Seattle Tasting Group does Pauillac

Seattle, WA
Tasted Friday, February 23, 2007 by Eric with 765 views

Introduction

It was my turn to host the Seattle Tasting Group at home, and I decided to set a very focused theme of Pauillac. As it worked out, we ended up with nice mini-vertical from 3 different producers.

Flight 1 - STARTERS (2 Notes)

As people arrived we worked through a couple of equally refreshing starters.

  • 2004 Domaine Leflaive Bourgogne Blanc 91 Points

    France, Burgundy, Bourgogne Blanc

    Wow, for a guy who is starting to get addicted to white burgs this was quite a treat. Painfully young, this is loaded with flint, wet stone, and a bit of sulphur. The palate cuts like a razor, intensely mineral, vibrant, chalk and lime. I actually followed the last 1/4 of a bottle for two additional days, and this just kept opening and changing with nary a hint of oxidation. Impressive stuff!

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  • 2005 Chateau Ste. Michelle Sauvignon Blanc Marier 88 Points

    USA, Washington, Columbia Valley

    This is about a good as US Sauvignon Blanc gets in my book. Lots of ripe gooseberry notes with some grass. Reasonable acidity on the palate. A refreshing wine. My tastes tend to run towards Pouilly-Fumé and Sancerre, but this is a very nice alternative towards New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Good show.

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Flight 2 - PICHON LALANDE (4 Notes)

Our first flight featured four vintages of Pichon Lalande. Alas, a corked 1986 really took a bite out of the flight. In hindsight, all agreed this was the most underwhelming flight of the night.

Flight 3 - LYNCH BAGES (4 Notes)

I opted to server dinner with the Lynch Bages flight since we had a couple of young vintages. Grilled Spencer steaks, sauteed onions, sauteed mushrooms, roasted fingerling potatoes and wilted spinach, nice simple food to have with some hearty Bordeaux! This was a much stronger flight that really showed the Lynch Bages personality.

  • 1983 Château Lynch-Bages 90 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    Root-beer, green tobacco leaf, horse and cherry. I love the nose here, classic Lynch Bages! This fades a little quickly in the glass but is lovely while it lasts. Chewy, leathery and delicious.

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  • 1990 Château Lynch-Bages 94 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    Quite reticent at first with 90 minutes of decanting. Surprisingly hollow on the mid-palate, but this does explode on the finish. Does it just need more air? Yup, this starts to open up with amazing charcoal and mineral notes. Toothsome, tannic and quite young. A reticent showing. I retasted two hours later, and AHAH, this has opened up. Very nice tobacco notes now. Much thicker and more spicy on the midpalate. This bottle needed a LOT more air to shine.

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  • 1996 Château Lynch-Bages 95 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    Wow, the most impressive wine of the night to this point. This didn't get much air, just a quick double-decant about 2 hours before service. It definitely started out a bit reticent but then opened to show cassis, charcoal and menthol. Mmm, this has a rich mid-palate, gorgeously balanced, taut, young, a bowl of cherries. Impeccable. This finishes out beautifully. Fantastic showing for a terrific young wine!

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  • 2000 Château Lynch-Bages 96 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    Mmm, ripe, caramel, leafy, cola and perfume. Quite tight, but wow this is MASSIVE, loaded with layers of decadently ripe fruit, mineral, and tobacco. This was a very oaky showing, but the wine is gorgeous.

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Flight 4 - PICHON BARON (4 Notes)

Wow, I have had a lot of Pichon Baron and always enjoyed it, but on this night it really stood out as flamboyant and exotic. This was a simply fantastic flight with exceptionally strong showings for the 88 and 90. Yummy!

  • 1988 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron 94 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    This wine was the surprise of the tasting, as my expectations were fairly low for this 1988. Instead it exploded from the glass with a stalky, meaty, graphite laden nose. A gorgeous wine, definitely a bit hard in character with the vintage, but still quite stunning. The palate is loaded with mineral and graphite, intense; very, very good.

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  • 1989 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron 95 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    Reticent, a bit spicy, intense and soaring on the nose. Holy crap, this is crazily flamboyant but also incredibly tannic and punishing. A glorious wine, but this is really tight with 5 hours of decanting. I would either decant a lot more (8+ hours) or a lot less.

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  • 1990 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron 97 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    Ding, ding, ding, winner, wine of the night! Ripe, coffee, a total sexpot of a wine, utterly flamboyant. The palate is incredibly and exotically ripe, a total harlot wine, screaming minerality, graphite, buckets of sweet, sweet fruit, this screams from the rooftops.

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  • 1996 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron 94 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    A youngster. A sharp and intense nose with pine and mint. The palate is definitely tight and taut but with a juicy core, lots of tobacco. This is going to be a winner.

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Flight 5 - DESSERT (1 Note)

Dessert was cinnamon and chocolate Rugalach. Alas, it's a good thing the pastry was good, as the wine wasn't in this case.

Closing

Thanks everyone for a fun evening!

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