BWE: 1982 Bordeaux Retrospective

New York City: Fabio Piccolo Fiore
Tasted Saturday, September 8, 2012 by dbg with 570 views

Introduction

Patrick did the heavy lifting to organize another of what has become a BWE tradition: an annual fall gathering in New York to review a particular Bordeaux vintage/vintages. We've done 1986, 1989, "lesser" vintages of the '80s, and the decade of the '70s. Work commitments have prevented me from attending the last two reviews, but the confluence of Patrick and Ian's return to NY and the opportunity to taste a selection of 1982s motivated me to do whatever it took to get back with this group. And boy was it worth it!

The usual suspects (Patrick, Ian, Jacques & Jill, Ramon, Chris & Marjorie, and Dale) were joined by a couple of Ian's financial world friends to bring our merry band to 11. The venue was a favorite standby for this event: Fabio Piccolo Fiore. We had the front room by the window, as usual, and the food and service, as usual, were fabulous.

Flight 1 (2 Notes)

Champagnes

  • 2004 L. Aubry Fils Champagne Le Nombre d'Or Campanae Veteres Vites Brut

    France, Champagne

    Very pale, lots of mousse, minerally and steely on both the nose and palate, very dry, a bit short on the finish, this to me was the Chablis of Champagnes. Excellent. This was Dale's "geeky" Champagne contribution - geeky because the cepage contained more than the usual suspects of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meuniere and Chardonnay. There are an additional four (?) varieties allowed in Champagne, IF they were planted before the current rules went into effect, and the Aubrey contained a significant percentage of these grandfathered varieties. Here are the numbers: Pinot Meunier 5 %, Chardonnay 15%, Pinot Noir 20%, Fromenteau (Pinot Gris) 25%, Petit Meslier 20%, Arbanne 15%.

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

  • 1996 Henriot Champagne Cuvée des Enchanteleurs Brut

    France, Champagne

    Light gold color, nice bubbles, much richer nose of ripe stone fruits, fuller bodied than the Aubrey and more complex and powerful to my palate, with a bit of sweetness I don't usually associate with this wine but perhaps it's noticeable in comparison to the bone dry Aubrey. Moderately ling finish, outstanding. Many commented that this needed a food accompaniment, and indeed a bit held in reserve was a great match with lobster ravioli and crab appetizers.

    Post a Comment / 1 person found this helpful, do you? Yes - No / Report Issue

Flight 2 (3 Notes)

White flight

  • 1997 Trimbach Riesling Clos Ste. Hune

    France, Alsace

    My first experience with this wine and I hope not my last. Very pale, minerally, bit of petrol in the nose (I like this - it adds complexity) made me think of German Riesling. Sharply focused on the palate with light to medium body and great balance, medium finish, outstanding.

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

  • 1996 Château Pape Clément Blanc

    France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan

    Very pale, nose is a bit shy but I get more white fruits than citrus and a hint of what I call "naphtha" - a dry-cleaning-solvent-like note that sounds awful as I write it but which adds a bit of interest. Light bodied, doesn't seem to make a big impression on the palate, probably a very good to excellent wine but overshadowed by the others in this flight.

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

  • 1999 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Cuvée Roussanne Vieilles Vignes

    France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

    This all-Roussanne cuvée has a reputation for going into an oxidized phase, only to emerge years later with great complexity. A bottle of 1995 we had at Jacque's earlier in the year was brown and totally shot, yet the color of its sibling from the same batch looks fine. A bottle of the 1999 I opened a few days ago appeared to be going in the same direction with golden hues and some sherry-field oxidation notes that mysteriously resolved into a nice complexity. I wanted the cumulative BWE wisdom to weigh in on this, so I brought this bottle to NY. This bottle was a totally different animal. Pale gold, rich nose, great power and balance on the palate with just a touch of the oily palate feel I associate with Rhone whites. Nice complexity, no hint of oxidation, medium-long finish. Outstanding. Problem is, these wines are like a box of chocolates. Until you open them, sniff and taste, you never know what you're going to get. Maybe the strange reports of some bottles being OTH and then others seeimingly miraculously behaving as is resurrected has more to do with bottle variation/premox, since the 1995 and 1999 both showed tremendous variation from one bottle to the next.

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

Flight 3 (3 Notes)

Right Bankers

  • 1982 Château Certan de May

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol

    Dark red, lighter at rim but no bricking. Bit oh heat/alcohol on the nose at first, this blew off to allow a nice nose of earth, mushrooms, hints of blood and iodine to come forward. Medium body, nice fruit and complexity but not yet showing that sweet fully-mature profile, nice finish, excellent-outstanding, still young and should get better.

