Big Bordeaux V: Stars of the Right Bank - St. Emilion (including '96 Cheval, '98 Ausone and Pavie, '90 Troplong, '98 d'Yquem and more)

Rocknroller's (Kevin's)
Tasted Saturday, April 27, 2013 by rocknroller with 293 views

Introduction

Ten of us gathered at our place for our 5th, semi-annual, Bordeaux event that we've put together. The theme for this event was Stars of the Right Bank - St. Emilion, featuring all 4 of the Premier Grand Cru Classe A wines along with 2 of the top Classe B wines. This was a wonderful lineup of wines paired with some splendid food from our many amateur chefs.

Flight 1 - Bonus Starter Wine (1 Note)

  • 2007 Von Hövel Scharzhofberger Riesling Spätlese 93 Points

    Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer

    Light gold color. PNP, drank 1 glass over 20-30 minutes. I've had this a few times now and this was the best bottle yet. Really fresh and lively with nice acids and great tropical fruits with peach, citrus, mango and white blossoms on the palate and nose. Striking minerality, with just a modicum of fusil, this has great depth and a long tangy finish. Maybe drinks a bit more like an Auslese though. Great stuff and at a very reasonable price.

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Flight 2 - Welcome Wine (1 Note)

  • 2010 Secret de Grand Bateau Blanc 91 Points

    France, Bordeaux

    Light gold color. PNP, drank 1 glass over 30 minutes. Really nice nose of earth, minerals, lemon, very rich. The palate is creamy, almost a bit buttery, great body, lemon, hints of apple, refreshing, very clean finish. Very enjoyable. 91+pts.

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Flight 3 - Champagne (1 Note)

Flight 4 - Premier Grand Cru Classe B Wines (2 Notes)

  • 2003 Château Pavie Macquin 94 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    Purple color. 3 hour decant, drank 1 glass over 2+ hours. Nose is dense and fruity, blueberries, blackberries, vanilla, kirsch, pencil lead, spice, raspberry. The palate is immensely concentrated, full bodied, and layered, while clearly retaining its elegance. Dark raspberry, tart acids, black and blue fruits, tobacco, pencil lead, and a long finish round this out. Pretty amazing stuff right now and I can't wait to see where this is in another 5-10 years.

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  • 1990 Château Troplong Mondot 95 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    Very dark red color. 3 hour decant. Drank 1 glass over 3 hours. Lovely nose with black cherry, black cherry liqueur, earth, anise, asian spices, earthy perfume, some caramelized sugar late. The palate is medium bodied, pretty blueberries, black cherry, raisin, moderate glycerin, tobacco, espresso, medium grained tannins, finishes long. This was in the early running for WOTN, There is a lot of life left here too.

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Flight 5 - Premier Grand Cru Classe A Wines (4 Notes)

  • 1994 Château Angélus 96 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    Very dark red color with some bricking. Decanted for 15 minutes and drank 1 glass over 3 hours. This was clearly the stunner of the night. This baby was right in my wheelhouse with everything I look for in a great Bordeaux: mature, fantastically perfumed nose, earthy, elegance and finesse. WOW did this deliver. The nose is incredible, perfumed, violets, oh so floral, funk, earth, graphite. I figured no way can the palate come close to that nose, well, I was wrong. The palate was fantastic too, full bodied, elegant, rich, velvety, cassis, spices, graphite, minerals, black cherry. Fully mature, perfectly balanced and well integrated this was my WOTN and NOTN. 96+pts

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  • 1996 Château Cheval Blanc 96 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    Very dark red color. Decanted for 1 hrs, drank 1 glass over 2 hours. This is another great wine with a wonderful nose showing a splendid perfume of red fruits and bright florals, damp earth, blueberry, mulberry, sweet essence, vanilla, smoke. The palate is medium-full bodied, elegant, raspberry, cherry, spicebox, fine grained integrated tannins, with a quite long finish. This kept getting fuller and richer through the night, just being eclipsed by the '94 Angelus. My #2 WOTN.

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  • 1998 Château Pavie 95 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    Purple/red/inky color. Decanted for 4 hours. Drank 1 glass over 2 hours. Nose is ripe, blueberry, cassis, blackberry, plum, lead pencil, smoke, earth, tar. This nose is quite expressive, but you get the sense that there is more yet to come. The palate though is stunning, a WOW palate. Absolutely amazing concentration, deep, full bodied, black and blue fruits in layer upon layer, graphite, nice acids, very long and intense finish. The tannins are round and silky and the balance here is about perfect. This was my #3 WOTN. Still very young, I think that ultimately this will be the best wine of the group. 95(+)pts.

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  • 1998 Château Ausone 93 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    Purple red color. Decanted for 5.5 hrs. Drank 1 glass over 2+ hours. Even after a long decant this was pretty tight on the nose. Black fruits, scorched earth, road tar, spice. The palate is full bodied, very big and concentrated, dense, chewy, black fruits, lots of anise, some tobacco, tar, minerals, firm tannins. Very young, needs at least 5 years and probably 10.

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Flight 6 - Dessert Wine (1 Note)

  • 1998 Château d'Yquem 95 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes

    Deep golden color. PNP, from 2-375's. Drank 1 glass over an hour. Nose is bright with apricot, honey, peach, orange marmalade, creme brule, honeysuckle, spiced peach, spice. The palate has incredible texture, thick and juicy, viscous, rich, tropical, peach, mango, apricot, vanilla, honey, spices. This has a very long finish. Classy and wonderfully pure. 95+pts. (2000)

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Closing

All of the wines performed well with a number of simply stunning wines. My WOTN was the '94 Chateau Angelus (truly a surprise), #2 was the '96 Cheval Blanc, and #3 was the '98 Pavie.

Results of group WOTN voting are as follows:

#1 - 1998 Chateau Pavie: 22pts (3+3+3+3+2+2+2+2+1+1=22pts)
#2 - 1994 Chateau Angelus: 16pts (3+3+3+3+3+1=16pts)
#3 - 1996 Cheval Blanc: 11pts (2+2+2+1+1+1+1+1+11pts)
#4 - 1990 Troplong Mondot: 10pts (3+2+2+2+1=10pts)
#5 - 2003 Pavie Macquin: 1pts (1=1pt)
#6 - 1998 Ausone: 0pts.

The d'Yquem was stunning, but not included in WOTN.

Thanks to everyone for sharing this memorable evening!

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