Seven Decades of Right Bank Wines

Trondheim, Norway (my house)
Tasted Friday, September 7, 2012 by LWI with 476 views

Introduction

Many of us had ample experience with Left Bank wines, but little experience with the Right Bank. This was a tasting organized to remedy this.

Flight 1 (1 Note)

Flight 2 (1 Note)

  • 1928 Château Ausone 93 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    Mid/high shoulder fill. Still some red, long bricking brim, dusty tannins, fresh and long, moderate length, forest floor and flowers (!), slim – but not thin.

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Flight 3 (5 Notes)

  • 1945 Clos Fourtet 95 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    Bottom neck fill. Cork very pretty, come out in one piece. Brilliant and dark colored, could be from the 80’s. Opens up after a while, red meat, bonfire, forest floor, dark berries; long and very intense in the mouth, tannins still very present, enormous freshness and elegance. Pristine specimen. 30+ more years. 95+p

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  • 1945 Château La Conseillante 90 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol

    Mid shoulder fill. Dark, pronounced brown brim and core; Dark and dried fruits, slightly volatile, earthy; similar in the mouth, decent length, slightly sweet, lots of acidity.

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  • 1945 Château Figeac 91 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    Mid/high shoulder fill. Very dark, browning brim, dark core; a lot of forest floor and rotting logs, a whiff of sweetness, sweet pipe tobacco; wonderful first part of the taste curve, but clips off prematurely into a much thinner sweetish albeit long aftertaste, decent acidity.

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  • 1945 Château Pavie 87 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    The day after it was elevated to Grand Cru A. Mid/high shoulder fill. Very dark, short brim; volatile, dry and sweet fruit notes – prunes; similar in the mouth, dusty tannins, a bit short, something burned. Not entirely clean, on a slippery slope.

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  • 1945 Château Cheval Blanc 98 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    Fill: on join. Brilliant bricking red, light, long brim; very complex nose, forest floor, some beef juice, very fresh; very intense wine, long, complex, but the taste does not quite live up to the fantastic nose (to merit a perfect score), elegant, floral, and grows in the glass. Tannins still present. All in all, a wonderful bottle.

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Flight 4 (4 Notes)

  • 1947 Château La Fleur-Pétrus 95 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol

    Mid/high shoulder fill. Very, very dark. Hedonistic and sensual nose, forest floor, lots of fruit, complex; fine dark fruit in the mouth, opulent, almost porty. A powerful, long and striking wine.

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  • 1947 Clos Fourtet 94 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    Mid shoulder fill. Brilliant color, dark, long brim; dry tobacco, tight and very convincing, fresh and intense, tannic, some complexity. Belies the vintage character.

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  • 1949 Château Figeac 96 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    High shoulder fill. Brilliant color, dark, long brim; Strikingly complex on the nose, deep, forest floor, compact, Provencal spices, some sweetness; very tight in the mouth as well, some fruit sweetness, tannic. Knock-out wine.

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  • 1949 Château Cheval Blanc 99 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    Mid shoulder fill. At first somewhat unclean and volatile on the nose, which blew off. Fantastic depth and complexity, very long, fresh and structured, lots of power, some sweetness.

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Flight 5 (1 Note)

Flight 6 (4 Notes)

  • 1952 Château La Conseillante 96 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol

    High mid shoulder fill. Didn’t see this coming. Forest floor, bouquet garni, intense nose; complex in the mouth – almost peacock tail, fresh, intense, very fine and long.

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  • 1955 Château Ausone 91 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    Mid shoulder fill. Browner than the others in this 50’s flight. Slightly stewed nose, sweetish fruit; better in the mouth, but still slightly sweet, some complexity lurking there somewhere, surprisingly rich.

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  • 1955 Château Cheval Blanc 96 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    Top shoulder fill. Bottled by BBR. Tobacco, dark fruit, forest floor and bonfire; Structured, fresh, long, Left Bank like, linear, not overly muscular.

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  • 1959 Château Cheval Blanc 92 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    High/top shoulder fill. Big expectations. Minty, spicy, but some over-the-top fruit; decent in the mouth, slightly burned fruit, long. Very good, but did not fulfill the high hopes.

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Flight 7 (4 Notes)

  • 1962 Château L'Evangile 96 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol

    Spicy and sensual nose, but also floral; slightly burned fruit in the mouth, but still fresh and long, complex. What a surprise!