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

  • 1982 Château L'Evangile

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol

    Dark red core, minimal lightening. Dusty complex nose, almost too dusty/musty at first but soon developed into a wonderful olfactory treat, medium-full body, still tannic at first but this mellows, some iodine/blood notes, what really stands out is how this builds power and complexity through the mid palate and finish. A very "complete" wine, has many years ahead of it, outstanding to extraordinary.

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

  • 1982 Château Canon

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    Dark red core, lightening at rim. Sweetest/ripest nose in this flight. Fresh, young on the palate, a creamy texture, medium finish. This did not excite as much as the first two in the flight, came acros as youngest off the bunch, but still excellent. Tried a bit more at the end of the night and it had developed considerably more complexity, so it probably wasn't showing its best during the flight. This was a pop and pour, I think the others had been decanted ahead.

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

Flight 4 (3 Notes)

St Juliens

  • 1982 Château Branaire (Duluc-Ducru)

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    Dark red, nice nose, medium body, good balance and finish. Still young. Excellent. My notes are sparse here as this did not make a large impact. The 1982 Branaire Dicru has a long BWE history. At BWE 2003 in NYC, it bested a stellar group, including Mouton, in a blind tasting put on by Tom Wheltle. Tim McCracken brought a bottle to the BWE event in Dubai early this year, where it showed well but not as well as the bottles Tom brought to NY in '03. This bottle was similar. Difference in provenance/storage?

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

  • 1982 Château Talbot

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    Dark red. Intense rich earthy funky Cordier nose but not dirty or barnyard. Medium + body, beginning complexity, excellent balance, very nice finish, still has years to go. Outstanding.

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

  • 1982 Château Gruaud Larose

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    Dark red. Wait, did I pour 2glasses of Talbot? The noses are almost identical with the rich earthy funk, but no, this is the Gruaud. They are twins on the nose, with perhaps a slight edge in intensity to the Talbot. But on the palate the Gruaud is richer, fuller, more powerful and complex, and with a longer finish than the Talbot. Not quite as complex and delppedvas the bottles Stuart brought to BWE Miami, this has room for additional development. Outstanding to extraordinary.

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

Flight 5 (3 Notes)

Margaux

  • 1982 Château Margaux

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux

    Dark red to rim. Young and closed at first, but over 30 minutes in the glass opens to reveal a beautiful nose of Margaux-berries, great elegance and balance on the palate, beautiful finish but still really young. A great showing, will likely be better 10 years from now. Outstanding to extraordinary.

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

  • 1982 Château Prieuré-Lichine

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux

    Dark red care, lighter with some bricking at rim. Warm rich nose of Margaux-berries and flowers with some coffee/mocha notes were initially appealing. Softer and more diffused on the palate than the Margaux, medium finish, probably at peak, very good to excellent.

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

  • 1982 Château La Lagune

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Haut-Médoc

    An Haut Medoc but close enough, it fit well in this flight and out- pointed the Prieure Lichine in this flight with a nice nose, good fruit, better focus and balance, and a nicer finish. Excellent.

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

Flight 6 (2 Notes)

Pauillacs

  • 1982 Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    Dark red, minimal lightening at rim. Coffee and roasted notes on the nose (a detraction for some, not for me), dark fruits, blood/iron and hints of iodine. Layered full palate feel, beginning complexity but not all the way there yet, excellent balance, long finish, has years to go, outstanding.

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

  • 1982 Château Batailley

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    Medium red, lighter at rim. Red berries, flowers on the nose, lighter palate impression, nice finish, seemed almost Burgundy-like in comparison to the rest of the reds. But not boring... Very good to excellent if atypical in this lineup.

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

Flight 7 (2 Notes)

Sauternes

  • 1986 Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey

    France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes

    Light honey. Crime brûlée nose including a hint of scorched sugar, rich ripe fruit, hint of bitterness on finish. Excellent.

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

  • 1988 Château Climens

    France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Barsac

    Light- medium honey. Rich sweet nose, white fruits and some botrytis. Rich palate-coating entry and mid-palate, ripe and sweet and perfectly balanced through to a long finish. I can almost still taste it this morning. Has many years to go. Extraordinary. A good thing we don't count dessert wines in WOTN voting as this would have given the Margaux a run for its money.

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

Closing

Wine of the flight honors went to: L'Evangile, Gruaud Larose, Margaux and Grand Puy Lacoste. The first two were far from unanimous, the last two were unanimous. Margaux won WOTN honors, with L'Evangile and Gruaud Larose very close at 2 and 3. We don't let the Sauuternes compete for WOTN. If we did, the Climens would have given the Margaux a run for it's money.

The end to another great BWE event. I know some shared my take on the wines but there were several alternate opinions as to which showed best. But all agreed that it was an excellent showing for almost all of the wines, without a single dud or corked bottle.

×
×