Neal Martin’s Bordeaux Olympics

Restaurant La Trouvaille, London
Tasted Friday, November 19, 2004 by andrewstevenson.com with 582 views

Introduction

All the wines were amazing, any one of which would have been quite outstanding on their own or in more “normal” company. This was a remarkable collection and some wines that would, as I say, have otherwise been outstanding suffered in invidious comparison with others. Congratulations and thanks to Neal for assembling such a splendid selection of wines.

Flight 1 - Round 1: Sparkling Opening Ceremony (2 Notes)

Two sparkling wines: which is the real champagne; what’s the champagne house and what is the vintage?

Flight 2 - Round 2: Guess my age (2 Notes)

A red and white burgundy: guess the vintage and guess the village cru.

  • 1961 Henri Boillot Puligny-Montrachet 95 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Puligny-Montrachet

    A deep gold. Our end of the table settled on the nose being heavily redolent of clarified butter, which was spot on: hot beurre just before it becomes noisette, heavy on the dairy, with waxy, nutty lanolin notes. Ripe, oily-textured fruit with huge, huge depth and concentration. Almost a bit too powerful. An extremely impressive wine. Guess at 1985.

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

  • 1982 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé Bonnes Mares 93 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Bonnes Mares Grand Cru

    Pale red, farmyardy sweet fruit nose, perhaps just a bit too sweet for comfort, with strawberries turning to raspberries. Light mature flavours. Woody spice on finish. Massive length on finish. Guess at 1979 Gevrey or Charmes Chambertin.

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

Flight 3 - Round 3: Spot the first growth (3 Notes)

Three wines: which is the first growth, and what is it?

  • 1987 Château Haut-Batailley 85 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    Youngish mid ruby colour, which for some reason makes me think of 1994. Sweet cedary nose. Very pleasant. Lightish, fairly elegant. Not bad.

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

  • 1987 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron Flawed

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    Lacking fruit, this is a bit corked, yet I force myself to taste it. Not too bad on the palate actually: maybe the acidic wet cardboard and damp leaves on the nose are something other than TCA. But definitely missable in my book.

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

  • 1987 Château Haut-Brion 95 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan

    Lovely musarey nose. Gorgeous ripe fruit with excellent structure. This is a really classy wine. If the first growth is the best wine of the three, then it’s clearly this one. With a bit of time it becomes quite meaty. A really excellent wine.

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

Flight 4 - Round 4: Which is the Parker 100 pointer? (3 Notes)

Three wines, one of which was awarded 100 points by American critic, Robert Parker. But which one?

  • 1982 Château Léoville Las Cases 89 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    An even garnet colour, making me think of the early 1990s. Lovely plummy nose. Immediately attractive but falls away quickly to just a bit of light spice.

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

  • 1982 Château Léoville Poyferré 97 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    A good even ruby. The nose is very earthy with a touch of brett. A truly beautiful elegant wine on the palate with lovely structure. A fabulous wine. This is really gorgeous and so far my wine of the night.

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

  • 1982 Château Gruaud Larose 87 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    A very dark ruby. Very closed nose. Ripe fruit. Big structure. Lots of tannin. This has a certain rusticity that is not unattractive. This is likely to be the 100 pointer.

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

Flight 5 - Round 5: Who am I? (2 Notes)

Two wines from the right bank – but which is older, what is the vintage of each and what’s the chateau?

  • 1964 Château Canon-la-Gaffelière 88 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    An even relatively mature ruby. I don’t find the nose particularly impressive: rather a lot of VA dominating. Lovely attractive attack, but falls away and apart a little. A preponderance of sweet fruit makes it seem a little simple. Yet still very delicious. Undoubtedly tastes the older of the two. 1961 or 1964?

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

  • 1967 Château Figeac 92 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    This looks to be the older wine: very even, with a hint of bricking. A truly fascinating nose that I could sniff for ages: layers and layers of varying fruit. Mmmm …. This is really lovely. Lots of depth and complexity. A really interesting, fascinating wine. Guess at 1966.

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

Flight 6 - Round 6: Who am I? (2 Notes)

Two wines from the left bank - – but which is older, what is the vintage of each and what’s the chateau?

  • 1960 Château Montrose 88 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe

    A light, mature ruby. Very strange, old nose: a bit bretty-stinky with a sweet richenss, with a hint of volatility and reduction. Very light and remarkably fresh tasting with a fine acidic streak. Guess early ‘70s.

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

  • 1958 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou 84 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    A deep very very old almost mahogany ruby. I can’t really find much going on on the nose. This just seems very old indeed on the palate. Quite simple and a bit over the hill. Though I should add that my glass was a bit sediment-y, which might have coloured my views. But it just doesn’t seem to have the redeeming features of a really great old wine that would lift it from being merely an old curiosity.

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

Flight 7 - Round 7: What’s my year of birth? (3 Notes)

Three wines from the same vintage: one from the right bank, one from the left bank and a Sauternes.

  • 1962 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron 84 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    An intermediate ruby. Acidic wet underbush with sweet blackcurrant on the nose. Straightforward, light, with lots of tannins. This reminds me of a prematurely aged 1976 St Emilion I had a few years ago.

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

  • 1962 Château Figeac 91 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    A lighter more mature ruby. Fascinating nose. Very deep, concentrated ripe fruit. Quite meaty. Lovely round and mature. Very integrated. Very nice. Lovely.

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

  • 1962 Château Suduiraut 92 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes

    (Obviously the Sauternes!) A brassy caramel colour. Rich, concentrated caramelly orange nose. Lovely balanced attack. Very elegant and integrated with nice acidity on finish. I’ve not a huge experience of Sauternes, but there’s something about it that reminds me of a Suduiraut that I had three or four years ago, though this is much older, although it seems younger than the two reds in this flight.

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

Flight 8 (3 Notes)

In addition to the organised heats, there were three additional wines;

  • 2002 Wither Hills Pinot Noir 88 Points

    New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough, Wairau Valley

    A youngish ruby. Highly perfumed nose with lots of sweet cherry. Plenty of upfront fruit, and the same perfumed cherries appear on the palate. Feels really rather young. An Australasian pinot noir.

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

  • 1995 St. Jerome Matuka 90 Points

    New Zealand, North Island, Auckland

    tasted rather hastily as I was busy pouring the next wine) A mid vaguely mature ruby. Smoky nose. Light on the palate with nice, clean, pure fruit. Really rather good.

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

  • 1971 Weingut Carl Finkenauer Kreuznacher Gutenthal Riesling Beerenauslese 83 Points

    Germany, Nahe

    (my wine)
    AP 1 710 033 006 72.
    Smoky old, unusually fragrant riesling nose. Sweet and rich, yet remarkably light for what it is. This had many puzzled, though C.P. Lin was the first to identify its country of origin. This was quite an interesting wine, but – for what it was – rather poor, which explains people’s puzzlement (they were heading off in late harvest scheurebe type territories).

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

×
×