La Commanderie de Bordeaux: 1988 Horizontal

Boneta Restaurant - Vancouver, BC
Tasted Monday, April 8, 2013 by MattTM with 382 views

Flight 1 - Caramelized "Onion Tart", Watercress, Walnut Vinaigrette, Red Wine Jus (3 Notes)

  • 1988 Château Palmer

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux

    Great nose, although the lightest and most feminine of the wines tasted this evening. Plenty of graphite and cedar on the nose, along with black pepper, black cherry, an underlying cassis sweetness, and a slight leafy mint note. More lead pencil and cedar on the palate, along with some firm spicy black pepper and clove, as well as black cherry, black currants, anise, and a bit of green pepper. Mouth numbing acidity with a medium length finish ending on notes of black pepper and black cherry. There's a nice hint of sweetness on the nose, with plenty of spice on the palate. I really liked the underlying components on this but it's unfortunately quite light and a bit dilute. Very good.

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  • 1988 Château Lynch-Bages

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    Less sweetness on the nose with more tar evident than the Palmer tasted along side. Lots of black pepper and asphalt aromas, along with black cherry, strawberry, graphite, cedar, and menthol. plenty of rich black cherry upfront on the palate, followed by spicy black pepper, cedar, leather, tar, and red currants. Firm acidity, with a medium length finish ending on notes of red currants and black pepper. Lots of tar and spice on both the palate and nose here, but the palate came up short after the promise of the nose. It just didn't have much oomph in the mouth, was a bit astringent and chalky and ended on a tart/bitter red currant note. Still youthful and seems like this could use more time in the cellar. Very good.

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  • 1988 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    Fantastic nose, showing generous amounts of cedar and spicy black pepper, along with some leather, black cherry, asphalt, earth, graphite, and mint. A bit lighter than the nose promised on the palate, exhibiting plenty of black pepper, graphite, and cedar, as well as a hint of leafy mint. Softer acid than the Palmer and Lynch Bages, with a medium- length finish ending on notes of rich black cherry and leafy mint. Great balance here with tons of lead pencil combined with rich dark fruits. My favorite of the flight. Very good+

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Flight 2 - Duck Breast, Roasted Orange, Crispy Leg, Braised Endive, Baby Fennel (3 Notes)

  • 1988 Château Cos d'Estournel

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe

    This was really green on the nose, almost as if you stuck a green pepper in the blender then took a whiff. Super green upfront, with some lead pencil, black cherry, and rubber peeking out from behind. The green carries through to the palate, showing more bell pepper along with some tar, red cherry, and tart cranberry. Short length finish ending on notes of green bell pepper and cherry. There seems to be a fair bit of bottle variation here, although some notes seem to have found similar traits. Very green, chalky, and astringent. My least favorite of the flight by far. OK.

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  • 1988 Château Léoville Barton

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    Great expressive nose showing some underlying cassis sweetness along with the usual Leoville Barton traits of cedar, graphite, and rich black cherry. More cassis, cedar, and graphite on the palate, along with some black pepper, although the fruit leans more towards the red end of the spectrum on the palate in the form of rich red cherry and raspberry. Medium length finish ending on notes of red cherry and black pepper. There's more red fruit here than the Cos or Pichon Baron. Quite dry and dusty, with plenty of structure still evident and this would benefit from a few more years in the cellar, although there's nothing wrong with enjoying this now. Very good+

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  • 1988 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    Just a fantastic nose on this displaying aromas of cedar, graphite, cigar box, leather, black cherry, spicy black pepper, some asphalt, and a touch of mint. The palate remains quite consistent with the nose showing more rich black cherry, black pepper, leather, lead pencil, sweet strawberry, cigar, cassis, and some menthol. Plenty of firm acidity, with along length finish ending on notes of graphite and black cherry. This was great, full bodied, rich fruit, lots of lead pencil, with plenty of structure still hanging in there. This would benefit from more time in the cellar, but there's no shame in enjoying this now. My favorite of the flight. Fantastic.

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Flight 3 - Mystery Wine (1 Note)

  • 1988 Château Léoville Las Cases

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    Tasted blind. Great nose with tons of graphite and cedar upfront, followed by rich black cherry, cassis, and a touch of fresh mint. Plenty more lead pencil on the palate, along with rich black cherry, leather, spicy black pepper, asphalt, mint, raspberry, with a touch of green bell pepper. Lots of acidity, with a long length finish ending on notes of leather and black cherry. This was showing very youthful, with lots of underlying structure and hard tannins. There's a nice richness to the fruit here. No debating that this was left bank in my mind...reminded me of LLC so that was my best guess. Every once in a while you nail it. Fantastic.

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Flight 4 - Braised Lamb Shank, Morels & Peas, Fingerlings, Herb Gremolata & Jus (3 Notes)

  • 1988 Château Mouton Rothschild

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    Ah, typical Mouton. Great smokey nose showing plenty of rich black currants, earth, black pepper, and tobacco. The smokey charred oak follows through onto the palate, along with more rich cassis, black cherry, leather, tar, and bacon fat. Firm acidity, with a long length finish ending on notes of charred oak and cassis. This was great with the rich cassis that I always find at the forefront on Mouton. However, a bit atypical was the bacon fat note on the palate that was reminiscent of N Rhone Syrah. But it worked. This bottle was still showing a bit tight and youthful. I'd put this just a notch above the LLC tasted along side. My wine of the night. Fantastic+

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  • 1988 Château Haut-Brion

    France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan

    There was an interesting vitamin note at first on the nose but this dissipated with some time in the glass. Aromas of rich candied red cherry, tobacco, charred oak, and dark dried fruits on the nose. Lots of red cherry on the palate, along with black plum, graphite, cedar, anise, and a fair bit of leafy mint. Great acid, with a medium length finish ending on notes of black cherry and black plum. This was interesting, and perhaps not a completely sound bottle, but the vitamin was off putting at first for me. Although it mostly blew off, it didn't completely shake it. Plenty of structure, yet a touch thin on the palate and a fair bit of leafiness. This was good, but I was expecting more. Very good+

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  • 1988 Château Cheval Blanc

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    Quite subdued on the nose with really not much showing, but there is some rich dark dried fruits, black pepper, vitamin, and sweet dates aromas evident. Tons of black plum on the palate, along with rich dark dried fruits, black pepper, and floral white flowers. High acidity, with a medium length finish ending on a note of black plums. This was different...astringent, fruit stripped, candied and rich dried fruits almost resembling a CDP. There was surely something off with this bottle, not corked, but seems like it's seen some heat somewhere during its life. It wouldn't be fair to rate this. NR

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Flight 5 - Brown Butter Financier, Poached Pear, Bleu d'Auvernge Ice Cream (1 Note)

  • 1988 Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey

    France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes

    Superb nose showing youthful aromas of honey, lavender, orange zest, gingerbread, caramel, and red apple skins. Tons of spice on the palate, showing plenty more candied ginger, along with some coffee grounds, caramel, baked red apples, and lavender. Laser like acidity with a medium length finish ending on notes of candied ginger and honey. It was incredible how youthful this showed in both appearance and taste. Plenty of spice, with a firm acidic backbone. This will just get better and better. Very good+

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