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  • 1961 Château Ausone 100 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    High in neck fill. Almost directly from the Château. Dark wine; dark fruit profile as well, unbelievably complex nose, fruits and spices; very, very long, structured, fresh.. I am out of words. This particular bottle would have had 30-50 more years at top. My first perfect wine.

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  • 1961 Château Cheval Blanc 93 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    Very top shoulder. Very fresh nose; long and linear, acids present. Very good wine, but not the best of bottles. Perhaps stored too warm?

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  • 1966 Château Cheval Blanc 92 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    Bottom neck fill. Pronounced green bell peppers, intriguing nose; tight wine, long, bouquet garni and more bell peppers, dark fruit.

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Flight 8 (5 Notes)

Flight 9 (4 Notes)

  • 1971 Château Cheval Blanc 92 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    Spices and forest floor, tight; beef juice and fresh meat, very good length, flinty, dry, very good intensity.

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  • 1975 Château Cheval Blanc 93 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    Quite similar to the Ausone, but more acid and has more fruit. Long, structured.

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  • 1978 Château Cheval Blanc 94 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    Bell peppers; fresh and long in the mouth, masculine. A wonderful start to the taste curve, but the fruit only lasts to about 2/3rds of the curve. Still, a very good wine.

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  • 1975 Château Ausone 91 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    Deep and dark nose; fresh and long, very structured, a little bony. Best with food? Still has potential. 91+p

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Flight 10 (4 Notes)

  • 1982 Château L'Evangile 91 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol

    Animal fur, spicy; good fruit initially, but shortish, drying tannins in finish.

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  • 1985 Pétrus 92 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol

    Mild and structured fruit, very elegant; dry, structured and elegant in the mouth, almost shy, moderately bodied. Not yet at peak? 92+p

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  • 1989 Tertre Rôteboeuf 90 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    Very dark, very brown, sur maturité color. However fresh on the nose; sweet fruit – but still fresh. Lots of power. Zero complexity. Very far from elegant. Peculiar.

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  • 1982 Château La Conseillante 95 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol

    Gently spiced, floral, dark berries, smoke and minerals. Deep fruit in combination with good structure. 95+p

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Flight 11 (4 Notes)

  • 1990 Château Angélus 92 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    Would this live up to its Classe A status? Sweetish nose, spicy, meaty, minerals – very fine nose indeed; in the mouth: bomb strike, alcoholic finish, lots of spices, a slightly bitter finish. Not my cup of tea, but still an impressive wine? Worth its status: Nope. Solid Classe B.

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  • 1990 Château Troplong Mondot 91 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    Gorgeous sexy nose; taste wise it falls off the cliff half ways through the taste curve. Over-the-top fruit.

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  • 1990 Château Ausone Flawed

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    Corked

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  • 1990 Château Cheval Blanc 96 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    Serious wine. Clean and long. Structured and complex. The Cabernet Franc is subdued, but very structured. Too young. A tad weaker than a previous bottle. 96++p

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Flight 12 (4 Notes)

  • 1990 Château d'Yquem 96 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes

    Surprisingly fresh and young, very clean, spicy and fruity, wonderful acidity, moderate plus sweetness (perhaps balanced by the acid). Develops throughout what was left of the night. Still too young. 96+p

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  • 1983 Château d'Yquem 96 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes

    Orange marmalade, orange peels, spicy, very complex nose; fresh and long, deep fruit. Very convincing and much more serious and powerful than expected.

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  • 1976 Château d'Yquem 98 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes

    In neck fill. Mixture between orange peel, botrytis and a hint of nuts. Rich and sweet, very fine acidity, very, very long. Convincing bottle.

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  • 1949 Château Rieussec 94 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes

    Bottom neck fill. Youthful color. Marmalade and nuts; rich and surprisingly fresh in the mouth, clean and complex. A tad too short.

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Closing

Older bottles performed outstandingly. These bottles were often much more West Side like that I would have thought. Some later bottles, i.e. 80’s and 90 had too much sweetish fruit, lacking complexity and structure. Impressive wines, yes, but not too interesting. Others from the 90 vintage were simply wonderful, the Cheval Blanc was a masterpiece – still in the making.

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