe red and black fruits, earth, mushroom and dark caramel. Palate is silky and sweet. Fully integrated tannins. Very ripe and sweet wine.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 1990 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron 97 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    This is a great example of the 90 Pauillac. Very ripe, dark fruit expression is not unlike the 90 Leoville Poyferre. Sweet spices, licorice, ink, caramel and cedar. Silky palate. I preferred the hedonistic aspect of this wine to the complex nose of the 90 La Mission.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

Flight 6 - HB, Cos and Latour a Pomerol (3 Notes)

  • 1986 Château Haut-Brion 95 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan

    Beautiful sweet caramel, licorice and lactic. This is nicely opened up and quite expressive. Medium concentration wine with bright acidity and silky palate. Lovely youthful example.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 1985 Château Cos d'Estournel 93 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe

    This is the first stage of maturity. Still showing fruits but becoming mostly secondary. For some this will be vague but this is simply perfectly drinking claret. Silky and delicious.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 1982 Château Latour à Pomerol 91 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol

    Very fresh example, seems a bit simpler than the others in the flight. Bright, fresh but soft, not terribly complex, relatively speaking.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

Flight 7 - Oldies (4 Notes)

  • 1959 Château Rauzan-Gassies 94 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux

    Another great showing. When I had the first bottle, I was very pleasantly surprised and pleased with my purchase from Christies. I had a number of the bottles and they were all great. Now I have the explanation from Bernard Burtschy, Mr. encyclopedia of Bordeaux. According to Bernard the 59 was the last great vintage of the property and the next great one is the 09, only fifty years later. Starting the 61 vintage, the yield was increase significantly resulting in less concentration wines. This once again is very fresh and sweet. Still noticeable tannins.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 1945 Château Saint-Pierre-Sevaistre 95 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    This is round, generous, opulent and sweet. As Bernard mentioned 1945 is a very special vintage as the yields was extremely low resulting in super concentrated sweet wines that still shows great deal of sweet jammy fruits.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 1949 Château Cantemerle 93 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Haut-Médoc

    Cooler overall impression, compare to the 45 Saint Pierre. Red fruits, cedar, caramel, plum and blood. Medium concentration. As the wines get to 50+ years, VA tends to emerge. This is no exception but for me, it becomes a positive attribute, adding freshness and complexity.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 1919 Château d'Issan 93 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux

    As we all know, aging wine is a slow, gradual and gentle process of oxidation. The color tells me that the wine is madeirized, ie no red, dark and opaque. It must came from a very good cellar as the slow aging resulted in this still being enjoyable although all tertiary. Mint, eucalyptus, medicine, band-aid, chartreuses, cedar and three bark. Noticeable brett but it is not bothersome for me. YMMV. For those who love old wines, this may be a good one to try.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

Flight 8 - Stickies (2 Notes)

Closing

My sincere gratitude to Bijan for organizing the wonderful event and to Bernard for leading us. The restaurant provided the perfect wine services and the food was great once again!

×
×